All posts by elstove

Beyond Fire

Beyond Fire, a recently published report by the World Future Council and Hivos (2016) argues that “focusing on improved cook stoves is neither a truly long-term nor a truly sustainable solution to the challenge of cooking.” Their analysis echoes much of our work, indeed they quote from and suggest very similar solutions.

beyond fire graph

Figure: Comparison of Beyond Fire’s economic modelling results with selected results from Leach & Oduro (2015). The figure below is taken from Beyond Fire, with Leach & Oduro’s (2015) “High Cook” values converted to the same units and superimposed. PV-eCook bars are a combination of Leach & Oduro’s 5% and 20% discount rate modelling. Exchange rate of 1.12USD/EUR, Beyond Fire assume 5 ppl/HH, Leach & Oduro assume 4 ppl/HH. Read more…

Cooking Diaries

wasted-gas-energyWe have just started to gather some evidence on how people cook.  It might seem amazing given the huge amount of work on Improved (Charcoal and wood) Cookstoves, but other than Cowan 2008, we have been unable to find details on how much energy it actually takes to cook a meal in real world situations.  Of course there is data on how much charcoal people consume, but cooking with charcoal is not the same as cooking with modern energy.  It is that much easier to simmer food by turning down the gas or the electricity. [Indeed the picture is of wasted energy!! – why have the gas so high on such a small pot, the heat goes up around the pot!  (and why doesnt it have a lid?)] Read more…

Why Elon Musk will change Africa

I wrote to Elon Musk just now to elicit his support for Solar Electric Cooking.  It is of course unlikely he will read my email (sent to his office – I have no direct road in), but no harm in trying to bring it to his visionary attention is there?  What I said is immaterial, but after writing it I realised something….

richard-florida-slams-teslas-nevada-battery-factory-deal Read more…

DFID UK Aid reports

DFID UK Aid has invested in evidence based reports on the Solar Electric Cooking idea. They commissioned four reports, three on specific research questions and one on a synthesis report to bring them together.  Each report was authored by experts in the subject and peer reviewed by other experts in that field.

The conclusions are favourable to the original proposition, and suggest that further research be undertaken in the build up to 2020 when the proposition becomes economically viable for millions of households currently using biomass for their cooking.

Read more…