Energy Efficiency at the Base of the Pyramid: A System-Based Market Model for Improved Cooking Stove Adoption
A widespread dissemination of improved cooking stoves in the developing world can lead to considerable improvement of health, to reduced pressure on natural woody resources and to substantial reductions of emissions contributing to global warming. A number of programs have aimed to achieve such dissemination, while few of the programs have had any large-scale success. It has been suggested that a more commercial approach, as opposed to subsidized or freely distributed stoves, would achieve a higher level of success. However, a majority of the households that would benefit from an improved stove are poor and cannot afford the cost of the stove, especially if no monetary savings are possible from a more efficient fuel use, i.e. , if the fuel used is collected biomass. The aim of this paper is to propose and evaluate a model that might overcome some of the barriers previous programs have experienced. The proposed model involves commercialization of collected fuels. The methods for evaluation include a qualitative assessment of the proposed model aided by the literature on improved cooking stove programs, fuel wood collection and fuel switching together with a quantitative simplistic model calculation of a hypothetical application of the proposed model principles, in order to assess its financial feasibility. The assessment indicates that the model would increase both households’ incentives and means to purchase and use improved cooking stoves. Furthermore, the model could possibly be partly financed based on carbon credits achieved from the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.
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