A Pilot on Household Energy Efficiency Programme- Dinabandhu Cookstove

A Pilot on Household Energy Efficiency Programme- Dinabandhu Cookstove

This activity is a pilot to our Dinabandhu Biomass Cookstove – A household energy efficiency program. This is part of our Environment protection program which is based on CDM (Clean Development Mechanism) as a small step to our goal of carbon mitigation. This program is implemented by SEWA in collaboration with C-Quest Capital LLC, USA.

Approximately 166 million households in India depend on solid fuel as their primary energy source for cooking. Of this, a whopping 49 percent use firewood in inefficient traditional cookstoves for preparing meals. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that Indoor Air Pollution (IAP) caused by using solid fuels in inefficient cookstoves leads to approximately 4.3 million deaths globally, out of which, 1.3 million deaths occur in India alone. Such inefficient cooking fuels and technologies produce high levels of health-damaging pollutants, including small soot particles that penetrate deep into the lungs.

The program is intended to help womenfolk break free from this drudgery of walking miles for firewood collection and then cook on inefficient conventional cookstoves which produce smoke and soot thereby impacting their health. With proven efficiency of around 30%, the project stoves burn wood more efficiently requiring a much lesser quantity of wood to prepare the same meals while the chimney attached to the stove carries the smoke out of the kitchen improving indoor air quality. The stove has been designed keeping in mind the local food preferences, to ensure greater acceptance within the community and its continued use. The proposed Programme of Activities PoA) will be developed under the Clean Development Mechanism of the Kyoto Protocol and seeks to obtain Certified Emissions Reductions to increase the affordability of the installation of cookstoves at extremely subsidized rates thereby allowing diffusion of improved cookstove technology to the sections of society that cannot pay for it and thereby are denied its advantages.

A large population in rural India as well as the urban poor and middle class depend on firewood and charcoal to meet their daily cooking energy need. According to the 2011 census, a whopping 216 million tons of fuelwood is consumed annually in India across different sections of society. The demand for fuelwood for cooking and heating is often cited as the most important cause of deforestation, ahead of other demands for forest products such as furniture and paper. But fuelwood use does not only lead to the destruction of forests. A more immediate effect is rise in indoor air pollution leading to a range of heart and lung-related diseases.

The complete project aims to tackle the twin issue of indoor air pollution and degradation of forests by introducing efficient cookstoves which will be installed in residential premises across India. The cookstoves have been designed to consume less amount of fuel thereby saving wood and will also produce less smoke thereby improving the indoor air quality as compared to the traditional cookstove.

The socio-economic benefits of the Activity are:

• Opportunity of employment generation at various stages of project implementation
• Boost to local businesses as stove parts will be manufactured locally
• Reduction in economic burden of the households as they will be required to purchase less fuelwood
• Reduction in time spent in wood collection, resulting in more time for other economic activities.
• Improvement in quality of life of particularly the women as they are the ones who spend maximum time in the vicinity of the cookstoves.

Hence the basic aim is to replace traditional stoves using non-renewable biomass such as charcoal and firewood with improved cookstoves using renewable biomass fuels like fuel pellets made from agricultural residues and/or sawdust that derives from sustainable sources.