Bsc ( Hons ) Renewable Energy Dissertation Authored by Sarah Cochetel

Identifying the barriers to the deployment of solar cookers in the energy-poor households of sub-Saharan Africa Bsc(Hons) Renewable Energy Dissertation Authored by Sarah Cochetel May 2012 Supervised by Dr. Peter M. Connor


Identifying the b arriers to the d eployment of s olar c ookers in the energy-poor households of sub-Saharan Africa. Bsc ( Hons ) Renewable Energy Dissertation Authored by Sarah Cochetel - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Identifying the barriers to the deployment of solar cookers in the energy-poor households of sub-Saharan AfricaBsc(Hons) Renewable Energy DissertationAuthored by Sarah CochetelMay 2012 Supervised by Dr. Peter M. ConnorLayout of the Presentation1.Why Sub-Saharan Africa2.Traditional Cooking Methods3.Solar Cooking Technologies4.Barriers to their Dissemination5.Conclusions & Recommendations

Sub-Saharan AfricaAs defined by dictionnaries: The region of Africa to the South of the Sahara Desert

49 recognised nations(incl. Sudan and South Sudan)

850 million inhabitants

Why Sub-Saharan Africa?70% have no access to electricity657 million depend entirely on biomass and coal as primary cooking fuelsCorresponds to 58% of total energy use in the region

Source: The World Bank 2011Traditional Cooking MethodsThree-Stone FireEnvironmental ImpactsHealth ImpactsSocio-economic ImpactsThree-Stone Fire Key Points:Only 15% efficientQuick and simple way to cookImportant part of the culture and family bondingSource of heat and lightSmoke keeps insects away (e.g. mosquitoes responsible for death by malaria of 600 000 Africans in 2010)

Three-Stone Fire. Source: Reed 2010Environmental ImpactsUncontrolled collection of firewood

Displacement of people

Formation of micro-climates:Desertification (expansion of the Sahara), Floods and Droughts

DeforestationDeforestation in Africa between 2000 and 2005 4 million hectares taken down per year.Central pictures show the visual impacts of deforestation around 4 refugee camps in Guinea between 1979 and 2001.

7Direct Health Impacts: SmokeCombustion of Biomass releases:Carbon dioxide and monoxide, nitrogen oxides, benzene, sulphur, arsenic and particulate matter

Indoor Air Pollution IAP (1.6 million deaths per year)

Diseases and Illnesses:Acute respiratory infections, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, lung cancer, pneumonia, tuberculosis, cataracts etc.

Smoke in the kitchen. Source: Benanav N.d.Women and childrens exposure levels:100 times WHOs recommendationsequivalent to 2 packs of cigarettes per day2 to 4 times greater than mens Obvious one of burning8Direct Health Impacts: Wood CollectionFacts on these journeys:Implicated: Women and childrenDistance: 10km or moreLoad: avg 20kg per personTime: avg 40h per weekTrips can last up to a few days

Health Risks:Heat strokesBack pain & other orthopedic injuriesAnimal attacks (elephants, snakes etc.)Others e.g. walking on landmines

Darfuri refugees gathering wood. Source: Farrow 2009Social ImpactsDirect impacts:Risk to be insulted, raped, tortured and/or murdered.Risk of creating political tensions with other locals (especially for refugee populations).

Secondary impacts:From inactivity e.g. lack of income-generating activities or education. Leads to gender inequalities etc.From climat change e.g. formation of climatic refugees and displacement of thousands of people.

Malian women gathering wood. Source: Kev 2008.Economic ImpactsCost of firewood rapidly increasing due to fuel scarcity

Limited choice of alternatives

Represents significant portion of income

Sometimes more money is spent on firewood than food

Women purchasing wood at an Ethiopian market. Source: Donna N.d.Solar Cooking TechnologiesSolar ResourcesHistory of Solar CookingMost Common DesignsBenefits from Solar CookersSolar ResourceIdeal latitudes for solar cooking are between 40 N and 40S.

In ideal areas, solar radiations vary between 4.5 and 8.5 kWh/m2/day.

Ideal climatic areas are desertic zones. In the Sahel, up to 300 sunny days per year.

African Solar Radiation. Source: National Renewable Energy Laboratory 2010.History of Solar CookingSolar reflexion used thousands of years ago by Greeks, Romans and Chinese for military purposes.

First publications on solar cooking in 1767 by Horace de Saussure, French-Swiss scientist.

First practical applications: 1950s.

Full potential acknowledged after the 1970s oil crisis.

Solar Cookers International founded in 1987.

In the 1990s, sporadic efforts from UN sub-divisions.

Barbara Kerr and Sherry Cole with their first solar cooker. Source: PCIA 2010Barbara Kerr and Sherry Cole created first cheap solar box cooker beginning 1980s and created SCI (Solar Cookers International).14Most Common Designs: Parabolic CookersKey Points:

Focuses sunlight straight on the black potMost efficient (up to 1200W, 250C)Same cooking times and practices as conventional cooking methodsMost expensive type Complex structure and manufacturingBulky requires a lot of outdoor space

Parabolic cooker. Source: SCI N.d.Most Common Designs: Box CookersKey Points:

Insulated box making use of direct and diffuse sunlightMost widespread technologyEasy to construct and designCan hold a few potsCan be made of many materials e.g. cardboard, wood, plastic or metalLess than half the price of parabolic cookersLower ratings (200W, 180C)

Solar box cooker. Source: SCI 2012Most Common Designs: Panel CookersKey Points:

Reflective panels focusing light on black pot contained within plastic bagCheapest design Usually made of cardboard and aluminium foil Simplest design (CooKit) distributed widely by NGOs in refugee campsEasy to fold and transportLowest efficiencies

Panel cooker CooKit. Source: SCI 2012Technical AdvantagesSave 1 to 2 tons of firewood per year.No negative health impacts.No fire i.e. children can safely attend to the food.Save time and do not require stirring.Non-permanent structures and so can be deployed quickly.Can easily be made of recycled material (e.g. with Tetra Pak).No need for much water or oil so the food is healthier and contains more nutrients.Food doesnt burn i.e. less cleaning is involved.

Panel cookers in Chad. Source: JWW 2012Tetra Pak has donated in the past used (or waste) materials to a solar cooking association in order for them to manufacture hundreds of CooKits (see the Sun review).18Socio-economic AdvantagesMore time for women and children to attend to other activities e.g. school, income-generating activities, gather other fuels to meet the rest of the households energy requirements etc.

Potential for men and women to share familial tasks and break down gender issues.

Saves the households income and solar cookers are quickly repaid. Lots of impacts on local economy and creation of jobs.

Women baking cakes. Source: SCI 2012Baking business. Source: SCI 2012Women get the chance to open baking businesses and repairing/manufacturing workshops to generate some income for the household.19Barriers to the Dissemination of Solar CookerTechnical BarriersPublic PerceptionInstitutional and Political BarriersTechnical BarriersWeather & Other Environmental IssuesDesign & Material Related IssuesInaccessibility of Materials & Lack of InfrastructureOther Technical IssuesTechnical Barriers:Weather & Other Environmental IssuesProblems: Dependance on weather (intermittency, sunny hours, seasons etc.)For shortest cooking times, need readjustmentsUnsuitability of cooking timesRain, sand, dust and cleaning reduce rating by 25%Wind blows away some cookers (e.g. parabolic designs)Solutions:Improve design Use higher quality materialsHowever, these lead to other financial barriers

Technical Barriers:Design & Material Related IssuesComparison of Different Types of Solar CookersTypeCostSafetyEase of buildCooking speedCooking capacityLongevityOtherPanelLowest4-7USDSafeEasySeveral hours4-6 peopleLowest (cardboard susceptible to moisture & insect degradation)Need to replace plastic bag, no adding or stirring possibleBoxLow20USDSafeEasySeveral hoursDepends on size Medium/ depends on materials (glass window can break)No adding or stirring possibleParabolicHigh60USDMay cause burns & eye injuryComplicated (requires specialised materials)Similar to conventional stove but requires adjustment to the sun every 15minDepends on sizeHigh/ depends on materialsMay burn food, bulky23Technical Barriers:Inaccessibility of Materials & Lack of InfrastructureProblems:Need for local solar cooking business for after-sale service and maintenance.Difficulties in obtaining aluminium plates or foil, glass, mirrors, black pots or plastic bags.Supply and distribution issues due to lack of infrastructure especially in rural areas and on islands (in 2004, only 10% of the roads where paved, little access to electricity, literacy rare).Administrative and logistical issues often the reason behind the slow development of such projects e.g. Burkina Faso vs. South Africa.Solutions:Solving issues locallyAction from governmental bodies (long and slow process)

Rural Population of Sub-Saharan Africa. Source: The World Bank 2012Both Burkina Faso and South Africa seem to be developing a reasonable solar cooking network. However, Burkina Fasos development has been the slowest due to its poor infrastructure as opposed to South Africa. 24Technical Barriers:Other Technical IssuesLong cooking times.Need to expose the food outdoor.Need outdoor space (in urban dwellings, solar cookers go on the roof).Risks of thefts, poisoning, damaging from children and animals.Rarely used as stand-alone systems, only saves up 40% of fuel on average.

Cooking times. Source: Hanna & McArdle 2012Some women are not confortable to expose their food to the sight of their neighbours as cooking is still considered as a private activity in many parts of the world.25Public PerceptionTraditions & BeliefsGender InequalitiesAdoption Criteria of Energy-Poor HouseholdsPerceived Financial BenefitsImage of Solar CookersPublic Perception:Traditions & BeliefsProblems:More than 3000 ethnic groups with their own beliefs and traditions (e.g. in Uganda, 3 stone fire strongly linked to marriage).Designs do not meet aesthetic standards (e.g. square shapes).Where traditions are unshaken, adoption levels are the lowest: due to educational gaps, people do not believe the sun is capable to cook.Turn to their beliefs for explanations: work of the devil and black magic.

Solutions:Involving communities to design their own cookersUsing their beliefs against them e.g. SabbathUse appropriate promoting strategies

Masai communities and solar cookers. Source: SCI 2009In parts of Uganda, a man removing the three stones out of the fireplace indicates his wish of divorce. In other parts of the country, stoves made by the husbands mother are a sign of acceptance of the daughter-in-law; if the later builds her own stove she is believed to be cursed with infertility. Others yet reject square box cookers as they believe circular shapes to be the mark of perfection. 27Public Perception:Gender InequalitiesProblems:Financial/household decisions taken by men even for cooking matters.Gathering wood doesnt have a real perceived value and its dangers are not recognised.Some men are scared for their wives to have free time and idle, are not ready to change cooking hours/habits or beat up women if the food tastes differently. Others liked it because women can have more time to take on some of their own tasks.In some cultures, men and women have to be addressed to separately.

Solutions:Promotions and demonstrations to bring together men and women concernedGetting men to acknowledge the danger of firewood gathering

Sudanese boys attending school. Source: Africa Educational Trust 2008Public Perception:Adoption Criteria of Energy-Poor HouseholdsProblems:Field studies determined 3 key factors for the adoption of solar cookers:Reduce fuel consumption (less than anticipated, not stand-alone system due to technical barriers)Similar cooking times (much longer than other techs)Similar or better functionality (impossible to roast or fry)Food has different texture and colourDifferent criteria in rural and urban areas

Solution: Integrated Cooking Systems(Solar cooker + heat retention basket + improved stove)

Integrated Cooking System. Source: Whitfield 2005In rural areas, people are more affected by the long and dangerous journeys needed for the collection of wood. In urban areas, people will be more attentive to the money argument as they usually have to pay for their fuel wood. 29Public Perception:Perceived Financial BenefitsProblems:Although heavily subsidised, price is still high.Cooking not necessarily a priority to invest in.Some refuse credits (do not believe in being indebted).Concepts of saving, investing and ROI are not fully understood.

Solutions:Give access to information & educationPromote intelligently

Poverty gaps in sub-Saharan Africa. Source: The World Bank 2012ROI = Return On Investment30Public Perception:Image of Solar CookersProblems:Some products have a low quality in order for NGOs to reduce their costs.When distributed for free, end-users do not have a sense of ownership.Why arent higher social classes buying too?

Designs considered as cheap, for lower-classes, people get bored

Food-related uses:Pasteurizing water at 65C, preparing hot drinks e.g. tea, making jams and sauces, drying vegetables and fruits, baking cakes, heating milk, killing insects contained within seedsNon-food uses:Smelting, making wax, sterilising soil, warming irons to iron clothes, making the laundry, making cosmetics e.g. karit butter, sterilising medical kit and distilling water for batteries

Solutions:Promote the idea simple is beautiful Advertise additional uses of solar cookers:

31Institutional and Political BarriersPoor Project Planning & Promotion StrategiesFinancial Barriers: Subsidies or Market Development?Lack of Coordination & LinkageOther Political BarriersInstitutional & Political Barriers:Poor Planning & Promoting StrategiesProblems:Poor image from the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s due to:

Lack of background literature available for planning (only 2 docs from 2004)Error of promoting just one design

Weak implementation strategiesLack of trainingImmature/untested technologies

Many solutions:Plan ahead for 5 years and do background research with anthropologists and experts.Come up with step by step development with constant feedback. Carefully select promotion times and places.Involve people together at village feasts etc.Make sure problem is well understood.Institutions e.g. SCI or JWW provide training for volunteering promoters.ICS promoted only since 2008, need to establish new promoting strategies.

Barbara Knudson, key member of SCI, published in 2004 State of the Art of Solar Cooking in which she created a system which classifies the suitability of African countries depending on their infrastructure, geography and political stability. In that same year was published a document listing the 25 countries more likely to benefit from solar cooking of which 16 are sub-Saharan African - based on solar radiation and fuel scarcity.

33Institutional & Political Barriers:Financial Barriers: Subsidies or Market Development?Natural progression of technologies:


NGOs subsidise partially or fully but not viable: need funding.Governmental grants and CDM mechanisms often have strict administrative conditions. Subsidies sometimes get in the way of commercialisation.Hard to find motivated local entrepreneurs which have enough funds and capacity.Give access to micro-credits, low-interest loans, barter arrangements, layaway plans, hiring only on sunny days.Remove gender barrier as women do not always have access to these services.

Solutions:National & inter-regional governments must collaborate with banking institutions and propose adequate funding schemes e.g. aim subsidies at the poorest.Get involved with GEF Small Grant Programme? Follow Chinas example?


Normal progression of technologies = Research and Development to Demonstration (i.e. subsidies) to Commercialisation (i.e. no forms of funding).CDM = Clean Development MechanismsSouth Africas commercialisation en route, still have subsidies in some parts of the country. Hiring solar cookers only for sunny days (i.e. only paying for when the weather has been favourable to solar cooking at a lower price than firewood) worked in Burkina Faso but loans didnt as many people failed to repay them (as the price is higher). The GEF programme worked with Senegal with GIZ, but the source of this information was the UNDP how true is this information?China: state-controlled and commercial dissemination of subsidised cookers.34Institutional & Political Barriers:Lack of Coordination & LinkageIssues:Internal problems (e.g. UNHCR in Aisha camp).Lack of collaboration on the field (e.g. JWW, CARE and WFP in Chad).Lack of coordination between agencies (e.g. UNHCR distributing firewood).Lack of monitoring & project follow-up.Lack of transparency in publications of results and lack of sharing information.NGOs compete against each other.

Some have collaborated:EG Solar and CARE in ChadSenegalese government and UNDPSCI and JWW, KoZon and GIZ in Kenyan and Ethiopian refugee camps

Solution:Connect everyone, reunite all efforts via the Solar Cooking World NetworkFormation of groups e.g. AFRECAChina: considerable investments and collaboration between government and industryUNHCR projects success in the Aisha camp (one of the first solar cooking humanitarian project) wasnt fully acknowledged by the whole team (Knudson 2004) in spite of its great outcomes for the time. JWW, CARE and WFP all work in Chad without collaborating (or at least there are no traces of it on the internet).The UNHCR distributed firewood to refugee camps in Africa while some NGOs had some solar cooking operations which were not fruitful because of it. NGOs must compete against each other to obtain favours from generous donors which sometimes drives them into spending more money on advertisements to make their cause known and look appealing.35Institutional & Political Barriers:Other Political BarriersProblems:After 1970s, creation of many Energy departments/ministries but funding for renewables dropped quickly. Other priorities e.g. electrification and consolidation of national utility companies.Lack of willingness and corruption (e.g. Nigeria) from fossil-fuel lobbying companies and others.Lack of access due to warfare, terrorism, kidnapping etc. Domestic transportation problems.No clear strategies & policies (suggestion of housing plan but no follow-ups).Need set of standards, manufacturers must give guarantees.

Some initiatives:East African Community, with GIZ and UNDP, to give access to clean cooking technologies to half its population by 2015.8 countries joined the ProBec.Clean Cookstove Alliance (worldwide).AFREPREN/FWD active since 1987.Unknown outcomes!Conclusions & RecommendationsSome issues too great to be solved by solar cooking strategies e.g. lack of education, infrastructure etc.Changes take time: need appropriate long-term mechanisms.Need to promote intelligently and listen to the end-users needs (depending on culture, religion, gender status, living areas etc.).NGOs, governments, industry and local small-scale businesses need to work in collaboration and total transparency e.g. China. Governments must create partnerships with banking institutions and create appropriate pro-poor energy policies to remove the barriers for NGOs.Need to keep investing in better designs, but focusing more on reducing production, marketing and end-users costs. Advocate Integrated Cooking Systems and avoid repeating past errors.Thank you for your attention