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Fuel savings, cooking time and user satisfaction with improved biomass cookstoves: Evidence from controlled cooking tests in Ethiopia

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  • Gebreegziabher, Zenebe
  • Beyene, Abebe D.
  • Bluffstone, Randall
  • Martinsson, Peter
  • Mekonnen, Alemu
  • Toman, Michael A.

Abstract

Continued high reliance on traditional biomass fuels and stoves in developing countries gives rise to several human health, environmental, and livelihood issues. However solid data on the performance of improved biomass cooking stoves remains scarce. This paper provides controlled cooking test (CCT) evidence on fuel savings from a promising improved biomass cooking stove in Ethiopia. The stove is called Mirt (meaning “best” in Amharic), and is used to bake injera, the staple food in much of Ethiopia. Injera preparation accounts for about half the primary energy consumed in the country. We find that the Mirt stove offers fuel savings of 22% to 31% compared with a traditional three-stone tripod, with little or no increase in cooking time. Fuel savings in the CCTs are significant, but are substantially smaller than in laboratory testing. Users also generally report high levels of satisfaction with the stove, which is crucial for successful large-scale adoption. The fuelwood savings increase and cooking times decline over time, suggesting the importance of user experience and learning. Though our results are robust to different ways that the stoves were rolled out, conclusions regarding acceptability of the stove are still indicative, because of the CCT methodology we employ. Despite the limitations of our study, the findings suggest that the Mirt stove could have positive welfare effects for households who adopt it.

Suggested Citation

  • Gebreegziabher, Zenebe & Beyene, Abebe D. & Bluffstone, Randall & Martinsson, Peter & Mekonnen, Alemu & Toman, Michael A., 2018. "Fuel savings, cooking time and user satisfaction with improved biomass cookstoves: Evidence from controlled cooking tests in Ethiopia," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 173-185.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:resene:v:52:y:2018:i:c:p:173-185
    DOI: 10.1016/j.reseneeco.2018.01.006
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Keywords

    Improved biomass cookstoves; Controlled cooking test; Fuel savings; Ethiopia;

    JEL classification:

    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products
    • Q41 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Demand and Supply; Prices
    • Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth

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