MECS-TRIID awardee profiles

Energy storage for cooking

Australia Mekong Partnership for Environmental Resources & Energy Systems Ltd (AMPERES)

Project title: E-waste to e-cook: piloting a scalable, modular power-pack using recycled lithium-ion technology for affordable & reliable e-cooking. 

Outline: A modular solution for e-cooking that works across the value chain of the renewables sector to convert e-waste into a reliable e-cook power source.

Location: Myanmar.

Summary:

The project employs an accelerated prototyping approach to demonstrate the viability of recycled lithium ion batteries as an affordable, reliable, clean and flexible power source for e-cooking in remote households of Myanmar.  It involves three phases of prototyping a modular, recycled lithium-ion power-pack capable of providing 1kWh of storage and compatible with popular, commercially available cooking appliances in Myanmar, piloting the functionality and performance in a remote village of Myanmar, and scaling the powerpack through the establishment of villager-owner micromanufacturing.  

The concept is designed to respond to a suite of challenges which currently serve as barriers to the deployment of lithium-ion storage technology in cooking practices of those poor, remote households who stand to benefit most from the technologyIt is also designed to innovate a growing e-waste management problem which will see an exponential rise in e-waste due to the rapid deployment of electric vehicles in coming decades. Last the project seeks to demonstrate a viable business model for local enterprise development which unlocks access for villagers into the growing RE industry in Myanmar through local small-scale production of recycled battery power packs. 

Cal Poly Corporation

Project title: Thermal storage with phase change materials.

Outline: Design, construct, and disseminate phase change thermal storage for cooking, made locally for $20.00.

Location: Ghana, Malawi, Uganda.

Summary:

Previous work by Cal Poly has developed Insulated Solar Electric Cooking (ISEC) whereby a solar panel is directly connected to an insulated, electrically-heated cookpot. Typically, a 100 W solar panel, capable of heating 5 kg of food to boiling in the course of the day is used and is ideal for “boil and simmer” cooking. However, there is also a need for cookpots with more power and/or for use during the evening after the sun has set. In this project, these cookpots are being developed through phase change thermal storage capability using Erythritol, with a melting point of 118°C that is capable of storing about ½ kWh over the course of the day. An early prototype can deposit much of this energy in a short period of time after the external power has been disconnected, providing many times more power than 100 W.

This project will disseminate ISEC with partners in Malawi and Uganda and develop new collaborations in Ghana. The simple phase change thermal storage unit could be used with applications other than ISEC, and is a simple design built from less than $20 in materials. This project builds on improving prototype design of earlier working prototypes, sharing knowledge with African partners, collaboratively disseminating the technology, and studying the technology adoption process. The dissemination model will support local enterprises in constructing and innovating ISEC products for local sale. Project funds will also provide financial support for four research students in summer 2019 from The Bill Frost Student Research Grants and Cal Poly’s College of Science and Math. 

ServedOnSalt

Project title: ServedOnSalt portable cooker.

Outline: A portable cooker with thermochemical heat battery, charged by the sun for clean cooking in refugee camps.

Location: Uganda.

Summary:

There is a need for innovative solutions to the challenges of sustainable cooking in refugee settings, especially in sub-Saharan Africa where the environmental impact of large (and rapid) movements of people across borders is most acutely felt. As of May 2019, Uganda is host to 1.25 million refugees, mostly from South Sudan, making it host to the largest refugee population in Africa and third largest in the world after Pakistan and Turkey. The majority of these displaced households gather or purchase woodfuel or charcoal to cook their food, which causes various problems for the people, the host countries and the environment.

This project seeks to tackle this challenge by developing a portable cooker with a thermochemical heat battery that can be charged using concentrated solar power. The stoves will be charged at charging stations across the camp, and the refugee can carry them home to cook in peace. The focus is on developing a functional prototype, getting proof of concept, and to do a feasibility study in Uganda in collaboration with AVSI.

The project operates in collaboration with the UN-led Global Plan of Action for energy in situations of displacement. Specifically, it aims to feed into the working group of data and evidence (co-chaired by James Haselip at UNEP DTU and Sarah Rosenberg Jansen at Practical Action). As such, the findings and conclusions of this project will inform wider R&D and funding plans within the humanitarian sector, which is increasingly focused on issues of local sustainability, energy and the environment. 

Smart Villages

Project title: Low cost solar thermal storage for time-shifted carbon free cooking.

Outline: We will develop and test low-cost technologies for storing heat from the sun for use later in traditional cooking contexts.

Location: Tanzania, Uganda.

Summary:

Heat from the sun for cooking is free. But often food is not prepared at times when the sun shines (e.g. in the evening) or in places where it shines (e.g. outdoors). This has led to low uptake of solar cooking technologies. But if simple technologies can be developed to capture and store heat from the sun during the day, for use later and in different locations for traditional cooking, this should provide a solution which is culturally acceptable and delivers significant development benefits. These benefits include reducing indoor air pollution and resultant detrimental health impacts, reducing emissions of greenhouse gases and biodiversity impacts from wood/charcoal gathering, and improving productivity and drudgery for women and girls, on whom the task of collecting cooking fuel often falls, with additional security risks from the long journeys required.

There has been some work done in this area, but solutions are often over-engineered and so unaffordable (the only solution on the market costs $300 per unit). It is possible to develop systems using less optimal, but much more affordable and less complex components. In this project the performance and efficiency of different components of such a thermal storage cooking system will be investigated, and the most appropriate and complementary low-cost appropriate systems will be selected. These will then be tested for performance and user-acceptability in Uganda and Tanzania with local partners, and investigations made into the potential for manufacturing them locally via microenterprises.

Grid and infrastructure adaptability

People, Energy and Environment Department Association (PEEDA)

Project title: ‘Assessing electric cooking potential in micro hydropower microgrids in Nepal’.

Outline: Integrating electric cooking technology in highly constrained micro hydropower microgrids, developing data gathering methods to demonstrate feasibility and identify challenges.

Location: Nepal.

Summary:

There are over 3,300 rural communities in rural Nepal that have micro hydropower (MHP) systems providing them with electricity with an average power consumption of only 100 Watts per consumer. During the wet season, MHP plants offer relatively constant power output throughout the day and night (unlike variable solar photovoltaics or wind) making it an ideal candidate to explore electric cooking. A small-scale e-cooking pilot study in 2018 identified that this highly constrained supply struggled to support the increased load during peak times. A multi-disciplinary consortium made up of local non-government organisations (PEEDA and KAPEG) and academic institutions (Bristol and Coventry) proposes this project to address the challenge of enabling widespread adoption of electric cooking in Nepali MHP microgrids through 1) refining qualitative methods to assess Nepali cooking practices using a localised version of the MECS e-cooking diary and a survey to understand communities willingness to adopt behavioural change approaches; 2) collecting high quality quantitative data through existing meters and sensors; 3) establishing an electric cooking laboratory in Nepal to simulate and test storage scenarios on MHP microgrids through battery storage and behaviour change solutions, and 4) translating these findings to inform policies and scale up of electric cooking through partnerships with an international funding agency (UNDP) and a government body (AEPC). These project outcomes will be applicable to the wider Nepali national power grid and other grids and microgrids in countries with similar cooking practices and grid infrastructure.

United International University

Project title: ‘A solar PV based low-cost inverterless grid integrated cooking solution’.

Outline: A solar PV based grid integrated cooking solution is proposed without using inverter or battery for cost minimization.

Location: Bangladesh.

Summary:

In this project, we identify the cost of clean energy and its accessories as the main hurdle towards adopting clean cooking technologies. With falling price of the solar PV, solar PV based cooking can be an attractive solution in the grid connected areas, where grid will be supplementing any shortfall in the solar PV power. In this project we propose a low-cost grid connected solar PV based cooking solution with specific emphasis on the following aspects:

  • Designing a low-cost system
  • Enhancing cooking efficiency to reduce energy consumption
  • Inverterless integration of solar PV with the grid for lower cost and increased efficiency 
  • Storing of surplus energy from the solar PV in the form of water heating, the hot water to be used for cooking
  • Independently run by solar PV even when the grid power fails (a grid tied inverter cannot deliver power when grid fails) 

While implementing the above-mentioned features, care is taken to introduce minimum ‘change in habit’ so the users do not find it difficult to adopt in different cultural or geographical locations.

Alternative fuels

Climate and Development Centre (Alex Ekwueme Federal University, Nigeria)

Project title: ‘Enhancing LPG access for semi-urban populations in Nigeria’.

Outline: Using a fee-for-service model delivered through women cooperative groups to enhance the adoption of LPG in semi-urban populations in Nigeria.

Location: Nigeria

Summary:

Using two large towns in South-East region of Nigeria (Awgu and Arondizuogu) as pilot cases, the project seeks to establish the extent to which a fee-for-service delivery model offered through one faith-based and one economic women cooperative groups can enhance a wide and sustained adoption of modern energy cooking services based on Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) among semi-urban populations in Nigeria.  Low awareness, lack of affordability, unacceptability, and unreliability of access are regularly identified as the top four barriers that prevent the adoption of LPG in Nigeria and Africa more broadly. 

The project seeks to tackle these four barriers by deploying a novel business model which involves letting members of women trading and faith-based co-operative groups to access low-volume 6kg cylinder gas stoves and pay for LPG in a ‘Pay-as-You-Use’ flexible manner while the energy service provider maintains ownership of the equipment and additionally offers targeted awareness and maintenance services. Furthermore, the approach will also involve the provision for transforming the women groups into social enterprises dealing in LPGs as well as for brand franchising to interested entrepreneurs. It is expected that the innovative delivery solution combined with locally-tailored campaign and positive group influence of the women cooperative groups will catalyse uptake as well as the affordability and sustainability of supply of LPG to these communities. Throughout the project research data on perception, attitude and behaviour change will be collected for analysis and publication and policy advocacy purposes.

CREATIVenergie

Project title: ‘Portable biogas: assessing the socio-economic viability of packaging and distributing ready to use biogas’.

Outline: Exploring feasibility of pay-as-you-go and peer-to-peer distributed biogas supply, facilitated through gas storage bags, low-pressure compression technology and enabling ICT.

Location: Sub-Saharan Africa

Summary:

Biogas digesters produce a clean and modern alternative cooking fuel. However, despite its benefits, use in sub-Saharan Africa remains low, with charcoal and wood fuel accounting for the majority of energy for both rural and urban domestic cooking. Numerous barriers hinder the scaling of biogas technology including: the capital cost to construct biogas digesters; the need for a supply of organic matter to input into it e.g. cow dung or food waste; and socio-cultural acceptability of the technology. Consequently, digesters are both unaffordable and unfeasible for many households. Maintaining functionality of biogas digesters has also proved challenging, with some digesters falling into disrepair.

This project will therefore explore models of distributing surplus biogas, not only enabling an affordable, reliable and sustainable supply of household cooking fuel in rural and peri-urban areas, but also creating a scalable and sustainable income for households and communities with digesters. Essentially trading biogas as a ready-to-use fuel. Utilising existing technologies (biogas bags, low-pressure gas compression equipment, ICT) we will explore innovative methods of distributing biogas produced by household/institutional digesters to rural or peri-urban communities. We will explore the feasibility of a pay-as-you-go approach to purchasing biogas fuel, whereby consumers pay for the fuel they require rather than repaying debt finance following installation of biogas production assets. We will assess the market potential and viability of the distribution and trading models for different socio-economic groups, and how such approaches can make biogas fuel more accessible, affordable and accepted, hence off-setting of charcoal and wood stoves.

International Development Enterprise

Project title: ‘Exploring futures of alternative cooking in Cambodia’.

Outline: Researching knowledge, attitudes, and perceptions around cooking in rural Cambodia to uncover aspirational, clean-energy solutions, pathways, and service models.

Location: Cambodia.

Summary:

How can we uncover pathways to aspirational cooking utilizing new energy forms in Cambodia? The core of this project involves researching people’s energy needs to understand knowledge, perceptions and behaviours driving their choices behind energy for cooking. We aim to apply Human Centred Design and Ethnographic research techniques to uncover user needs, aspirations and future adoption strategies for clean cooking energy. We will then use this understanding to explore the potential of modern cooking energy solutions with rural and urban customers in Cambodia. We will explore and test strategies/pathways that transition customers away from biomass towards modern clean cooking energy forms. The intent behind this body of work is to ensure that future adoption strategies for using modern clean cooking energy in Cambodia promote inclusive, equitable access to energy for cooking among households.

M-KOPA UK Limited

Project title: ‘The internet of gas’.

Outline: Using low-cost technology to unlock efficiencies in rural and urban LPG supply chains in Africa and South Asia.

Location: Africa, South Asia.

Summary:

The development of locking “smart valves” reflects the effort of the private sector to provide affordable LPG services to low income customers on a commercially viable basis. However, these valves are costly to develop, operate and maintain. This project explores the use of low-cost sensors throughout the supply chain to achieve the same efficiency and effectiveness outcomes at much lower cost to both the provider and the customer – enabling clean and affordable LPG consumption for cooking in low-income African homes.

PayGo Energy

Project title: Internet of Things (IoT) LPG cylinder tag & trace.

Outline: LPG Cylinder tagging and tracing using IoT and smart scales, to improve LPG cylinder logistics.

Location: Kenya

Summary:

Tag and tracing of LPG cylinders using IoT tags to improve LPG cylinder logistics and distribution.

Pesitho ApS

Project title: Cleaning the air through cooking: providing alternative energy solutions for cooking practices in the Bidibidi Refugee Settlement in Yumbe district in Uganda.

Outline: Investigating emissions and respiratory impacts of solar voltaic clean cooking methods in crisis affected, displaced or marginalised areas.

Location: Uganda.

Summary:

Almost a billion people are without access to electricity and two billion people depend on woodfuel as their main energy source for cooking. Biomass combustion causes respiratory diseases leading to over 4 million premature deaths every year more than malaria and tuberculosis together. Dependency on woodfuel also contributes to deforestation, a major cause of climate change. Charcoal is one of the biggest traded commodities in Africa, second only to food. For many, charcoal is the easiest, if not always the cheapest, the source of energy for cooking, particularly in urban and peri-urban areas. As Africa’s population continues to grow and more people migrate to cities and towns, the demand for woodfuel is expected to rise. More trees will be cut down to produce the wood and charcoal to satisfy the bursting demand for energy.

Pesitho is challenging this with the ECOCA, a compact, self-contained, multi-purpose home cooking unit consisting of a battery pack, solar panel and a highly insulated pot. Proposing a solution to cooking with biomass or systems that require expensive fuel, is to shift to a clean, efficient, sustainable and environmentally friendly cooking system that uses solar photovoltaic as energy source. The activities that will be conducted in the Bidibidi Settlement in Uganda, shown in Table Q3, consist of scientific monitoring of volumes of air pollution (emissions testing and respiratory effects) and user behaviour, attitudes and perceptions around clean cooking, renewable energy, pro-environmentalism and climate change, present across three types of household.

Sun Buckets, Inc.

Project title: Sun Buckets: Solar Thermal Storage for Cooking

Outline: Design, build, and test innovations to store thermal energy generated from electricity in (a) portable cook stoves and (b) large-scale reservoirs. 

Location: Haiti, Kenya, Somaliland.

Summary:

Sun Buckets has developed a stored energy solar cooker that is currently used by the energy impoverished in Haiti, Kenya, and Somaliland. This game-changing innovation allows users to cook with solar thermal energy, even at night, using their own pots and pans and without batteries, fuels, fires, or emissions. Sun Buckets are also completely recyclable.  

While we currently heat Sun Buckets with direct solar radiation – via a parabolic concentrating dish – we also envision significant advantages for heating with electricity.  Related, we also see the need and opportunity to provide longer-term energy storage that spans rainy seasons in many areas of the world via an innovation that might use electric heating.  

Therefore, Sun Buckets will develop two new capabilities for use among those with limited access to energy for cooking:  

1. Sun Buckets will design, build, and test a proof-of-concept electrical heating system for Sun Buckets thermal storage cook stoves. 

2. Sun Buckets will design, build, and test a proof-of-concept large-scale thermal storage reservoir heated with electricity. The reservoir will provide energy for users through rainy seasons that span several weeks. 

If successful, these innovations can provide cooking options for the energy impoverished that eliminate the use of fuels that lead to respiratory disease, carbon emissions, and gender discrimination/abuse. All of the innovations can be fabricated regionally, providing jobs and reducing shipping. Further, we envision the new technologies being used by entrepreneurs to operate Solar Harvesting Farms, providing local business opportunities and jobs.

Delivery models

Bidhaa Sasa

Project title: Women-to-women distribution model to increase adoption of clean cooking methods by low income women in rural Kenya.

Outline: Developing a women-to-women distribution model to accelerate the adoption of the use of LPG by low income households in rural Kenya

Location: Kenya

Summary:

Rural women in Kenya are overwhelmingly in charge of most household chores and this includes cooking. They use wood and charcoal (that are not sustainable produced) for cooking all their families’ meals, using 3 stones or cheap stoves that are very inefficient to prepare these meals. New and old technologies for cleaner cooking already exist in Kenya: more efficient wood and charcoal stoves, LPG gas cylinders and cookers, systems to produce biogas with farm waste, pressure cookers, and other mostly electric appliances, but these rarely reach the rural women and only the urban middle classes with access to grid electricity enjoy them. Rural women face many barriers to access these technologies. They do not have physical access to them as their local markets won’t stock these products.  Even if they did have access to them they would not be able to pay for them as their income is low and they are dependent on their husbands’ input. And often they are not even aware that these modern tools exist, or they do know how to use them for cooking the meals they are used to prepare daily. Lack of access to modern cooking exacerbates inequalities in the rural areas, as women spend a disproportionate amount of time working in the house, fetching fuel, cooking meals for hours. This leads to lack of time to seek paid activities outside the house and promotes traditional gender roles and patriarchal social structures.

Bidhaa Sasa has been operating in Kenya since 2015 distributing and financing a range of household goods targeting rural women. The range includes farm tools, clean lighting devices (mainly solar units), and clean cooking devices such as efficient wood and charcoal stoves, LPG cylinders, table-top gas cookers and pressure cookers. Over these years we have developed a women-to-women distribution model that is trying to overcome the barriers faced by women mentioned above. We have had relative success managing to sell c. 25,000 units to c. 20,000 clients of which 14,000 are women achieving our gender target. We are also seeing an increasing demand for gas by rural women as word of mouth spreads and biomass fuels become expensive, and today the LPG 6kg cylinder (with burner and grill) is the most popular product in our range. However, we have barely scratched the surface and face many obstacles to accelerate the demand of LPG and modern cooking methods like the use of table-top gas cookers, the use of pressure cookers and even the use of induction hobs for the few families that are connected to the grid.

This project would help Bidhaa Sasa to accelerate the adoption of the use of gas using cylinders provided by the main oil majors with a rural presence and accessories such as table-top cookers and pressure cookers and, to test the demand for induction hobs and other electric appliances that may be in stock in country.

GenDev Centre for Research and Innovation LLP, Gurgaon, India

Project title: Identifying drivers and barriers to sustained adoption of LPG as clean cooking energy: applying lessons from India’s LPG programme to Nepal and Myanmar.

Outline: Analyse experiences in policies and practices for sustained adoption of LPG in rural India with implications for Nepal and Myanmar.  

Location: Nepal, Myanmar.

Summary:

India’s very large programme of distributing subsidized LPG to poor women is reported to have increased access to 90 per cent of households in India. This is a supply side policy that has provided access to clean cooking fuel. However, this access has not translated into sustained use or demand for LPG as the primary cooking fuel. Studies have shown that the number of refills secured by poor women in areas where wood or other solid biomass can be collected for fuel is only about two or three cylinders per year, which shows that these women are continuing to use solid biomass as the primary cooking fuel (ENERGIA, 2019 and CEEW, 2018.). Our study will identify the barriers in sustained use and the drivers that have led to sustained use, where this has occurred. Drawing from these lessons, we will formulate an innovation strategy to meet the challenge of turning access into sustained use. Our innovation strategy is based on three principles: increasing efficiency of LPG supply; sustainability of LPG-use; and, improvement in women’s agency (ability and action to make decisions). Our preliminary innovation concept is to incentivize last mile connectivity in remote areas, overcome delays in supplying refilled LPG cylinders and empower women to sustainably use LPG as their primary cooking fuel.

Kachione LLC, Malawi

Project title: Customizing Malawi-made solar electric cooking technology and business models to provide access to very low income villagers.

Outline: We create Malawi-made solar home systems and “pay as you grow” business models where the cooker is the electricity controller.

Location: Malawi

Summary:

Most families in rural Malawi receive less than $100/month of cash income.  With such low income, the most they can afford for electricity is $5 to $10 per month.  What is worse is that once per year shortly before harvest, most rural Malawian families experience a “hunger season” where they have to choose between buying food or paying for household essentials like fertilizer or health care for their children. During that time, it is essentially impossible for families to pay monthly electricity bills while taking care of the essential needs of their children. “Pay as you go” (PayGo) solar electricity for cooking simply is not practical or workable for them.  Do we throw up our hands and give up on low income villagers? We say: NO!

Our alternative is what we call “pay as you grow” (PayGrow). Poor farmers do make money and make investments. But they make investments near harvest time if investments can pay back by the next harvest season.  With PayGrow, we meet low-income farmers where they are, by providing a solar cooking business model that fits these economic conditions. In this project, we develop, distribute, and scientifically evaluate the PayGrow method for solar cooking access in Malawi.  The key to our system is a Malawi-made solar home system with a low-cost cooker that provides electricity regulation and management. This allows for a system design where the customer can purchase increased solar electric cooking capacity piece by piece when as cash is available at harvest time.

Kisambara Ventures Ltd, Kenya

Project title: Smart cooking solutions

Outline: The project aims to provide smart cooking solutions that are healthy, environmentally safe, time saving and affordable.  

Location: Kenya

Summary:

Energy is important for every Kenyan household for the purposes of cooking, lighting, heating and cooling, among others. Our main focus is in cooking and we note that many households in urban and semi-urban areas in Kenya rely on unclean and wasteful methods of cooking such as charcoal stoves, kerosene stoves and firewood yet they are connected to the main grid. This is because these methods are perceived to be easily accessible and cheap. Use of electricity in cooking is also perceived to be expensive. However, recent research has shown that cooking efficiently with efficient electric appliances can actually be an order of magnitude cheaper. The objective of this project is to encourage use of electric pressure cookers that are cheap to run and cook quickly and the use of energy meters to keep track of the cost of making a meal. This will facilitate household planning that will lead to smarter cooking  practices and more effective decision making on the best source of energy for cooking.

To achieve this, we intend to source affordable, user-friendly and good quality electric pressure cookers and energy meters that we will use for training and sale to households.

Power for All

Project title: Modern Energy Cooking Services jobs census and campaign

Outline: This project will undertake a jobs census and communication of results for the Modern Energy Cooking Services sector in Kenya.

Location: Kenya

Summary:

Power for All, together with Strathmore Energy Research Centre, will undertake the first jobs census for the MECS sector, together with a targeted campaign to communicate results to key stakeholders.  With an initial focus on Kenya, the census will build on Power for All’s existing Powering Jobs campaign, which, in 2018-19, undertook a comprehensive jobs census in the distributed renewable energy sector in Kenya, Nigeria and India.

A robust evidence base is vital to demonstrate to policymakers and donors the employment opportunity from delivering MECS.  Without more comprehensive knowledge, decision-makers may fail to invest the necessary resources in training to support a shift to MECS resulting in, not only a data gap, but also a growing skills gap as demand for clean cooking appliances grows.

By showing the economic benefits from a shift to MECS, through employment opportunities throughout the value chain (from research and development; manufacturing; sales and distribution; maintenance and disposal), the project team will seek to ensure greater investment by governments and donors in the hard and soft skills needed to fill the jobs (direct, indirect, productive and induced) being created in MECS.  This will in turn lead to development of a skilled workforce, a thriving MECS sector and health benefits for households using modern cooking methods. 

PowerGen Renewable Energy

Project title: Accelerating uptake of electric cooking on AC minigrids through business and delivery model innovations.

Outline: Delivering EPCs to minigrid customers with end-user financing, training, and tariff subsidy to accelerate the adoption of electric cooking

Location: Tanzania

Summary:

This project aims to test business and delivery model innovations to accelerate adoption of electric cooking in the context of a rural AC minigrid, where efficient Electric Pressure Cookers (EPCs) will be delivered with pay-as-you-go financing alongside reduced tariffs to improve competitiveness with relatively cheap and ubiquitous biomass.

Project activities will include:

  • Partnering with a local distributor of electric pressure cookers (EPCs)
  • Testing EPCs for quality assurance, product-market fit and minigrid compatibility 
  • Marketing, sales, and delivery to customers at two active minigrid projects in central Tanzania
  • Provision of a loan facility to improve appliance affordability
  • Cooking demos to train customers on energy-saving best practices and plan ideas for cooking local staples
  • Monitoring and evaluation, which includes leveraging remote monitoring data to gauge usage patterns, and conducting direct follow-up with EPC customers to understand their experience and impressions of the service 

Key performance indicators include the uptake of EPCs during the study period, projected biomass displaced, customer satisfaction with EPCs, ability to repay appliance loans, and effects on the load profile of the minigrid.

Sustainable Community Development Services (SCODE), Kenya

Project title: Developing and testing innovative user-friendly LPG financing models to accelerate uptake among rural poor through mobile pay.

Outline: Increase uptake of LPG through an innovative mobile phone App and payment plan(s), with new last-mile retail outlets operated by women.

Location: Kenya

Summary:

The aim of this R&D project is to develop financial model to accelerate uptake of LPG as complementary fuel to the electric cooking (e-cooking), being developed by SCODE in the proposed project area in Nakuru county, Kenya.

SCODE is engaged in an aggressive drive to transition rural communities from solid biomass fuels for cooking and heating to cleaner fuels. The organisation has just started implementing an other R&D project which seeks to develop a more energy efficient, affordable and longer lasting Direct Current electric pressure cooker for use among off-grid and unreliable grid connected households in the project area. Even if the e-cooking project is successful, it might not be possible for majority of the target households to do 100% of their cooking and heating on electricity because of the type of food being cooked and/or unavailability of reliable electricity supply at the time it is needed for cooking. The project team fears that in circumstances in which households may not use 100% electric cooking, they will resort to traditional biomass fuels (especially firewood) which are readily available. Through this proposed project, SCODE will develop suitable financial model trough the development of a mobile App for accelerating uptake of LPG as complementary fuel to complement e-cooking for households already purchasing biomass fuels and kerosene for cooking and heating. 

SCODE is not aware of any other project looking at complementarity between e-cooking and LPG cooking and how to accelerate LPG adoption in rural areas through innovative mobile pay financing.

Sustainable OneWorld Technology CIC (SOWTech)

Project title: Designing and developing eCook technology.

Outline: Making eCook technology available to people who currently cook on 3 stones or similar.

Location: Malawi

Summary:

Ecook technology is currently only accessible, in African communities, to middle income families and above. SOWTech is looking to design and develop this technology with hand for those communities whose current cooking arrangements are 3 stone fires and similar. By working with local communities, the aim of the project is to produce a PV-eCook stove that will be acceptable to and meet the requirements of the local community. The stoves will be able to be built in the communities where they will be used and will therefore provide local employ as well as a cleaner, more sustainable way of cooking.

Tanzania Traditional Energy Development Organisation

Project title: Approach to designing delivery models of Modern Energy Cooking Services in Tanzania.

Outline: The project will study barriers, enablers and drivers to recommend measures for designing delivery models to MECS for different social groups.

Location: Tanzania

Summary:

The research project will assess the entire modern cooking energy and technologies value chain in order to understand barriers, enablers and drivers to improve the delivery of modern energy cooking services in Tanzania. The project will be implemented in urban, peri-urban and rural areas of the three regions of Dar es Salaam region, three clusters of people will be selected to include low, medium and high income segments.

The proposed research project aims to assess and understand the entire modern cooking energy and related technologies value chain in order to propose effective delivery models of modern energy cooking services in Tanzania. The project will specifically address the following objectives:

  1. Undertake situational analysis of cooking energy modern technologies and services in Tanzania;
  2. Assess barriers, enablers and drivers for the uptake of MECS in Tanzania;
  3. Study and assess possible opportunities for gender equality and social inclusions in MECS;
  4. Recommend appropriate delivery models for transforming delivery of MECS for different social groups

The deliverables of the research project will be an inception report, draft MECS research report, final published MECS research report and an eCookBook. The final report will be a public report to enable more sustainable, economical and easily accessible energy systems to different socio-economic groups in the community. The eCookBook will be used to explore the relationship between energy use and cooking and inform people of the best ways to take advantage of MECS opportunities in the country.