The low-thermal-capacity cookstove was
only used to cook porridge and sauce, which
constituted only 1.13 percent of meals in the
village. That rate was reduced by an additional
50 percent because that improved cookstove
was used only in the sauce component of the
meals; the grain component was prepared on
a traditional stove. although not completed
here, a similar procedure can be used to calculate the realized reduction in emissions.
ENGINEERING FOR IMPAC T
We found that in practice, consumer behavior
significantly reduces the theoretical impact
of improved cookstoves. For this village, the
effect that cookstoves can have on fuel use
is further reduced when considering that
improved cookstoves are rarely used for
non-meal activities. With only 64.5 percent
of fuel used for cooking meals, the total
fuelwood reduction for all domestic cooking
and heating activities is just 0.18 percent for
the selected group of women.
The adoption of other technologies, such
as solar hot water heaters, may have comparable or greater impact on wood reduction
and human health. For example, consider
a group of families that use a solar water
heater for 50 percent of their bathing water
needs. For this group, heating water accounts for 27. 4 percent of cookstove energy
use, the solar water heater would reduce
domestic wood usage by 13.7 percent.
We suggest that the engineering challenges posed by cookstoves be approached by
in-depth studies of human, natural, and built
system factors, and a comparison of how these
factors affect technology impact. The investigation can improve the health and environmental impact of cookstove programs by offering
guidance in stove design and implementation.
Our findings suggest a variety of technical
and programmatic guidelines for increasing
the impact of cooking technology programs.
While specific guidelines, like the 0.28 percent
fuelwood savings, may be unique to this village
rather than universal, the systemic approach
they represent may apply broadly.
It also seems reasonable to expect that no
single cookstove option will replace the three-stone fire in the village we studied. after all,
consumers in the developed world also utilize
different technologies for making soup, cook-
ing vegetables, baking bread, making toast,
grilling meat, and heating our bathing water.
In noting this, we can take a lesson from our
own kitchens when designing cookstoves for
the developing world: We should consider de-
signing multiple technologies to meet needs
that are as varied as our own. •
Johnson, N.G., Bryden, K.M., 2012a. “Energy supply and
use in a rural West African village”. Energy, 43( 1), pp.
Johnson, N. G., Bryden K. M., 2012b. “Factors affecting
fuelwood consumption in household cookstoves in an
isolated rural West African village”. Energy, 46( 1), pp.
Klugman, J. (United Nations Development Programme).
The real wealth of nations: pathways to human development. Human Development Report 2010. Ne w York:
Palgrave Mac Millan; 2010.
Miah, M. D., Rashid, H. A., Shin, M. Y. 2009. “Wood fuel
use in the traditional cooking stoves in the rural flood-
plain areas of Bangladesh: a socio-environmental
perspective”. Biomass and Bioenergy,” 33( 1), pp. 70– 8.
Ruiz-Mercado, I., Masera, O., Zamora, H., Smith K. R.,
2011. “Adoption and sustained use of improved cookstoves”. Energy Policy, 39, pp. 7557–66.
World Bank, 2011. Household cookstoves, environment,
health, and climate change: A new look at an old problem. World Bank, Washington, DC.
World Health Organization and United Nations Development Programme, 2009. The Energy Access Situation
in Developing Countries: A Review Focusing on Least
Developing Countries and Sub-Saharan Africa. United
Nations Development Programme and the World Health
Organization, Ne w York.
1 World Bank 2011
2 World Health Organization and United Nations Development Programme 2009
3 Johnson and Bryden 2012a, Ruiz-Mercado et al. 2011,
Miah et al. 2009
4 Johnson and Bryden 2012a
5 Johnson and Bryden 2012a, Johnson and Bryden 2012b
6 Klugman 2010
7 Klugman 2010
8 Johnson and Bryden 2012b
9 from Johnson and Bryden 2012a
10 from Johnson and Bryden 2012b
11 from Johnson and Bryden 2012b
a Three-stone fire (TSF), gakourouwana (GK), low thermal capacity (LTC), hand-crafted metal (HCM),
manufactured metal (MM).
b Rows may not sum to 100% due to rounding.
c Column may not sum to 100% due to rounding.
d Indicates porridge and sauce meals that are prepared
on two different types of cookstoves.
refereNCes fOOt NOtes
GUIDELINES FOR COOKING
TECHNOLOGY IN THE STUDY AREA
• Operation and maintenance costs
(including fuel) of a new technology
must be small relative to income to be a
viable alternative to current energy use
patterns and technologies.
• Rental of capital-intensive options is
preferred over full purchase to reduce
• Warranties are another assurance that
can be given to the user to promote
technology adoption by reducing
• A cookstove delivery service was not
viewed as an important offer if the
cookstove is portable.
• Technology adoption is strongly
influenced by reduced work relative to
Not a single woman owned
only improved cookstoves
— one of several strong
indicators that improved
cookstoves do not address
all cooking needs in the