PV-eCook and Grid-eCook have very different target markets. PV-eCook is targeted at regions where no grid infrastructure exists (nor is it likely to in the near future), i.e. rural off-grid HHs. From a system-level perspective, Grid-eCook offers the ability to rebalance and reinforce weak grid infrastructure. As a result, the key target market segments are expected to be those living at the fringes of the grid, where the infrastructure is weakest, i.e. urban slums or rural grid-connected HHs .
However, in reality, these markets will clearly overlap, with some users of particularly unreliable grids with high unit costs potentially opting for PV-eCook over Grid-eCook and as national grids continue to expand, newly connected PV-eCook users may wish to sell their PV panels and buy an AC charger to convert to Grid-eCook.
eCook is fundamentally predicated upon the premise that monthly/weekly/daily repayments on a battery electric cooker could be comparable to current expenditures HH cooking fuels. Firewood, dung and crop waste are usually collected and therefore there is no existing expenditure, making users of these fuels harder to reach. In contrast in most contexts, LPG, kerosene, charcoal and coal are commercialised. As a result, this study seeks to determine how many people are using these fuels, where they are located and how much they are paying for them.
Most fundamentally, as a renewable energy technology, solar PV requires upfront investment. Whilst ICS have struggled to find an appropriate business model, pay-as-you-go solutions for solar lighting have facilitated rapid uptake. Pay-as-you-go for eCook would enable direct substitution of daily/weekly/monthly charcoal expenditure and a reframing of the concept not as an ICS but as a repurposing of household expenditure to support the roll out of electrical infrastructure (whether national grid, mini-grid or off-grid PV), which could therefore attract private and government investment in a way that ICS have not. As a result, the new report explores how the political and private sector landscape of electrification, electrification, local prices for fuelwood/charcoal/LPG and cultural preferences for specific foods vary across the Global South.
We recently published our eCook Global Market Assessment. Find the report HERE