My thanks to ISSER of the University of Ghana for sharing some data with me. This data is part of surveys conducted by the SAMSET project. Primarily the data was gathered to inform municipal authorities on creating a strategy to transition to cleaner energy, however it gives insight into cooking.
It gives an indication of the market segment most suited to this proposition. In an urban sample 502 households were with electricity and 134 were not grid connected. 57% of those connected to the grid were aware of renewable energy, but only 1.5% had any form of solar. Of those in an urban situation without electricity, 80% had some form of solar by which they included if they had a single portable rechargeable light. 70% of connected households think the power supply is an ‘interrupted (poor) supply’, and 60% would be willing to pay for a more reliable renewable supply.
Only one person used electricity as the main supply for cooking, while 35% used it for supplemental cooking. Of those with connections, 82% used charcoal and 79% used LPG (90% of LPG users also use Charcoal), some using both. When asked why they did not cook with electricity 40% felt that cooking with electricity was too costly however 33% aspire to using electricity within 2 years for their cooking.
Just over 50% of the sample use both LPG and Charcoal. These 315 households spend on average 20GHC on Charcoal and 36GHC on LPG (ie $12.7 a month on this fuel). Those who use only charcoal are mainly in the lower poverty quartile of the sample and yet still pay on average $10 for their charcoal, and those using LPG only (who are in the wealthier quartiles) the average is $12 per month. 68% of those connected were aware of efficient (charcoal) cookstoves, but only 20% use them.
In brief, the data confirms that a system providing the cooking needs of the household and costing $10 a month to run would potentially find a market in Africa of more than 50% of urban dwellers.