Issuu on Google+

issue 56 — 2009 £5

A practitioner’s journal on household energy, stoves and Poverty reduction

Theme

Liquid Fuels

PREDAS Special Supplement Women and household energy in Sahelian countries – p21 Toolkit Fact finding for your business – p48

A publication of the

www.hedon.info


Boiling Point is a practitioner’s journal for those working with household energy and stoves. It deals with technical, social, financial and environmental issues and aims to improve the quality of life for poor communities living in the developing world.

Cover photo: Many thanks to Practical Action for submitting this photo of a woman cooking with a biogas stove in Dhumli Chowk VDC-8, Gorkha, Nepal. Human and animal waste is placed in a chamber built underground to decompose and generate gas (mainly methane). Biogas from the digester is then used for cooking in the home and the photograph shows the pipe and gas burner with pot. (Photo: Practical Action/Rajesh KC)

ISSN 0263-3167 (Print) ISSN 1757-0689 (Online)

Welcome… To the latest edition of Boiling Point, published under the HEDON Household Energy Network (www.hedon.info) The journal is produced by Eco Ltd, and has an Editorial Team including Practical Action, GVEP International and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ) GmbH. The aim of the journal is to provide accessible information on household energy to practitioners, researchers and users worldwide. We strive to make the journal as accessible and participative as possible, and would ask for your assistance in this by completing the Readership Survey and updating your contact details using the personalised web address enclosed with this edition, or providing us with your response by email or post. You can contact us at Boiling Point on boilingpoint@hedon.info

Editorial team James Robinson, Rona Wilkinson, Grant Ballard-Tremeer (Eco Ltd), Lisa Feldmann and Agnes Klingshirn (GTZ), Lucy Stevens (Practical Action) and Georgia Berry (GVEP International) Opinions expressed in articles are those of the authors and not necessarily those of HEDON. We do not charge a subscription to Boiling Point, but welcome donations to cover the cost of production and dispatch.

Contents Theme Editorial: Liquid fuels The Boiling Point Editorial team Household energy poverty and paraffin consumption in South Africa Glenn Truran Developing safe paraffin appliances in South Africa Philip Lloyd Options for small-scale biodiesel production to self-supply the energy needs of isolated communities in Amazonia Javier Coello, Fernando Acosta and Jean Velásquez The Shakapopela Association: Women using biofuels for locally generated power in Zambia Wendy Annecke Successful utilisation of indigenous bio energy resources for economic advancement in rural Maharashtra, India Kavita Rai and Jayant Sarnaik A breath of fresh air: Protos the plant oil stove Samuel N. Shiroff Tapping the potential of Brazil’s Proalcool movement for the household energy sector Regina Couto and James Murren

1

2 7

12

16

18 33

36

Special Supplement Women and household energy in Sahelian countries A Boiling Point special supplement from PREDAS

21 – 32

Viewpoints Boiling Point P.O. Box 900, Bromley BR1 9FF, UK

An interview with Professor Kirk R. Smith An interview with Benard Muok

Tel: + 44 (0) 20 30 120 130 Fax: + 44 (0) 870 137 2360 Email: boilingpoint@hedon.info

Toolkit

What’s this? Look out for the @HEDON link at the end of each article. This easy to use feature links directly to the online version of the article, together with extra weblinks and resources.

www.hedon.info/TEBA * Full article online * Author profile and latest contact details * Article website Meet us @HEDON

10 39

Fact finding for your business Philip LaRocco (E+Co) and UNEP

48

GTZ News from GTZ Editors: Lisa Feldmann and Agnes Klingshirn

40

GVEP International News from GVEP International Editor: Georgia Berry

43

Practical Action News from Practical Action Editor: Lucy Stevens

44

HEDON Issue 56 Supplementary papers Design by Dean Ford Creativity Ltd.

+44 (0) 20 7000 1055

52 www.deanfordcreativity.com

We would like to extend our thanks to Practical Action and GTZ for financial and editorial support toward this edition of Boiling Point. This issue is also kindly supported by GVEP International and CILSS/PREDAS.


Editorial

EDITORIAL

Liquid fuels Author The Boiling Point Editorial Team

This issue of Boiling Point focuses on Liquid Fuels in the household and over the following pages you’ll find some fascinating articles from authors in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

I

n recent years there has been an increasing focus on liquid fuels for domestic use as they offer the potential of reduced indoor air pollution and a more modern, user-friendly experience. Fuels such as liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and kerosene (paraffin) are already extensively used in many developing countries but barriers to their wider dissemination exist, with the recent oil price fluctuations making them increasingly unaffordable to many, together with ongoing safety concerns. In his article on household energy and paraffin in South Africa, Glenn Truran highlights the work of the Paraffin Safety Association and argues that it is more prudent to address the systematic problems associated with the fuel, rather than convert households to alternative energy carriers. A more technical view of the same issue is presented in an article from Philip Lloyd where he discusses why paraffin can be so dangerous, and the changes made to appliance standards in order to combat the problem. Lately, other types of liquid fuels have risen up the agenda – namely biofuels.

Boiling Point. issue 56 — 2009

Headlines and policies have been dominated by their use as a transport fuel in the North, with the option of domestic consumption in developing countries rarely being mentioned. Potentially offering lower greenhouse gas emissions and greater benefits to local economies, much more information is needed on the measured impacts of fuel alcohols and plant oils - both positive and negative. An increasing number of projects and initiatives are exploring this issue in detail and we feature an interview with the project manager of one of them, Benard Muok of the PISCES research group. The role that biofuels can play in improving the livelihoods of the rural poor is also featured in an article by Wendy Annecke. Here she reviews a project in Zambia where a women’s group owns and operates a maize mill powered by locally produced Jatropha oil. In another article looking at the development of local biofuel supply chains, Kavita Rai and Jayant Sarnaik discuss the use of indigenous bio energy resources in rural India and how success can be achieved by working closely with local communities. In their

article on small-scale biodiesel production in the Amazonian communities of Peru, Javier Coello, Fernando Acosta and Jean Velásquez highlight efforts to develop systems to self–supply rural communities with fuel for household, productive and transportation uses. In Brazil, Project Gaia have been looking at repeating the success of the country’s industrial ethanol programme, but on the domestic level. In their article, Regina Couto and James Murran make the case for micro distilleries to be used to supply fuel for the CleanCook stove. Another cook stove that has undergone recent development is the plant oil fuelled Protos stove, from the Bosch and Siemens home appliance group, and Samuel Shiroff offers an overview of the project together with details of a new model. By exploring the themes common to all liquid fuels some key lessons can be learned: from the creation of sustainable supply chains; to identifying real socioeconomic impacts; through to overcoming barriers to the adoption and use of liquid fuel appliances. This edition of the journal also features a Special Supplement published by PREDAS (Programme for the Promotion of Household and Alternative Energy sources in the Sahel). In it they present a synthesis report based on a number of surveys and analyses in Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Chad. Crucially, the surveys present the very real perceptions of Sahelian women active in the various segments of the household energy sector. Many readers will know of the pioneering indoor air pollution work of Professor Kirk Smith of the University of California Berkeley, and you can find out more about him in an interview for our new regular ‘Viewpoints’ feature. In addition we also have the latest news from GTZ, Practical Action and GVEP International. This issue’s Toolkit is ‘Fact finding for your business’ and it focuses on the information needed when developing an energy enterprise (social or for-profit). We hope you enjoy reading this edition of Boiling Point and please don’t forget to fill in the Readership Survey on the back of your address sheet enclosed with this edition, returning it to us by post or email. 1


THEME

Theme

Household energy poverty and paraffin consumption in South Africa

Using paraffin (kerosene) for cooking, heating or lighting is strongly associated with poverty in South Africa. In addition, many regard it to be the most dangerous form of household energy because of the high profile given to the unacceptably high number of harmful paraffinrelated domestic incidents that have taken place. Research in recent years, however, has revealed that the danger is not so much paraffin per se but rather the unsafe system of paraffin use. If the systemic problems are addressed, paraffin can be used very safely. Furthermore, hospital surveillance is indicating that burn injuries involving electricity are equal in magnitude to those related to paraffin. This suggests a common problem of poor household energy safety practise that must be addressed. Inspired by the Freedom Charter’s vision and the desire, as a developmental state, to provide electricity to all citizens, the South African government has diverted its attention away from ensuring that the paraffin consumption system is as failsafe as other energy systems – with dire consequences. Paraffin is a very important domestic thermal energy carrier and will be so for some time as there is a lack of alternative, available, viable energy options. This article argues that it is more prudent to address the systemic problems associated with paraffin than to try and convert consumers to an alternative energy carrier. It also presents a view on the issues and briefly explains how the Paraffin Safety Association has set about addressing the problems at hand.

Let them eat cake

T

he French Revolution phrase “Let them eat cake” is a fitting allegory to contextualise a discussion about paraffin as a household energy carrier at this time of global crisis. It has uncanny parallels. Some say this phrase was wrongly attributed to Marie-Antoinette (1755-93), the Queen consort of Louis XVI, when she was informed that the French people had no bread to eat. Life is messy and proffering cake did not address the needs or the sentiment of the masses - she lost her head at the guillotine for her troubles. Here the parallels begin. The world as we know it is in crisis. There is an insatiable appetite for consumption of everything money can buy, especially energy. The gap between rich and poor is vast. There are

2

energy shortages and blackouts. Fear and greed is in evidence; financial institutions are imploding, shortages have given rise to unimaginable food and energy costs as evidenced by the recent oil price hikes, local currencies’ values have plummeted, and there is a global recession looming. As was the case with Louis XVI and his advisers, it can be argued that today’s governments are failing almost entirely to deal effectively with any of these woes. In South Africa, our national president has recently been “beheaded” before term, recalled by his own revolutionary party which is divided and splitting. It was on his watch that our current electricity crisis unfolded as a result of declining supply and growing demand. Poor decisions and miscalculations were among the most important causes of the crisis according to an official investigation (Wannenberg, 2008).

Author Glenn Truran General Manager, Paraffin Safety Association of Southern Africa, PO Box 2321, Clareinch 7740, Cape Town, South Africa glenn@paraffinsafety.org

Glenn has written this article in his personal capacity and the views he has expressed are not necessarily those of the Paraffin Safety Association.

“Everyone has the right to an environment that is not harmful to their health and well-being...” Ch.2 Sec.24 South African Bill of Rights

It is in this context, at recent Energy Bill hearings in the South African Parliament, that the Paraffin Safety Association of Southern Africa presented to the Energy Portfolio committee members, a “Paraffin User’s Declaration” calling for a household energy safety policy and its urgent implementation. The declaration recognised that the poor had limited energy options and called on government to ensure that all household energy is safer, more affordable and sustainable, especially paraffin (Final Declaration, 2007). In the midst of this crisis, the initial response from a number of parliamentarians was, “We are not going to make paraffin safe. We are going to provide electricity for all. We thought you were here to tell us how to phase out this dangerous paraffin and candles”. Notwithstanding the noble goals of the past or the Freedom Charter (1955),


Paraffin (IP) Sales

IP Average Wholesale Price

Linear (IP Average Wholesale Price)

Linear (Paraffin (IP) Sales)

THEME

Paraffin Sales Volumes [millions of litres]

900

220

209

206

200

800 700

187 190

600

180

500 160

150

400 300

140 121 120

200 100

100

0 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

Paraffin Price Average Wholesale [Cents per litre]

1000

240

2008

Figure 1: Impact of Price on Demand in South African Paraffin market. Paraffin Sales (left vertical axis) and Price fluctuations (right vertical axis). Data used for the graph was sourced from www.sapia.co.za and www.cef.org.za last accessed 23 October and 28 November 2008 respectively.

Paraffin (IP) Sales

IP Average Wholesale Price

Linear (IP Average Wholesale Price)

Linear (Paraffin (IP) Sales)

Year / Quarter

The Paraffin Safety Association The Paraffin Safety Association of Southern Africa was established in 1996. The unacceptably high number of harmful, domestic, paraffin-related incidents could no longer be tolerated. A 2003 report to Treasury estimated the annual externality cost of paraffin related incidents to be 50 times higher than the annual fuel turnover value – approximately R 100 billion at the time (PDC, 2003). Paraffin incidents cost the economy R 7.90/litre (excluding deaths) and R 149/litre (including deaths). The mandate was simple – to promote safety in the domestic use of paraffin. It has become clear to me that describing paraffin as dangerous and trying to eliminate Boiling Point. issue 56 — 2009

Paraffin Sales Volumes [millions of litres]

its use was counter productive220because it triggering a local, sudden drop in demand. 209 206 will inevitably continue to be used. The During 2008, the maximum allowed retail 200 association is at great pains to stipulate price skyrocketed by 63%, from 769187 cents/ 190 that it has no vested interest in the sale of litre to 1256 cents/litre over seven months 180 paraffin or the promotion of paraffin over before dropping back to 7% (823 cents/ 160 option. any other thermal domestic energy litre) above the price on 1 January 2008 150 Its premise is to protect paraffin consumers. (Central Energy Fund, 2008). 140 Because paraffin will continue to be used The gradual decline in Paraffin Sales in 121 domestically, the association’s 120 mission, to South Africa can be attributed primarily ensure the safe use of paraffin as part of to two factors: 1) Growing prosperity 100 the energy mix for domestic users, remains. groups; Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q1 Q2in Q3 Q4the Q1 Q2 lower Q3 Q4 Q1 Q2middle-income Q3 Q4 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q1 Q2 Q3 2) Q4 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 of 2006 2007 2008 This is being achieved through strategic Increasing electrification households. partnerships (especially with government), It should be noted Year / that Quarterit is impossible to research and promotion of safe practices isolate domestic consumption of paraffin from manufacture through to the point of from commercial consumption but most consumption. analysts would agree to attribute about 70% of the national sales to domestic consumption (PDC, 2003). Why people use paraffin

and similar products.

While paraffin is considered to be a low income household fuel, evidence is emerging that a significant proportion of higher income homes also use paraffin as part of their energy mix. The difference is that the higher income households are less dependent on liquid fuels – it is not their primary source of energy. The majority of people who use liquid fuels for cooking, heating and lighting do so simply because the liquid fuel option in question fills a specific niche in their household energy mix better than other options. Portability, affordability, availability, lack of access to alternatives such as electricity, and low set-up costs are some of the determining factors. For the majority of consumers of paraffin it is price that has qualified their choice. Slow cooking also plays a very important role when people choose a wick stove that can be turned down to a very low simmer – it matches household preferences for staples which need to be cooked slowly (samp, pap, tripe). Wick stoves (non-pressure) account for about 90% of the market.

Energy poverty and the demand for paraffin Although paraffin demand has been gradually declining, the growing global energy crisis has precipitated a sudden shortage in supply with record prices,

What can we observe from Figure 1? 1. From 2001 to 2007, there is no real correlation between the price of paraffin and sales volumes. The price goes up gradually and it appears that those who stick with paraffin continue to use it as they have always done. 2. There are seasonal fluctuations with increased consumption in the colder 2nd and 3rd quarters of each year. Space heating during milder and harsher winters (2004 Q3) may account for variances. 3. In 2008 the sudden and violent spike in oil prices appears to drive the price of paraffin so high that consumers do not have the disposable income to maintain the same level of consumption and are forced to cut back. Although the 2008 Q4 sales figures are not available, the 2008 Q3 figures (121 million litres) are desperately lower than anything experienced as far back as data is available (1994 Q1). For a time in 2008, electricity was more attractive on a cost basis than paraffin, before the latter receded in price and the electricity tariff increased dramatically. 4. The introduction of paraffin appliance standards and regulations in 2007, and the subsequent shortage of supply of appliances may also account for a slowdown in consumption. Although this is thought to be less of a factor than price. 3

900 800 700 600 500 400 300 200 100 0

Paraffin Price Average Wholesale [Cents per litre]

1000

240

the present reality and recent experience shows that the country’s capacity to supply electricity is compromised. As a result the government electrification programme is not progressing well and Eskom, the South African electricity public utility, is desperately looking for ways to reduce demand on the grid. A policy to focus primarily on supplying electricity to all citizens risks being judged harshly by history if the poor continue indefinitely with neither sufficient, affordable electricity nor acceptable levels of household energy safety. The prevailing reality dictates that current energy systems are improved and made safe, including the paraffin system. This article argues that paraffin is safe and has a very definite role to play along with all other household energy carriers – provided the systems by which they are used are failsafe. Paraffin is excellent for meeting basic household thermal needs – hot water, warm space and bellies filled with cooked food. Unlike South Africa, the experience of countries like Japan and France prove that paraffin can be used safely, efficiently and cleanly. They do not experience paraffin ingestions, high indoor emissions, and uncontrolled fires relating to the use of paraffin for cooking and heating. The “hearth” of the home is where this energy revolution should be planned.


THEME

Figure 2: A model of the Paraffin supply chain. Adapted by the Paraffin Safety Association with permission from Sarah Ward, 2002. The Energy Book, p. 52.

Case study It is time for me to introduce Grace. She is not a real person except that she represents many real people with whom we have interacted. Her story reflects the experiences of many young people. Grace carries the scars of severe burns on her head, arms and abdomen. She wears a wig, high necklines and long sleeves to protect her skin from the sun as well as unwelcome stares. Grace was badly burnt when the new paraffin stove she had just bought and was lighting for the first time erupted into uncontrollable flames. She thought it was a result of her own carelessness - she had spilt some fuel and failed to clean it up. She was not used to using paraffin stoves and was not really sure what happened. Grace may have been careless; she may have failed to take sufficient precautions. She was uncertain what she should be doing to protect herself and to prevent an accident. No one had told her what to do. She had seen many people use stoves and other paraffin appliances where the paraffin had spilt and nothing had happened. What Grace did not know was that the paraffin she had purchased was contaminated with a minuscule amount of petrol. She had purchased the paraffin at her local “spaza” shop, an informal kiosk in a yard at the corner house in her street. She brought an empty cool drink bottle from home and they filled it – it is the way paraffin is sold in the townships and at taxi ranks. Grace’s boyfriend, Sipho, had used the same cool drink bottle the day before to transport petrol he had bought on the way home from work. He was repairing his old car and needed to wash the grease off the parts he was working on. Grace did not know that there would be sufficient petrol residue in the bottle to contaminate the paraffin and so radically alter its chemical composition with dire consequences. 4

Paraffin is manufactured in South Africa for the South African market with a flashpoint always greater than 43°C. This means that paraffin in South Africa must be heated to at least 43°C before it will ignite. If paraffin is mixed with as little as approximately 1% by volume of petrol it will take on the properties of petrol. This means that paraffin contaminated with petrol will achieve a dramatically altered flashpoint as it is influenced by petrol’s flashpoint which is -15°C or lower. The net result is a fuel that instantaneously ignites (as petrol does with a “whoosh” and an eruption of flames) at room temperature. If a consumer is unaware of this contamination when lighting (igniting) a paraffin appliance they will be taken by surprise and find themselves engulfed in flames. They will not know why it happened and may well blame themselves for the conflagration that follows. Most contaminants like dirt and water, are not explosive like petrol, but will cause poor combustion and force the appliances to smoke unpleasantly, emitting partially burnt, potentially carcinogenic carbon based compounds. The system of selling paraffin in South Africa provides numerous opportunities for the risk of contamination. As can be seen from Figure 2, consumers buying from bulk stock are responsible for end-user packaging. There are many intermediaries in the paraffin supply chain, and each time the fuel is decanted is an additional opportunity for the risk of contamination and, incidentally, a markup on the price. This system also eliminates the opportunity to supply a chemical safety warning label (and child resistant closures), an international norm to protect consumers and the environment. The story of Grace is important because it illustrates that it is necessary to improve the safety and quality of the entire system of domestic consumption of paraffin so that it is as safe as or even safer than other energy options such as liquefied petroleum gas or electricity. When fires start in poor,

urban communities, the high density of housing usually means that neighbours, often hundreds of them, suffer along with the household in which the uncontrolled fire began its destruction (Fig. 3). The ‘system of domestic consumption’ is not only about the method of burning the fuel; it includes every step in the process from refining paraffin to its domestic consumption and management of its emissions. This includes bulk transporting, bulk and domestic storage, packaging, retailing, decanting, and maintenance and disposal of spent packaging and appliances. It is also about housing and household safety. It cannot and should not be left entirely to the consumer to ensure their safety. They must be able to use the energy in a domestic setting in a failsafe way.

Harmful household energy injuries Very few resources are allocated to building household energy safety knowledge. As a result, there is an absence of clear, quality information essential for good decision making and evidence based household energy policy formulation and implementation. The Paraffin Safety Association therefore initiated a National Household Energy Surveillance System using a geographical information system (GIS). The Surveillance system can hold and present any data and is particularly adept at reporting that data in spatial and time dimensions, facilitating the study of cause and effect. It is free to view on a dedicated website and persons contributing data are able to log on and capture date via the internet. Field research is facilitated by cell phone technology where questionnaires are completed using cell phones which transmit the data to the database. This saves time and minimises double entry errors. Nine medical facilities have signed up to contribute and fire data is loaded from the Cape Town and Buffalo


THEME

City Municipalities. StatsSA census data is also recorded and mapped, including household energy use distribution maps for cooking, heating and lighting. Although the project is in its infancy it has already highlighted or verified some very important observations (See Figures 4 and 5); 1. With the exception of paraffin ingestions, household energy injuries are common to all significant energy carriers. Injuries involving electricity are as frequent as those involving paraffin. 2. The high incidence of liquid burns across all energy sources suggests that this problem requires urgent attention. 3. Across injury types and energy carriers, children, especially below the age of two years are the primary victims. 4. Because children under the age of two years are the most common victims, and because there are cool drinks of every imaginable colour, colouration of paraffin is unlikely to be an effective strategy to reduce paraffin ingestions. A strategy that eliminates access to paraffin by toddlers altogether should be favoured. 5. Paraffin ingestions, especially among children are unacceptably high and account for a vast proportion of paraffin related injuries. A strategy to address this gap is long overdue.

Figure 3: Aftermath of one of many devastating Joe Slovo informal settlement fires during a strong South-Easter – Cape Town, January 2005. Courtesy of the City Of Cape Town Disaster Management Unit. 700 600 500

Number of Incidents

400 300 200 100 0 Candles

Coal

Electricity

Ethanol Gel

LPG

Other

Paraffin

Unknown

Wood

Not recorded

0

0

2

0

0

4

0

1

1

Asphyx.

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

Paraff. contact w skin

0

0

0

0

0

0

13

0

0

Ingest.

0

0

0

0

0

36

239

0

0

Burn - Unknown

0

1

13

0

1

5

11

143

2

Burn - Contact

0

10

34

0

1

8

6

4

3

Burn - Liquid

0

3

473

2

5

149

207

45

22

Burn - Food

0

0

34

0

0

7

30

4

4

Burn - Flame

37

10

29

2

18

56

138

53

70

Figure 4: Analysis of injury cause by energy source, all participating institutions. 600 500

Communication of consumer safety awareness and education Consumers are widespread and in constant transition, especially those living in informal settlements. This poses a serious challenge for communicating safety awareness education. A train-thetrainer approach has been adopted as the central pillar of the model. Materials have been developed in the 11 official languages and various other supporting resources are based on the core posters and their messages. The core messages focus on prevention, what to do in the case of an incident and what to do after the event to minimise impact. The Association also relies heavily on mass media communication linking it to specific interventions in specific communities. Boiling Point. issue 56 — 2009

400

Number of Incidents

300 200 100 0

'<1

'1-2

'3-4

'5-9

'10-14

'15-19

'20-24

'25-34

'35-44

'45-54

'55-64

'65+

Not recorded

0

1

0

2

0

1

2

6

1

1

1

0

Asphyx.

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

0

0

1

Paraff. contact w skin

0

0

3

2

0

2

0

3

1

0

2

0

Ingest.

5

145

33

10

16

15

19

18

5

0

0

1

Burn - Unknown

6

32

10

15

9

4

18

23

29

8

9

6

Burn - Contact

3

6

5

5

7

7

11

13

3

5

1

1

Burn - Liquid

83

275

94

71

53

48

56

106

57

32

16

12

Burn - Food

5

22

6

6

3

7

13

8

5

3

1

0

Burn - Flame

7

21

17

23

28

23

41

107

66

36

19

21

Figure 5: Analysis of injury cause by age group, all participating institutions. 5


THEME Figure 6: Child studying an 8 page flyer in his language of choice. (Photo: Nhlanhla Mdadane, Paraffin Safety Association) Figure 7: Imported, unsafe, illegal paraffin stoves (Photo: Paraffin Safety Association)

Quality and safety standards, regulations and enforcement Faulty and sub-standard paraffin appliances are widely believed to have been the main culprits in uncontrolled fires in low income households and informal settlements. They are possibly only rivalled by candles in their culpability. There are many, seriously unsafe, illegal paraffin appliances on the market (Fig. 7). Therefore, the development and enforcement of robust, compulsory safety and quality standards is crucial for ensuring that paraffin can be used as safely as any other household energy carrier. The South African Bureau of Standards (SABS) is the statutory body responsible for the promotion and maintenance of standardization and quality in connection with commodities and the rendering of services. Safety and quality standards are drawn up for any product or service according to the Standards Act, 1993 (Act No. 29 of 1993) and are called South African National Standards (SANS). Standards are prepared through technical committees made up of a range of stakeholders and the standards are sent out for public comment before they become regulation. For example, the SANS1906:2006 is the standard for non pressure stoves and heaters. Compliance with this standard is voluntary for industry. However, a standard becomes compulsory when any government minister, in terms of the standards act, proclaims a standard to be a compulsory specification or regulation by means of a government gazette, after a process of public consultation. The SANS1906:2007 was regulated on 1 January 2007 and hence became a compulsory specification – a standard which is compulsory for industry to comply with. There are safety standards for paraffin – a fuel specification (SANS1913:2008) as well as standard governing its classification and labelling, packaging and transport (SANS10243:2008 being the most significant). Although the enforcement of standards is a real challenge, the Paraffin Safety Association recommends that the 6

public and government should insist on appropriate SABS standards approval before purchasing paraffin appliances destined for domestic use regardless of whether the relevant applicable standard is voluntary or compulsory.

Conclusion Paraffin has had a bad press yet it is not the fuel that is the problem, it is the system that must be made failsafe. The shortage of energy and energy systems, especially for the poor, make it essential to deliver paraffin safely for domestic thermal requirements. There are human, causal factors for injuries which are common to all household energy carriers – these include alcoholism, violence, suicide, carelessness and ignorance. Surveillance data has a pivotal role to play in understanding the challenges and allocating scarce resources strategically. The South African constitution enshrines the right of its citizens to a safe environment. There is a lot of work to be done before this will apply to household energy safety. Like bread, if the basic need is for safe, affordable, available, thermal household energy then a way must be found to ensure this need is met.

References Central Energy Fund (CEF) website 2008, various monthly fuel price press releases, accessed on 23 October 2008. Website available online @HEDON Final Declaration - Paraffin User’s Household Energy Summit, 2007, accessed 23 October 2008. Available via the @HEDON link below. The Freedom Charter (1955) Adopted at the Congress of the People, Kliptown, on 26 June 1955, accessed 23 October 2008. View the website via the @HEDON link. PDC in co-operation with Science Consultancy Enterprises, 9 December 2003. Final Report: Review of the effectiveness of energy subsidies and related taxation policies in South Africa, pp.18 – 19 and page 82. SABS website About SABS – Organisation Structure and overview, accessed 23 October 2008. View the SABS website @HEDON. Wannenberg,G. 2008 Report reveals ‘real causes’ of Eskom crisis, accessed on 17 July 2008. View the article via the @HEDON link below.

www.hedon.info/JXPA

Profile of the author Glenn Truran has a BA and two post graduate diplomas from the University of the Witwatersrand, the first being a higher diploma in education and the second a diploma in public policy and development administration. He also has an MBA from the University of Cape Town. He has worked for poverty alleviation non-profit organisations for most of his career. He is presently the general manager of the Paraffin Safety Association of Southern Africa based in Cape Town.

* Paraffin Safety Assoc. Website * South African National Household Energy Surveillance System * Central Energy Fund: monthly fuel price press releases * Final Declaration - Paraffin User’s Household Energy Summit * The Freedom Charter (1955) * Report: Energy subsidies and related taxation policies in South Africa * SABS website * News article: Report reveals ‘real causes’ of Eskom crisis Meet us @HEDON


THEME

Developing safe paraffin appliances in South Africa

Author Philip Lloyd Energy Research Centre, University of Cape Town, Private Bag Rondebosch 7701, South Africa. Philip.Lloyd@uct.ac.za

1

2

The widespread use of paraffin for cooking and space heating in South African households has been linked to the loss of life and extensive damage to property as a result of fire. Every year about 1,000 people were killed and between 50,000 and 100,000 homes destroyed. An investigation into the underlying cause pinpointed faults in the design of the appliances in widespread use. After cooking for about an hour, the paraffin in the fuel tank exceeded its flash point. Once this happened, it was possible to trigger a blaze that made a typical informal home uninhabitable within 40 seconds and totally destroyed it within 15 minutes. These findings have forced a complete change of the applicable standards for paraffin fuelled appliances. Appliances meeting the new standards are now starting to reach the market.

Introduction

A

paper “We live in paraffin and burn in it: Fire, fuel use and social dislocation in an East London Township” (Bank and Mlomo 1996) described how, in the township of Duncan Village, there had been fires almost every week which often destroyed tens of homes. Some inhabitants had lost their meagre possessions every year for four years in a row. There was a drop in the extent of damage after the community enforced a 2m separation between adjacent buildings, but population pressures soon forced skin-to-skin houses with a consequent return to the previous pattern of damage. We therefore set out to see if there was a common cause.

Boiling Point. issue 56 — 2009

Identifying the problem There were many reports that fires were caused by the ‘explosion’ of paraffin stoves used for cooking. The reports of ‘explosions’ suggested that the stoves were pressurised and of the ‘Primus’ type. However, the majority of stoves in use in these lower-income households were wicktype stoves. The pressure stoves retailed for upwards of R70, whereas a wick stove could be bought for as little as R25. The market for wick stoves was of the order of 1 million units per year, where as less than 100,000 pressure stoves were sold annually. Clearly the wick stoves were the most likely source of the problem. So how did a wick stove, which operates at atmospheric pressure, explode?

Figure 1: A stove filled with cold paraffin, 55 seconds after being knocked over. (Photo: The author). Figure 2: A stove that had been used for cooking, 5 seconds after being knocked over. (Photo: The author).

Many tests were carried out. Even when the appliance was knocked over and leaked copious quantities of paraffin, it took several minutes for a fire to develop. Figure 1 shows the result of a typical test. The spilled paraffin can be seen seeping from the appliance, which only ignited a few seconds later and then burned quite gently and was easily extinguished. Eventually we carried out a test in which the appliance was used to cook for some time, and then knocked over. There was a dramatic change. It ‘exploded’ with a ‘Woomf’ and the flame was so luminous that in the test photograph, shown in Figure 2, the background appears dark even though it was taken on a bright sunny day. 7


THEME

Figure 3: Exploded view of the heart of a wick stove. (Photo: The author).

Repeated tests showed that, when the stove was used, the paraffin in the fuel tank became hot. Once it exceeded its flash point (the lowest temperature at which it can form an ignitable mixture in air), for paraffin about 50°C, it would burst into flames when shaken. The rate of combustion was in excess of 1MW. We therefore examined the construction of this type of appliance and Figure 3 shows the essential features of the stove. In use, the inner and outer elements become red-hot and the radiant heat then evaporates paraffin from the wick. The paraffin vapour mixes with hot air drawn through the holes on the elements and burns. The elements are a push-fit into indentations in the upper surface of the fuel tank, and can be readily dislodged (see Fig. 1). Nevertheless, the contact between the elements and the fuel tank is good enough for heat to be transferred efficiently. It is therefore inevitable that the paraffin will get hot in appliances of this design. Could such a simple design fault be the cause of so much damage? To demonstrate that this was indeed the case, several homes were built and filled with a typical collection of possessions. Attempts to burn them down using a candle soon showed that it was remarkably difficult! Usually the candle went out. If it stayed alight, the wax ran clear until the wick ran out of fuel. Eventually we succeeded in igniting a fire, which took approximately 15 minutes to gain hold, by which time the house was burning fairly fiercely. In contrast, when the house was set alight by a stove containing hot paraffin, the fire spread instantly, and was burning fiercely within 30 seconds. This proved what we had suspected when we first determined that these appliances could give a heat output of 1MW - they were almost certainly the source of the really devastating, rapidly spreading fires that had been reported. The next question was what to do about the problem. The Department of Minerals and Energy agreed to support the development of national standards that could be made mandatory. In other words, it would illegal to sell appliances that failed to meet the standard. With this support assured, the existing standards were reviewed. 8

Revision of standards The critical standard, SANS 1906 (SANS 1998), was reviewed. The SA Bureau of Standards set up a Technical Committee, which in turn established an informal Working Group comprising manufacturers, technical experts, and representatives of relevant Government departments. The second edition of SANS 1906: Non-pressure stoves and heaters (SANS 2006), was gazetted on 31 January 2006 and it became mandatory a year later. It appeared to resolve all the safety issues that had been identified in the earlier versions of the standard. In particular, it said: 1. The appliance should not fall to pieces if knocked over – “If not fully assembled, the appliance shall be assembled according to manufacturer’s instructions as supplied. Removable components shall fit in a positive, unique and rigid manner.” 2. It should be easily filled, and it should not be possible to fill it while it was lit. 3. The burner should give at least 1kW and have a lifetime of at least 500h. During that 500h, no part of the appliance essential to its operation or integrity should deteriorate or otherwise be weakened so as to compromise its designed performance. (Many appliances on the market had shown marked deterioration of their structure within 500h, particularly those parts that supported the cooking pot. The pot became unstable as a result). 4. The appliance should self-extinguish within 30s, if tilted at 45° or greater (to reduce the risk of igniting a fire). 5. When switched off, the flame should extinguish within 30s, and once extinguished, the appliance should not emit flammable vapours for more than 1 min (Users often extinguish existing appliances by pouring water into them – and the water is likely to enter the fuel tank and cause corrosion). 6. When operated at a power output of 1.5 kW, the burner should emit not more than 0.03 g particulate matter per minute, and the CO2: CO ratio should not exceed 1: 0.02 volumetric ratio. 7. The maximum temperature of the fuel in the fuel container should not exceed 40°C after one hour of cooking.

8. The maximum temperature of any surface that it is necessary to touch while the appliance is in operation should not exceed 40°C (the previous standard had allowed temperatures up to 80°C!) 9. The appliance should not leak in any way. This last requirement was quite difficult to check, because a wick is a form of controlled leak. After some work we devised a test that involved shaking the appliance vigorously, and measuring the mass loss. This worked reasonably well but some manufacturers objected that it was not reproducible. This has meant a further revision of the standard. We developed a device for shaking the appliance for 30 seconds at a rate of 2Hz while moving it 200mm each cycle. This seems to have reduced the objection to manual shaking. The latest revision has not yet been published, but is at a late-draft stage. The latest revision has also cut out the “particulate matter” requirement, partly because it was so ill-defined and partly because, being ill-defined, it was impossible to measure. More work is obviously necessary in this area. The latest revision also does away with specific power requirements. Instead, it requires the manufacturer to set a “rated power” for an appliance. Most of the tests are then run at the manufacturer’s rated power. The use of the ratio of CO2: CO to allow for the variable power now makes sense, because the CO2 emissions are directly related to the power. A new test has also been introduced, namely a maximum power, which should not be greater than 20% above the rated power. The need for this became apparent when it was shown that CO levels tended to drop as the power was reduced, so that a designer could, in principle, meet the required CO specification by under-rating the appliance. The final change in the latest revision is to shorten the time for extinguishing from 30 to 10 seconds. Manufacturers developed techniques for rapid shut-down that made the longer period unnecessary. Thus the stage has been reached where appliances that appear capable


THEME

of meeting the revised standard for non-pressure stoves are available. The standard for pressure stoves, SANS 1243, is similarly being revised prior to making it mandatory.

Experience in trying to enforce the mandatory standard. It is unfortunate that designs meeting the revised standard were not available when the standard was made mandatory. What then happened was that locally manufactured appliances were removed from the market and they were replaced by imported appliances - that were just as dangerous, if not more so. The imports had not previously been competitive but now, with the local appliances removed from the market, the imports could be priced at levels that made the cost of importation worthwhile. As a result the market was flooded with substandard equipment and the danger persisted. At the time of writing, methods for stopping the imports were being examined. A further change was the introduction of ethanol gel as a substitute for paraffin. This happened with the active encouragement of the Department of Minerals and Energy, who were concerned at the apparent lack of progress in getting safe paraffin appliances. It seemed that, because ethanol gel could not be spilled, and because any fire could be extinguished with water, then it would be safer than paraffin. Unfortunately these hopes were not realized. One problem that soon emerged was that the emissions from the gel appliances were exceptionally high (Lloyd & Visagie 2006). This arose from the fact that in order to burn efficiently, fuel and air must be intimately mixed before combustion. It is very difficult to achieve this when the fuel is a gel. A further difficulty was that there were no standards for ethanol gel. Gels containing less than 70% ethanol reached the market, some of which contained so much water that it would condense on the base of a cold cooking pot, and droplets would fall back and put the flames out. Other gel manufacturers forgot that it was essential to add a denaturant, to make it unfit for human consumption, and salesmen would demonstrate the â&#x20AC;&#x153;safetyâ&#x20AC;? of their gel by eating a few spoonfuls! Boiling Point. issue 56 â&#x20AC;&#x201D; 2009

Ultimately it seems that economics rule. Ethanol gel was sold at a price similar to that of paraffin. A gel of reasonable standard has a calorific value of around 19MJ/kg; paraffin is about 44MJ/kg (lower heating value in each case). The users soon found cooking on gel too costly to be sustainable. Government has insisted that there should be national standards for gel appliances. They are being developed, but few fuels and no devices that meet even the draft standards are yet available. The other change that has happened is that the global increase in the price of liquid fuels has made paraffin less affordable. As a result, many users have switched to cooking on electricity. There is a general policy in South Africa to make the first 50kWh/month of electricity free to the poor. In terms of energy, that is the thermal equivalent of about 4 litres of paraffin. It is too little for a household to cook on, but it reduces the average cost of cooking on electricity to slightly less than that of paraffin. This has, however, had a knockon effect. There has been a rapid increase in the peak demand for electricity, which has now exceeded generating capacity when a margin of safety is included. Modelling studies have shown that if there is wider use of liquid fuels for cooking then as much as 4,000MW of peak power, about 10% of the total, could be saved.

Conclusions The use of paraffin-fuelled appliances has long been the primary source of household energy in lower income homes in South Africa. However, the problems caused by sub-standard appliances have given paraffin a bad name. Safe appliances are known internationally, and some of those which we have tested appear to meet the revised standards more than adequately. However, those appliances are relatively costly; the market is used to a 5 USD stove, and hopes its safer replacement will not cost much more than 10 USD. We have reason to believe that 15 USD is achievable, but we recognise that 80 USD, which is typically the cost of a safe appliance internationally, is unlikely to prove attractive in the shortto medium-term. It is too early to show conclusively that the problem has been

resolved, but we believe we have gone a long way towards achieving it.

References Bank L and Mlomo B 1996 We live in paraffin and burn in it: Fire, fuel use and social dislocation in an East London Township, 1986-96, J Energy in SA 7 pp118-123. SANS 1906 Safety of non-pressure stoves and heaters, First Ed 1998, Pretoria. SANS 1906:2006 Non-pressure paraffin stoves and heaters. ISBN 0-626-17542-9, Pretoria. Lloyd, PJD and Visagie, E, 2006, The testing of gel fuels, and their comparison to alternative cooking fuels. Paper D5-1, Int. Conf. Domestic Use Energy, Cape Peninsula University of Technol., Cape Town, March 2006

Profile of the author Philip Lloyd is an Honorary Research Fellow at the Energy Research Centre, University of Cape Town. He studied at both the University of Cape Town (Chemical Engineering) and MIT (Nuclear physics); then went into industrial R&D for the deep-level mining industry; and contracting for the process industries. Starting work on household energy at the University of Witwatersrand, he conducted research in to low-smoke fuel and then at the University of Cape Town he worked on the distribution of coal. Philip then turned to liquid fuels and paraffin safety.

www.hedon.info/KXPA * Full article online * Author profile and latest contact details Meet us @HEDON 9


VIEWPOINTS

Viewpoints An interview with Professor Kirk R. Smith Kirk R. Smith, Professor of Global Environmental Health Director of the Global Health and Environment Program, University of California, Berkeley, California, 94720-7360 Email: krksmith@berkeley.edu

In this Viewpoints feature we publish extracts from an interview with Kirk Smith, Professor of Global Environmental Health at the University of California, Berkeley. You can read the full interview online – just follow the link in the @HEDON box at the end of the article.

Kirk, can you talk a bit about yourself, where you live, your work history and your involvement with household energy? Well my name is Kirk Smith and I am Professor of Global Environmental Health at the University of California, Berkeley. In 1977 I started my career and then worked for almost twenty years at the East-West Centre in Hawaii, a research institute that focuses on problems in Asia and the Pacific. As part of the first major research effort we undertook I spent considerable time in six Asian countries and, in the process of observing many households, couldn’t help but notice the heavy smoke conditions that existed. Since I had a background in biomedical and environmental health I wondered what the pollution levels might be - and what kind of health effects might occur. We conducted a literature review but couldn’t find references to any measurements so we did some ‘back of the envelope’ calculations and came up with these astonishingly high levels of indoor air pollution (IAP). The end result of this was that in 1981 I borrowed some equipment and with some colleagues in India did the first set of measurements in Gujarat. We basically verified our estimated IAP concentrations and these were orders of magnitude higher than anything that would be considered health protecting, like WHO guidelines, and at least five times greater than even the worst cities. Around 1990 there was the first major international interest in climate change issues. This meant that we could get increased funding by doing work on the greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) from household combustion, and at the same time do health related work. So in the early 90’s we did the first measurements of 10

what’s now called ‘co-benefit potentials’that is by addressing incomplete combustion we would reduce both health and climate damaging pollutants. So these two streams of interest added to the existing efforts in improved household fuels and stoves that came out of the 1970’s, which mainly focused on improving fuel efficiency with the idea of reducing women’s work and protecting the natural environment. There were also the large national programmes in both India and China in the early 80’s and later in the decade many international agencies become involved. However, these initiatives faded away in the early 90s and then there was a kind of desert period. I think the reason for this, and it’s relevant to what is happening now, is that although some people were convinced of the benefits of improved household combustion, they had become disillusioned by the difficulties in actually accomplishing something that was effective. When I would present the results of our studies in air pollution meetings people would be shocked as they knew of the health impacts of outdoor air pollution, and IAP levels were much higher than these. However, at international health meetings clean indoor air would have to compete with vaccines and antibiotics for the limited public health budgets, $7 per capita per year in India for example. They would want to know exactly how much benefit they would get so just extrapolating from air pollution levels somewhere else is not enough, you need to actually show the benefits in those populations for exactly the diseases of interest. So that’s how we’ve been focusing our biomedical research, by putting data into peer-reviewed medical literature so that they’ve got the evidence they need, in order to make these decisions.

What would you say are the major issues in the Household Energy Sector today? Around the year 2000 the WHO organised a very large effort called the Comparative Risk Assessment, to examine the impacts globally of a range of risk factors that could be changed. At this time we did a major review of the health effects literature which was very heavily peer reviewed and published the estimate that is commonly cited now of 1.6 million premature deaths annually from solid fuel use, about two thirds being children and one third women. These deaths are a significant amount, about a tenth or so, of all risk factors globally and in poor countries like India, third after malnutrition and unsafe water/sanitation. These figures are now being revised to accommodate the health effects studies that have been conducted since 2000. The current thinking is still that the major single effect is pneumonia in young children, probably followed by chronic lung disease in women who have cooked for many years over open fires. But now we have pretty good evidence on Tuberculosis, cataracts and lung cancer in adults and low birth weight in children born to women who are exposed during pregnancy. Other factors we know less about include heart disease, impaired mental abilities in children who are heavily exposed and also birth defects, such as cleft palate. In biomedical science, proving causality is a big part of the issue and as all the diseases that are created are multi factorial it’s a question of how much is caused by any one factor. We have been conducting randomised trials, which is a sort of ‘gold standard’ type of study, in Guatemala since 2001. Our measurements there are more intensive than anywhere else and are giving us a lot of insights into this problem. One finding is that a chimney alone doesn’t lower air pollution exposure sufficiently to get anything near to health guidelines. Although IAP levels went down by a factor of 10 in a household with a chimney, the pollution was not eliminated just moved to outside the house, causing personal exposure levels to only drop by a factor of 2. This still produced a 30-40% reduction in serious pneumonia but there is a need


VIEWPOINTS Profile of the author Kirk R. Smith is Professor of Global Environmental Health at the University of California, Berkeley. He is also founder and coordinator of the campus-wide Masters Program in Global Health and Environment. Previously, he was founder and head of the Energy Program of the East-West Centre in Honolulu, where he still holds appointment as Senior Fellow in Environment and Health after moving to Berkeley in 1995. His research work focuses on health-damaging and climate-changing air pollution, and includes ongoing monitoring and epidemiological field projects in India, China, Nepal, Mexico, and Guatemala as well as development of new instrumentation and participation in several international assessment efforts. He serves on a number of national and international scientific advisory and editorial boards and has published over 250 scientific articles and 7 books. He holds bachelors, masters, and doctoral degrees from UC Berkeley and, in 1997, was elected member of the US National Academy of Sciences, one of the highest honours awarded to US scientists by their peers.

to actually eliminate the pollution and not just move it downwind. There is a new set of technologies that greatly reduce emissions at source and among these are the advanced combustion devices like semi-gasifier stoves. In our measurements these reduced emissions per meal by a factor of 15 to 20, producing very little smoke, at least when they are operating properly. There is however limited field experience with these devices. The problem is that they are an expensive technology that the farmers themselves can’t afford and donors won’t be willing to subsidise. However, with growing interest in the GHGs from these devices, and with the operation of the international carbon market, there is the potential to get the health benefits for free or nearly free. So this is the model that looks very attractive - a kind of three way, relatively expensive but very well performing technology, the cost of which you can charge partly to the international carbon market, partly to a government or donor who is interested in welfare benefits, with the rest put on the local market for the household to pay. Six years ago, in your paper titled ‘In praise of petroleum’ you argued that, contrary to popular belief, fossil fuels and in particular LPG ought “actually to be reserved to help fulfil our obligation to bring the health and welfare of all people to a reasonable level”. Why did you say this, and what are your views on liquid fuels? That was in response to some papers that have been prepared for the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, where it was argued that petroleum shouldn’t be used in rural areas of developing countries. But petroleum, in particular LPG, is such a great fuel as it is relatively clean, efficient and easy to implement. So I was making the point that we could look at it the other way round that this very high quality fuel should be reserved for the most important task in the world, supporting the poor. In fact, shifting all of the world’s poor to cooking with LPG wouldn’t have a significant impact on either GHG emissions or energy demand. I think I Boiling Point. issue 56 — 2009

calculated that half a percent increase in the efficiency of the world’s automobile fleet for a few years would be sufficient to provide all of the cooking fuel needed. So to ask the poorest of the poor in the world to bear the brunt of controlling GHGs was a rather odd perspective. The best fuel from a health standpoint is gas as it can be burned very cleanly. Next easiest are liquid fuels but I have difficulty in knowing what to say about kerosene because I’ve not seen many systematic measurements and those that have been done show quite a variation. I think the issue is that kerosene can be burned fairly cleanly in a good device, that is a pressurised stove or lamp, but it is often burned in simple wick stoves or lamps and they can be very polluting. So one cannot just promote a liquid fuel without knowing the technology, you are going to have to be a bit more concerned about the performance and maintenance of the device. This might also be true with some of the newer types of liquid fuels that are coming out - ethanol, jatropha oil, and these kind of things. Is there anything else you would like to mention in this interview? I have experienced at least two other major surges of interest in household energy but have seen both of them collapse without major sustained effort. Our sector needs to work not only from the ground up, but to take advantage of this time to work from the top down by pushing representatives at climate change negotiations to put improved household combustion on the table. We also need to bring the health effects evidence to the attention of our development agencies and foundations. My experience is that the ground up stuff takes a long time and then all of a sudden you have a short window of time in which there is a policy opening. We are in one of these window times now and we should be sure to push on it. People are looking for cost effective ways of dealing with these major global problems, ill health in the third world and climate change are two of the big ones – and we have a way to do that. I think nowhere is the nexus more strong for

health and climate than it is in household combustion, so now is the time to work on it. What we are going to be asking for is billions of dollars; there are 500 million stoves out there we want to replace, so even if they cost $20 each that’s $10 billion right there. Nobody is going to want to spend this amount of money unless you can actually prove that you’ve done it. One has to recognise there is a lot of cynicism because of past perceived failures and therefore we have to be quite thorough about validating things in the field. So we have to acknowledge the need for rigorous and independent monitoring and evaluation to provide information to donors and investors. Many promoters and NGO’s are uncomfortable with independent verification, but they are going to have to get around that if we’re going to move this forward. However, to date relatively little money has been spent. My estimate is probably that since the beginning of this whole thing, less than $20 million has been spent on improved stove research. That’s four times less than is currently spent on air pollution control for one coal fired power plant in China, and about one of these is built every week. Yet the air pollution exposure from stoves is many orders of magnitude above that from power plants, let alone one power plant. This is an asynchronous world but this is nothing new. There are lots of examples of asynchrony, or inequity if you like, but we are in a window of time in which we can reduce that gap.

www.hedon.info/TEQA * Read the full interview online * Visit Kirk Smith’s homepage * Read his paper ‘In praise of petroleum’ Meet us @HEDON 11


THEME

Options for small-scale biodiesel production to self-supply the energy needs of isolated communities in Amazonia Over 83% of rural families living in the Amazonian jungle of Peru have no access to electrical energy because of the difficulty and high cost of extending the electricity grid to the region. The sustainable use of biomass to generate energy could make a significant contribution in this regard, in particular in the form of liquid biofuels such as biodiesel and vegetable oils. One advantage of this option is that the diesel generators already in place in such communities can be used Practical Action, in partnership with UNALM (La Molina National Agrarian University) has been working since 2003 on developing and testing technological models and a range of Amazonian oil-yielding seeds for the small-scale production of biodiesel in isolated regions of Amazonia. The aim of the project has been to design a sustainable system for the production and use of biodiesel by isolated communities in the Amazonian jungle of Peru, in accordance with the most suitable resources; to test its performance as a fuel for transportation and domestic and productive activities; and to enable biodiesel to be established as a possible solution to the problems experienced by such settlements in accessing energy.

Authors Javier Coello1, Fernando Acosta2 and Jean Velásquez3. Translated by Matthew Clapham.

Practical Action Latin American Regional Office. Soluciones Practicas, Av Jorge Chávez 275 – Miraflores, Apartado Postal 18-0620, Lima 18, PERU. Telephone: (511) 447-5127, 444-7055, 446-7324, Fax: (511) 446-6621. Email: jcoello@itdg.org.pe

1

Details as above. Email: facosta@itdg.org.pe

2

Details as above. Email: jvelasquez@itdg.org.pe

3

Para leer este artículo en español, busque la casilla de @ HEDON que se encuentra al final.

Introduction

O

ver 83% of rural families living in the Amazonian jungle of Peru have no access to electrical energy because of the difficulty and high cost of extending the electricity grid to the region. Of the nearly 196,000 homes in the area, only 32,000 have electricity (INEI 2008), in many cases produced using electrical generators run on diesel. In the remaining 164,000 homes, families use candles or kerosene for lighting, and batteries to operate radios and televisions. Where diesel-powered electrical generators are used, the high price of fossil fuels makes them problematic to operate: such devices are usually run for just a few hours a day, or even just a few days a year. Meanwhile, the need to transport fuel by river increases both the probability of pollution and also the price, despite subsidies, meaning that villagers cannot depend on diesel as a source of energy, and can use it only occasionally. The price of diesel in Lima is now around 4.00 USD

12

per gallon, and costs around 3.00 USD a gallon in the towns in the jungle, because of government subsidies. In some isolated communities or provinces such as Purús, the cost of fuels such as petrol ranges from 8.30 to 20.00 USD per gallon, depending on availability. There is therefore a need to research and promote alternative sources of lowcost energy which will reduce the negative environmental impacts of generation and use. The sustainable use of biomass to generate energy could make a significant contribution in this regard, in particular in the form of liquid biofuels such as biodiesel and vegetable oils. One advantage of this option is that the diesel generators already in place in such communities can be used. Practical Action, in partnership with UNALM (La Molina National Agrarian University, Lima), has been working since 2003 on developing and testing technological models and a range of Amazonian oil-yielding seeds for the small-scale production of biodiesel in isolated regions of Amazonia. The aim of

the project has been to design a sustainable system for the production and use of biodiesel by isolated communities in the Amazonian jungle of Peru, in accordance with the most suitable resources; to test its performance as a fuel for transportation and domestic and productive activities; and to enable biodiesel to be established as a possible solution to the problems experienced by such settlements in accessing energy. The main technological barriers preventing the fuel from being produced simply in situ by villagers have now been overcome. 2008 saw the start-up of the validation phase of a biodiesel production system in actual field conditions. This experience will help build up valuable data regarding the technical, economic, social and environmental feasibility of small-scale biodiesel production in isolated areas of Amazonia, while also contributing to the international debate on the suitability of small-scale biofuels or agro-fuels. It should be mentioned that the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation


THEME Figure 1: Basic reactor for small-scale local biodiesel production (Photo: PA/UNALM)

(FAO), in its document ‘Opportunities and Challenges of Biofuel Production for Food Security and the Environment in Latin America and the Caribbean’, presented at the 30th Regional Conference for Latin America and the Caribbean, in April 2008, highlighted the fact that “the production of liquid biofuels can also help small farmers produce their own energy for their agricultural machinery and generate their own electricity, especially those in isolated areas”.

Practical Action and UNALM Research Practical Action undertook the first documented trials of biodiesel production in Peru in the year 2000, tested out successfully on rotavators at UNALM’s Faculty of Agricultural Engineering. In 2003 the two institutions set up a permanent research team which remains in operation today, based at UNALM’s Renewable Energies Laboratory, to examine possible scenarios for the production and use of biodiesel on a small scale in Peru. In addition to support for private and commercial ventures, its work has focused on the evaluation of two possible alternatives: small-scale local production in isolated Amazonian communities using the oils of abundant vegetable species, either native or introduced as a possible solution to these communities’ energy problems; and production based on used vegetable oils in urban areas to be employed as an additive to diesel fuel for land vehicles in order to reduce emissions of pollutant gases and as an end-of-life alternative for used oil. The aim of both scenarios was to identify the conditions required in order to make small-scale biodiesel production feasible technically, economically, socially, legally and environmentally, and to find solutions to the barriers identified (Castro et al. 2007). With the support of CONCYTEC (The National Council for Science, Technology and Technological Innovation), the following projects were undertaken: between 2003 and 2005, the first scientific/ technological biodiesel research in Peru, Boiling Point. issue 56 — 2009

entitled Small-Scale Biodiesel Production Using Amazonian Oil-Yielding Produce; between 2004 and 2005, the study Design of a Sustainable System for Biodiesel Production and Use Appropriate to Isolated Communities in the Amazonian Jungle, which also involved UNI (The National University of Engineering); between 2005 and 2006, the project Construction and Start-up of a Model Biodiesel Production Plant; and more recently, between 2006 and 2007, research has continued on the Dehydration of Ethanol on a Small Scale for Biodiesel Production in Isolated Communities in the Amazonian Jungle. The achievements so far have been the: successful trials of biodiesel production and use based on spent oils and both native and introduced oil-yielding species; development and testing of low-cost technological models for small-scale biodiesel production; establishment of the first regular used-oil recycling system for biodiesel production in Peru and the construction of the first medium-scale pilot biodiesel production plant, with capacity to produce 2,000 gallons of biodiesel per month. Progress has also been made on the theoretical design of a sustainable biodiesel production and use system appropriate for isolated forest communities, with research being completed in order to resolve the main technical stumbling block preventing biodiesel from being established as a viable source of energy in isolated areas of Amazonia: access to anhydrous ethanol, as the methanol which is most commonly used for biodiesel production is a crude oil derivative. A number of barriers do, though, still exist in educational, social and/or economic terms. The field validation phase of Practical Action’s work began in 2008, with a focus on identifying and attempting to overcome the remaining barriers.

Below we set out the main advances and developments achieved in the work of Practical Action and UNALM:

Biodiesel production in forest communities For this scenario an especially simple, lowcost technological model was developed, manufactured from recycled materials, and designed for small-scale local production (Fig. 1). The device essentially involves the use of a small hydraulic press to obtain oil, operated by means of a hydraulic jack which exerts pressure on a piston positioned at the base of an iron housing. When the necessary quantity of oil has been produced, this undergoes a basic analysis to measure acidity, an essential calculation in order to work out the quantity of catalyst to be used in order to produce the biodiesel. Once the acidity has been gauged, a mixture of alcohol (methanol or anhydrous ethanol) and the catalyst is prepared, before proceeding to transesterification, the name given to the process by which biodiesel is produced, which takes place in a small 50 litre capacity stainless steel reactor fitted with a manual stirrer operated by means of a handle and gears (Calle et al. 2005). The required heat can be provided by means of briquettes produced using the pulp which is left in the press itself following extraction of the oil. After the required reaction time, the mixture is allowed to decant for several hours, following which the decanted glycerine is first extracted from the base of the reactor, followed by the biodiesel, which requires purification in order to eliminate any traces of glycerine, oil and fatty acids which may have remained unreacted. Once the biodiesel has been cleaned, it is filtered and can be used in any diesel engine. 13


THEME Figure 2: Reactor for biodiesel production (Photo: PA/UNALM) Figure 3: Pilot biodiesel production plant at the UNALM (Photo: PA/UNALM)

Small-scale dehydration of ethanol for biodiesel production Transesterification, the chemical process most often employed to produce biodiesel, requires 20% alcohol, for which methanol is normally used. In isolated areas, however, it is highly problematic, costly and risky to obtain and transport methanol, although ethanol can be obtained, mainly from cane cultivation. The problem is that the ethanol required for biodiesel production must be of more than 99.5º purity. This level is difficult to attain because of the azeotropic mixture of water with alcohol above 96°, and is normally achieved using industrial-scale processes which involve costly equipment and infrastructure. During the research work a number of different types of absorbent were employed as molecular sieves, ranging from maize cobs to various chemical substances. After several months of research 99.5º ethanol was produced, which gave a yield of more than 80% in biodiesel production.

2

3

UNALM used-oil recycling system: Biodiesel Bus One of the first tangible results of the research undertaken by Practical Action and UNALM was the implementation of a pilot system for biodiesel production and use on the university campus itself, recycling the used oil discarded by the university canteen to supply one of the regular student transport buses with a mixture of 20% biodiesel and 80% conventional diesel (a mixture known as B20). The system involves collection of the oil, purification and transformation into biodiesel, to supply a bus of the university fleet by means of a special fuel pump installed in the UNALM General Services area. When the project began in 2003 the cost of a gallon of diesel was around 2.50 USD, while the cost of producing biodiesel at the UNALM was approximately 1.33 USD per gallon, excluding the price of the oil used for production, as this is obtained free of charge from the canteen. The price of the UNALM biodiesel is now around 2.30 USD per gallon, as a result of the 14

M1

T3

V-6

V-7

M2 V-1 T4

V-2 BM2

BM1

T5

R1

A

B

C1

C2 B1

T1

T2

T6

A

B

V-3

V-4

DrenajeV-12 glicerina

V-5 V-13

F1

R2 BD para uso

V-10

V-11

Drenaje glicerina / agua

rising cost of methanol. You can see an extra figure illustrating the UNALM usedoil recycling system and Biodiesel Bus via the @HEDON link on the next page. The transesterification process takes place in a pilot reactor designed and built by the project’s technical team, with capacity for 50 litres per batch (Acosta et al. 2008), comprising a raised tank with

V-8

V-9

Drenaje agua

capacity for 15 litres, for the production of the methoxide, which flows by gravity to the main tank, where it is mixed with the oil to produce biodiesel (Fig. 2). This reactor requires a supply of electrical energy to power the motors and the electrical heating element, and water as a coolant for condensation and recovery of the methanol following distillation.


THEME

These supplies can be employed in both urban environments and in oil-producing industries (Calle et al. 2005). The quality of the fuel produced in this reactor has been analysed and tested on various engines and vehicles, allowing a number of theses to be established as to the use of biodiesel from various raw materials, such as spent oil, refined oil and palm oil.

Pilot small-scale biodiesel production plant In order to develop a plant with high potential for replication to serve as a model for the dissemination and transfer of biodiesel production technology across the public, private and academic sectors, a pilot biodiesel production plant was set up in February 2006, with capacity for 200 litres/batch (Fig 3). This plant, developed using mostly local technology, features a methoxide preparation tank, a main reactor for transesterification, a purification system which cleans the biodiesel using water by aspersion, and an electric dryer (Coello et al. 2006).

Validation phase of a biodiesel production system in actual field conditions In 2008 Practical Action began testing of the first pilot small-scale biodiesel production system in isolated jungle areas. The aim of this phase is to test the suitability and feasibility of promoting the production and use of biodiesel as a source of clean, economically and socially viable energy for isolated communities in the Amazonian regions of the country. This phase involves establishing a biodiesel production system at the Nuevo Tiwinsa Agro-fishery Association of small-scale palm producers in Peru’s Amazonian Ucayali region, with the aim of self-supplying their energy needs for electrical generation and transportation. In partnership with the association, an appropriate management model will be designed and established for the operation and maintenance of the system, and for distribution and potentially the sale of Boiling Point. issue 56 — 2009

the biodiesel. An assessment will also be made of the technical, economic, social and environmental viability of the experimental small-scale production of biodiesel for electrical generation and transport use. The ultimate aim will be to publicise the scope, possibilities and limitations of biodiesel as an option for energy self-sufficiency in Amazonia, mainly for the purpose of generating electricity and for use in transport.

www.hedon.info/MXPA * Full article online * Author profiles and latest contact details * Lea este artículo en español * Soluciones Prácticas – ITDG website (Spanish) * Practical Action Latin America website (English) * Extra Figure: UNALM Biodiesel Bus Meet us @HEDON

References

Profiles of the authors

Acosta, F., Castro, P., Cortijo, E., 2008. Manual de construcción y uso de reactor para producción de biodiésel a pequeña escala. Practical Action. Lima.

Javier Coello: agricultural engineering graduate of the La Molina National Agrarian University, with a master’s in renewable energy from the International University of Andalusia, currently serving as manager of Practical Action Latin American Regional Office’s Access to Services Programme. The PA Latin America website can be found via the @HEDON link above.

Calle, J., Coello, J., Castro, P., 2005. Opciones para la producción de biodiésel en el Perú. Mosaico Científico, Volume 2, Issue 2: 70-77. Lima. Castro, P., Coello, J., Castillo, L., 2007. Opciones para la producción y uso del biodiésel en el Perú. Soluciones Prácticas-ITDG. Lima. Coello, J., Castillo, L., Castro, P., Calle, J., Sevilla, S., Acosta, F., Sologuren, G., Canturín, A., Vidal, C., 2006. Evaluación de opciones para la producción de biodiésel a pequeña escala en el Perú. Paper presented at: II Seminario Internacional en Biocombustibles y Combustibles Alternativos. Universidad Nacional de Colombia (UNC). 9 to 11 August 2006. Bogotá. INEI, 2008. Perfil Sociodemográfico del Perú. Instituto Nacional de Estadística e Informática (INEI) & United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). Lima.

Fernando Acosta: natural resources and renewable energies engineering graduate of the Alas Peruanas University, with a master’s in environmental science from the La Molina National Agrarian University, currently serving as Coordinator of the Bioenergy Unit of Practical Action Latin American Regional Office’s Access to Services Programme. Jean Velásquez: chemical engineering graduate of the San Cristóbal de Huamanga National University, with a master’s in environmental science from the La Molina National Agrarian University, currently serving on the technical team of the Bioenergy Unit of Practical Action Latin American Regional Office’s Access to Services Programme. 15


THEME

The Shakapopela Association: Women using biofuels for locally generated power in Zambia Author Wendy Annecke Monitoring and Evaluation, GVEP International, The Green Building, Westlake Park 7945, Cape Town, South Africa Email: wendy.annecke@gvep.org

Figure 1: Women of the Shakapopela Association (Photo: GVEP International)

One of the outreach projects implemented by DAPP Child Aid in the Chibombo District in Zambia is the GVEP International - Gaia Movement’s ‘Community Generated Power: Scaling up biofuel production for local use in Zambia’. This involves both growing suitable plant, producing oil and using the oil in a diesel engine that has been adapted to run on a dual fuel system (according to tested specifications in another GVEP International project in India). The Shakapopela Association of women is showing the way in both regards, notwithstanding various obstacles which include a shortage of jatropha seeds and necessary adaptations to the hammer mill engine they operate. In this article the author presents a summary of both the project and a recent trip made to site.

E

lizabeth Ndlovu is one of the women of the Shakapopela Association in the Chibombo District of Zambia who operates their hammer mill engine to grind the maize that farmers in the area grow. The Shakapopela women’s group charges 2,000 kwacha per tin of maize and produces a good fine meal. The problem is that the women have not been able to raise the price of their service to meet the cost of running the engine. This group of twelve enterprising women clubbed together in 2005 and in 2006 bought a hammer mill engine from the government – for which they have been

16

making monthly repayments ever since. For the first couple of years the engine ran on diesel and the women’s group was doing very nicely until 2008 when the price of diesel started to rise sharply. By the middle of 2008, instead of buying 20 litres of diesel at a time which would last them two weeks, the women resorted to buying 5 litres at a time, because that was all they could afford. Joyce Chilambe, the secretary, was able to enumerate exactly how their profit margins have shrunk, and how, in fact they are getting poorer again. Luckily DAPP Child Aid, which implements the GVEP International - Gaia

Movement project, ‘Community Generated Power: Scaling up biofuel production for local use in Zambia’, has been able to come to the Shakapopela Association’s assistance. The women agreed to allow their engine to be used as one of the trial engines running on alternative oils such as cotton seed and the oil from Jatropha curcas. The project engineer, Albert Ngwira has rigged up a system whereby the engine is started on diesel and allowed to run for about 5 minutes while the jatropha oil is heated in a coil around the exhaust. The diesel is then switched off and the warmed jatropha is used instead. The trials are to find out whether using plant oil without additives leaves a residue in the generator. As part of the GVEP - Gaia Movement project a number of endurance tests of the dual fuel system running on jatropha oil are being done by the Delhi College of Engineering in India under the leadership of Professor Naveen Kumar. The first round of a 512-hour endurance test were very promising and a second round has begun. When the project receives the final results from the Delhi College of Engineering, and local Zambian tests show that the system works well under the local conditions, a number of village mechanics will be trained to adapt diesel engines to the dual fuel system. The system can then be


THEME Figure 2: The hammer engine with duel fuel system (Photo: GVEP International) Figure 3: Mr Moyo and Mr Zulu with jatropha seeds a year after planting (Photo: GVEP International)

more widely disseminated in Zambia as well as in neighbouring countries, where DAPP partner organisations operate. At present GVEP International - DAPP is supplying the jatropha oil to the Shakaopela test engine, but the intention is that the women’s group should be able to grow their own. To this end the women’s group received training in growing their own Jatropha curcas from Morris Tembo the co-leader of project, who is dedicated to developing sustainable livelihoods. Each woman in the group received a kilogram of jatropha seed. As is the practice with all the project nurseries in the area, those farmers who have water available planted the seeds immediately and are enthusiastic about the rate at which they have germinated and grown. Those women who rely on rain should be able to plant their seeds soon, because the rain clouds were gathering even during the visit. Some of the jatropha we saw, which was well watered, was producing seed after only a year, but this is unlikely to be the case on all farms. Generally growers are advised that plants will take between two and four years to bear seeds, and all growers are advised to intercrop. This they are doing with onions, tomatoes, citrus trees, cabbages and pigeon peas. But the rapid production of seed is encouraging because at the beginning of the year seed was an issue because of a limited local supply. Zambians, like many of their neighbours, have grown jatropha as hedges for many years, and although some knew the value of the oil and have been using it for soap and lighting, there was little demand for harvesting. All this changed rapidly in 2006/7 when oil prices soared, estimations of peak oil absorbed us, the surging demand for energy and the threat of climate change were high on the agenda and bio-fuels, in particular growing such crops as Jatropha curcas, was widely held to be the next development panacea. Several international companies leased land in countries including Zambia, and would-be growers soon reported a shortage of seeds and seedlings. Some commercial growers imported seed from India, but reportedly the seed yield was very low and the Zambian government subsequently refused to allow further importation. Boiling Point. issue 56 — 2009

Jatropha seeds suddenly had commercial value, and ordinary farmers and NGOs had to compete with the big companies to procure them. The companies let it be known that they would buy seed at 5,000 to 10,000 kwacha per kilo ($1.20 2.50), thus further stimulating the market, harvesting and hoarding activities. Those in the Chibombo project area, for example, who had harvested seeds, held on to them in the hope that the price would go up further, or that they would be able to sell to those offering a high price rather than to an NGO. In many cases the seed was not stored in a shady dry place, but simply left it on the ground so that when it was finally sold to DAPP for around 3,000 kwacha per kilogram, it was found that germination rates were relatively low. Producers are now taught how to store their seeds correctly. As I write the global focus has shifted from energy and climate change: with the collapse of banks in the north and the global economic slow-down the price of oil has fallen from nearly 150 USD a barrel to around 60 USD. While at this price oil is still expensive, and the fall in the value of currencies might see little real relief to developing countries, it does not appear as if the jatropha craze is as strong as it was three months ago. This is probably just as well for those who, as in the GVEP International- DAPP project, believe that the most benefit is to be had from local beneficiation and use. When we visited the Shakapopela Association, I asked the women about their concerns and problems. The subsequent discussion showed exactly what their priorities were and how business minded they were. The questions asked included whether the jatropha nurseries could be given fertilizer to make the plants grow better, what the best time was for harvesting seed for maximum benefit from oil and germination, what price they would be paid for the seed they harvested, whether DAPP would buy their seeds. In response we said DAPP has good contact with the local branch of the Department of Agriculture which teaches farmers how to make and use their own compost, and DAPP will arrange such training again. The second question was easy for Morris to answer because he has taught it often. The seeds

should be harvested when the husk turns black and is ready to drop from the tree. It is at this stage that the oil content is at its highest and the seed is best for pressing or storing carefully for germinating when there is water or rain. The next two questions were more difficult to answer. I said that my observation of DAPP was that it is an organization devoted to local empowerment, so although DAPP, as an NGO, were not rich, they would pay a fair price for seed. However the aim of the project was for local farmers to be selfsufficient, so ideally they should crush the seed to produce oil for their own use: in the generator, as lamp oil, to make soap and even to sell on, or they could germinate some seed and sell seedlings because it is best to ‘add value’ to whatever they have before selling it. This they understood well. All in all, valuable experience in community generated power is being gained in this project, and biofuel production and use is being scaled up to the benefit of local people in Zambia. I thank all the others also involved, Kenneth Mutibo, Mephias Shanobe, Simon Chipoya, John Bwalya and the staff at Children’s Town for their parts in improving the lives of the Chibombo District community.

Profile of the author Wendy Annecke has a special interest in gender issues, low-cost electrification, renewable energy and biofuels. She has worked in Africa, India and Latin America in energy research, policy development and planning, specialising in participatory methodologies and qualitative research design. Wendy lives in Cape Town, South Africa and works as GVEP International’s Monitoring and Evaluation specialist.

www.hedon.info/NXPA * Full article online * Author profile and latest contact details * GVEP International website Meet us @HEDON 17


THEME

Successful utilisation of indigenous bioenergy resources for economic advancement in rural Maharashtra, India Authors Kavita Rai1, Jayant Sarnaik2 Programme Manager, GVEP International, 150 Minories, London, EC3N 1LS, UK

1

Email: kavita.rai@gvep.org Deputy Director, Applied Environmental Research Foundation (AERF), C-10, Natya Chitra Co-op Hsg. Soc. (Kalagram), Bhusari Colony, Kothrud, Pune â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 411052 Maharashtra, INDIA.

2

Email: jsarnaik@gmail.com

Figure 1: Seed purchase at one of the procurement centres in Mahajane Village (Photo: AREF, India)

This article showcases the successful establishment of cluster level biodiesel resource centres catering to rural energy demands and the creation of livelihood opportunities in over 70 villages in Raigad district of Maharashtra, India. Central to this initiative has been the ongoing experiences with communities who collect and sell seeds of the indigenous tree Pongamia pinnata. A combination of widespread awareness and promotion, technology development and demonstration, training and marketing are essential factors for success. Important to this initiative has been the notion of using the already existing (but neglected) resources rather than cultivation of any biofuel crop which needs large scale resources.

Tapping Pongamia pinnata to enhance income generation and local oil production

G

rowing energy needs, coupled with fluctuating international oil prices, are forcing India to tap into renewable energy resources to address the energy crisis. The Government of India launched a national programme to promote the large scale cultivation of the plants Jatropha curcas and Pongamia pinnata for biodiesel production. However, the programmes are long term and need

18

time to reach the farmers in remote areas. In addition, the current subsidy provisions for: kerosene to those below the poverty line; diesel to fishermen; and electricity at subsidised or free cost to farmers for irrigation, are faced with inefficient public distribution systems leading to widespread shortage of energy resources in rural areas. In order to reduce these barriers though the utilisation of existing natural resources, the Applied Environmental Research Foundation (AERF) has been working since 2005 to set up village/ cluster level biodiesel resource centres to meet local energy demands in Alibaug and

Mhasala blocks of Raigad district. In 2007, through a Global Actions Programs Fund provided by the Global Village Energy Partnership (GVEP), the AERF reached over 70 villages with a potential to create income generating opportunities through seed collection activities and employment at the resource centres. The central focus of setting up the biodiesel centres was to exploit the already existing Pongamia pinnata tree for extracting oil either for direct fuel use or the production of bio diesel. During the process of interaction with local communities in the second year, a good population of oil yielding indigenous tree species Madhuca Indica was found to exist in the local areas in Mhasala block, thereby incorporating this species into the local seed procurement and processing activities.

Establishing the supply chain for seed collection The establishment of a good network of seed procurement in villages having Pongamia trees was crucial for sustaining the resource centres. Seed collection was a natural extension of activity for the


THEME Table 1: Price rates for seed collection and the sale of Pongamia oil and oil cakes

Price rate for seed collected (in Rs/kgs)

Rate of Pongamia Oil (in Rs/litres)

Rate of Oil Cake (in Rs/litres)

Year 1

Year 2

Year 1

Year 2

Year 1

Year 2

6

7

30

35

10

12

Table 2: Projected benefit on account of switching to greener fuel in rural setup.

majority of collectors who were local tribal populations already involved in collection of non-timber forest produce. Additionally, local grocer shops and women’s self help groups were actively involved. In both centres, the names of all collectors and the quantity of seeds collected were recorded in detail. The seeds were kept in an open yard for drying, packed in gunny bags and stored in a dry room. The average quantity of seed collected over two years was 2,100 kg at the Mahajane and 700 kg at Songhar. The main trigger for the rapid collection of Pongamia seeds was the attractive price and standard weight measurement for the collected material. The offered price of Rs 6/kg (0.1 USD) for seeds was increased by 15% in the second year compared to the maximum price of Rs 4/kg in the weekly market before the initiative. The collectors were paid from the revolving fund that was created by AERF in the first year. In Songhar, the presence of active self help groups (4 women’s and 2 men’s groups) with a relatively healthy revolving fund meant that the fund could be used effectively for the purchasing of seeds from local collectors. The responsibility of seed processing was given to two young candidates, pleased to have found an occupation in the village. While planning the development of supply chain a deliberate effort was made to reach out to as many villages as possible within the radius of 10 km from the resource centre.

Production and utilisation of Pongomia Pinnata oil and oil cakes As a first known example, two expellerengines operate on Pongamia oil as a substitute to diesel (1.2 litres/hour) to produce about 5-6 litres of Pongamia oil /hr each from 20 kg of seeds. The expellers clocked more than 70 hours in Mahajane village and 20 hours in Songhar in the first year of operation. In the second year, the operational hours doubled due to subsequent increase in seed collection especially at the Mahajane centre. Boiling Point. issue 56 — 2009

Current diesel price (Rs/litre)

Annual fuel cost (Rs)

SVO price at the Centre (Rs/litre)

Saving due to substitution by SVO (Rs)

Agricultural machinery

Power (HP)

Useage (hrs/yr)

Diesel consumption (litre/hr)

Power tiller

13

500

1.5

40

30,000

35

3,750

Irrigation/drinking water pump

5

1,000

0.75

40

30,000

35

3,750

Tractor

35

600

4

40

96,000

35

12,000

Floor mill

3.5

800

0.75

40

24,000

35

3,000

The Pongamia oil was further used for power tiller, irrigation pump sets and flour mills. In Mahajane, an entrepreneur hired out power tillers to farmers who showed interest in using pongamia straight vegetable oil (PSVO) and bought 50 litres from the resource centre. The power tiller consumes about 1.5 litres of oil/hour at the cost of Rs 35/litre compared to 2.5 litres of diesel /hr at Rs 40/litre providing an attractive option for tractor operators. In Songhar, two 5HP electric motors were operated to lift water for drinking and domestic purpose for 4 hours every day. The farmers were relieved to find an option to lift water as power supply was intermittent and erratic, coupled with high electricity bills. By using this alternative they started saving approximately Rs 1,500/ month (50% of electricity bill).

Economics of bio diesel resource centres The seeds were bought, processed and Pongamia oil was sold and utilised to run the expellers at the centres. The Pongamia oil cakes had substantial demand utilised as fertilizer and pesticide for traditional crops such as mango, coconut and beans thereby selling at a premium rate. Prices were raised in the second year primarily because of high demand and willingness to pay (see Table 1). The rates were competitive compared to the average price of Pongamia oil at Rs 45/litre and oil cakes at Rs 15-17/Kg in the open market. The attractive pricing at the centre has resulted in advance booking of the products every year. Both the resource centres made profits. In Mahajane, the centre made a total turnover of Rs 14,250 in the first year.

After deducting the cost of raw material (Rs 9,600), and operator’s salary (Rs 3,000), the centre made a net profit of Rs 1,650. The turn over in the second year was Rs 40,800 with a net profit of Rs.10,000. In Songhar, the centre made a net profit of Rs 4,500 on a turnover of Rs 7,850 in the second year while they processed about 350 kg of seeds in the first year and sold about 60 litres of oil in the local market at Rs.30/litre. Table 2 above provides a glimpse of the savings that could be achieved as a result of fuel substitution.

Creation of successful bio diesel resource centres Awareness creation as key to establishing the supply chain The first ingredient for success was the high level of awareness creation and information dissemination. Promotional materials were disseminated to at least 3,000 people in all 70 villages and 10 large posters were provided to the governing bodies from selected villages to spread the information. During the seed collecting season, 1,000 pamphlets showing the Pongamia pinnata based value chain and its role in energy sufficiency were published in the local language and distributed. A major initiative was undertaken to demonstrate the use of Pongamia oil in running diesel engines, power tillers and flour mills. The impact could well be seen in Songhar village where one engine operates daily for 2 hours on PSVO and is used for lifting water for a minimum of three days a week for four months of the year. 19


THEME Figure 2: Decentralised biodiesel resource centre in operation, Mahajane Village (Photo: AREF, India)

Central to the whole idea was that community members realized that a Pongamia oil production unit could become a profit making enterprise that would support the livelihoods of all those who were ready to become part of the supply chain.

Localised adaptations to create sustainable incomes Expecting voluntary labour from poor people for seed collection was an incorrect assumption made early on and instead seed collection was brought in as a mainstream income generation activity. The local micro-credit mechanisms were utilised effectively for payment, a major trigger for a substantial collection of seeds in a short time frame. Thus, income generation for the rural poor, unemployed youth and farmers in the project area was a major livelihood impact of the two centres as seed collection and oil production had almost doubled in the second year of operation. Profits were kept aside for use as a revolving fund for buying the seeds next year. The two centres have 7 full time employees, each earning a livelihood from their job as an operator, and almost 350 individuals supplying seed regularly to the various collection points.

Maintenance of distance between centres The first community was resistant to the idea of second bio-diesel resource centre in nearby villages. It could have posed as competition and also the uniqueness of such a project would have faded in a short time for them. Therefore, a compromise was reached, to establish the second biodiesel resource centre at Ramraj village, 15 km away from Mahajane.

Utilisation of locally available but un-utilised resources In the second year, AERF found out that there was a good population of Madhuca indicaanother high oil yielding oilseed bearing indigenous tree in villages surrounding Songhar biofuel resource centre. The collection of the Madhuca seeds in the coming years will increase the productivity of this centre. 20

Unexpected impacts and the way forward Pongamia pinnata trees were usually cut for selling as fuel wood to brick kiln operators. However, once the local communities valued the trees as a sustainable income source from seed collection, the resolve to conserve them was confirmed, also ensuring a sustainable supply to the resource centres. Easy availability of Pongamia oil at the centre has also contributed to the revival of traditional uses of the oil such as for medicinal and veterinary use leading to overall well being of the farming communities. The success has had an effect on other nearby communities and the demand is rising. Tests are also ongoing on the possibility of utilising the Pongamia oil to operate the existing 30 Auto-rickshaws in this cluster. Further selection of villages from Raigad district for development of biodiesel resource centres are also ongoing using the main criteria of availability of water wells without pumping facilities and the presence of good populations of Pongamia pinnata. To achieve long term sustainability, continuous facilitation is necessary as regards resource enhancement, marketing of produce and institutional strengthening. Moreover, strengthening of the business as an institutional set up needs more work. The plantation of Pongamia pinnata on community lands can be an important step towards resource enhancement. For this, nurseries need to be established so that the local bio diesel industry can grow. The replication of establishing bio diesel resource centres looks possible; however it is recommended that a proper resource assessment is carried out before establishing the centre. Community organization and participation has to be strong for success to be achieved. Keeping tight control over raw material prices and avoiding the involvement of middlemen in the supply chain, as well as having correct information about the demand, are some of the key strategies for the scaling up of this project.

Profile of the authors Kavita Rai has extensive international experience working in the field of energy and has a Phd in Development Studies. She has been involved for many years in promoting grass roots projects to ensure longlasting access to clean energy. Kavita will be responsible for running GVEP International’s regional programmes, will be working closely with project implementers and private sector companies, and will be supporting Wendy Annecke with the monitoring and evaluation of GVEP International programmes. Jayant Sarnaik is the co-founder and deputy Director of the Applied Environmental Research Foundation (AERF), a registered NGO based in Pune, India. AERF works towards biodiversity conservation at the grass root level – in the field of community based conservation. Jayant is an ‘enviropreneur’ and works with initiatives that have market based approaches to environmental problems. His expertise lies in community based projects in medicinal plants and renewable energy and has a rich experience in developing project ideas that work at the grassroots level. He also has strong relations with several national and international funding agencies. Jayant has recently received the Alcoa Conservation and Sustainable Fellowship.

www.hedon.info/PXPA * Full article online * Author profiles and latest contact details * GVEP International website * AERF website Meet us @HEDON


PREDAS

Women and household energy in Sahelian countries A Boiling Point special supplement from PREDAS This publication by the Programme for the Promotion of Household and Alternative Energy sources in the Sahel (PREDAS) is a summary of a series of surveys and analyses conducted in the Sahelian countries of Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Chad. Covering a wide range of household energy related issues in the sub-region, the surveys were carried out based on a common framework but the choice of topics was left to the discretion of those coordinating the studies, and reflects the problems faced by women in each country. Crucially, the surveys show the very real perceptions of Sahelian women active in the various segments of the household energy sector, especially in the consumption, processing, selling and income-generating activities associated with firewood, charcoal, LPG and coal.

Boiling Point. issue 56 â&#x20AC;&#x201D; 2009

21


PREDAS

Firewood: The most widespread and cheapest of fuels

I was compelled to use firewood because I had no choice, this is the traditional source of energy available to me”, said a housewife in Niger. This situation is repeated for a great number of women in Sahelian countries – where firewood is the only viable cooking fuel. Households are often limited in their choice of fuels by two key factors: fuel availability, i.e. a regular and accessible supply; and fuel affordability. In some particularly arid rural regions, poorer families are often forced to use alternative fuels such as cow dung, roots, rags and plastic. Across the Sahelian countries surveyed, wood was the most commonly used and cheapest of energy sources, although people are increasingly switching to other fuels. The processing and selling of wood and charcoal can also provide a much needed income. Mrs Oumou, one of the many women surveyed, puts it in the following words, “Here, we have problems. There is no profitable activity. This is the only means for women in this area to scrape a living. It is a very hard work but it brings money.” The findings of the surveys were varied and in Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, and Chad they highlighted the use and sale of firewood and charcoal. In Senegal, they concentrated on charcoal and LPG, while those in Cape Verde underlined the use of LPG and firewood. In Niger it was the issue of (mineral) coal as an alternative to firewood, in Mali the use of blended coal/biomass fuels, and in Mauritania the popular fuels were charcoal and LPG and to a lesser extent firewood. 1 euro = 656 FCFA The Franc Communauté Financière Africaine (FCFA) is a currency used in many West African countries that has an exchange rate fixed to the euro.

Women in the woodcutting business “An axe, a donkey, a water bottle and a meal - these are my tools whenever I go into the bush”, explains Mrs Oumou, a female woodcutter from the village of Kasséla in Mali. She cuts wood and takes it to the rural market at the rate of one cartload a week. Equipped with a woodcutting permit, obtained by paying a weekly tax of 2,000 FCFA, Oumou is aware that she does not have the right to cut live wood and that she must work within the areas demarcated for exploitation. Being a female woodcutter is not an easy job but it does enable her to earn a sufficient income. Fuelwood collectors often have to travel long distances between the forest and the village, carrying heavy loads on their heads and can suffer from pains and even heart palpitations. There is also the risk of injury from axes, tree stumps, snakebites and poisonous insects. To be a woodcutter in Burkina Faso, you must belong to a forest management association. Mrs Yaro Alibi of Dana village in the Midwest region of Burkina Faso explains why she started woodcutting, “Before I started with this activity, I was selling doughnuts on market days and local (millet) beer every now and then…I earn more money now and I can afford to buy cooking utensils. I also help my husband to buy food supplies during the lean period”. She continues, “I engage in this activity in order to provide for my personal needs, for the education of my children, their upkeep and their health. As a community duty, I have contributed to the construction of our village school”. According to Oumou, the advantage of this trade “is that you can engage in this activity irrespective of your financial condition and it does not require business capital like other activities. Also, the money earned from this trade is an asset. For example with two cart-loads in a week, I can earn at most 5,000 FCFA and at least 3,500 or 4,000 FCFA.”

Woodcutting - an appropriate activity for a woman?

Figure 1: Mrs Yaro Alibi cutting live wood with permission from local forestry officials in Burkina Faso. Many women are now entering this line of business, which used to be completely dominated by men. (Photo: PREDAS) 22

Woodcutting is traditionally an activity carried out by younger men as it requires strength. The more muscular physique that results from this occupation leads many to think it an undesirable activity for a woman. However, these viewpoints are becoming increasingly obsolete since forest management activities first started in Sahelian countries about twenty years ago. Both Oumou and Alibi started to harvest and sell wood from the managed forests in order to provide for their needs. “Since I started this activity I became more financially independent”, Alibi reports, “In the village our essential needs include food, our children’s education and a little money to cater for social events. One is full of joy, when you are able to achieve this”, she says. Armande Sawadogo


PREDAS Figure 2: Mrs Diarra Massira Traore, a wood retailer in Mali. (Photo: PREDAS) Figure 3: Mrs Akhaye Harouna of Midekhine village in Chad prepares bundles of wood. (Photo: PREDAS)

Rural communities and forest management In Burkina Faso, the cutting of wood is carried out by legally recognised forest management associations. Men and women are mobilised and trained for this work, with the aim of sustainable village forest management and income generation for the riparian (river bank) communities. It is illegal to cut wood outside the demarcated area as well beyond the time period indicated by forestry guards who supervise the activity. In Mali, a permit from the forestry department is needed before cutting wood otherwise you can be liable to a heavy fine. Mrs Oumou warns “if you exploit a protected area and you are caught by forest guards, you will have problems”. In Burkina Faso, there are scheduled periods for the cutting of live wood (January to March) that is then dried and later sold to carrier-wholesalers. In Cape Verde, the roadside sale of firewood is illegal and subject to confiscation by the local police. However, this activity still occurs in a few villages because, according to one women firewood seller (and almost certainly a woodcutter), the required permit is only valid for three months, an insufficient period of time in which to make a living. They are therefore forced to take the risk of cutting wood from public forests without permits for the remainder of the year. In Cape Verde, wood is the fuel of the poor. Mrs Nela is an elderly woman who has been using wood and charcoal and remembers when forests were abundant in the archipelago. On the property that she owns, she allows poor women to cut wood that they then use for cooking and also sell to earn an income. “These women cannot afford to buy gas”, she said. The sale of woodfuel in rural areas is a recent phenomenon as it used to be possible for people to collect sufficient quantities of twigs and small branches from the vicinity of their houses. Today, wood is harvested and sold even in rural areas and it represents an important source of income for women. Alibi, the Burkinabe woodcutter, says that she sells wood along the road for 100 FCFA per bundle. In Mali, Diarra Massira Traoré of the Kasséla village is supplied with wood from the managed forest of Faya, which she then sells on to customers. Massira is one of 40 women who belong to a woodcutting association. She, like her colleagues, needs to pay a tax of 2,000 FCFA in order to sell wood. The association works closely with the rural market operators of Kasséla within the framework of the local management committee. In all the Sahelain countries surveyed, it was noticeable that commercial networks for the collection, transportation and distribution of wood are in operation. This was especially so in Mauritania, where the phenomenon is of extra concern as it is taking place in the river and forestry-pasture zones, so competing with the traditional firewood gathering practises of local populations.

Boiling Point. issue 56 — 2009

Yes to desertification control, but we need to survive! As a result of awareness campaigns being carried out by the media, as part of measures to combat desertification in the region, people appreciate the need to use wood supplies sustainably. According to Alibi from Burkina Faso, “woodcutting enables the village community and the nation to regulate the cutting of live wood and allows the forest to regenerate”. Angelina, a firewood seller from a village in Cape Verde, says that she “is aware that the country is endowed with little environmental resources but we have to survive one way or the other, especially when one has a family to look after.” The unregulated cutting of wood is banned in Cape Verde, even on private lands. However, wood can be cut using hand tools from March to June but only to prepare lands in the irrigated areas used for cultivation. More than 600 forest guards and about ten policemen supervise the wood exploitation business in the islands. Women interviewed in Niger believe that the use of other sources of energy, such as coal and LPG, would contribute to the reduction in excessive firewood use and so preserve the environment.

Why do women sell wood? There are many reasons why women choose wood selling as a business activity. In Niger, Mrs Madina Mamane explains, “At first I was selling only doughnuts but I realised that this activity could not adequately provide for the needs of my family. Therefore, in order to extend my opportunities, I started a wood selling business using a loan of 100,000 FCFA that I obtained from our women’s association”. In Burkina Faso, Florence says that she “could not sit there doing nothing in Ouagadougou. At first, I was selling cola nuts and later changed to the sale of wood and charcoal as it is more profitable”. Tigane Badjé Fofana of Mali has been selling wood for the past 13 years and since it is profitable she does not want to stop. She started by selling small bundles of firewood and later obtained a loan from a savings bank that enabled her to buy in larger quantities. Many women make substantial profits in the wood business. In Chad, Mrs Akhaye Harouna of Midekhine village says she can buy a stack for 50 FCFA and resell for 100 FCFA. In Ouagadougou, Florence makes about a 10% profit on a cart-load of wood worth 15,000 FCFA. When she buys more significant amounts from a carrier-wholesaler, she can make 40,000 FCFA profit in a month. 23


PREDAS 4

According to Badjé, “everything depends on the market. On a good day, especially during the rainy season, I can earn between 15,000 and 25,000 FCFA but on other days this can be much lower”. With the profits derived from this activity, Florence says that she can feed her family and is also able to meet expenses connected to social events such as naming ceremonies, marriages and funerals. Her family make use of bark and small pieces of wood for fuel as these products cannot be sold. For Akhaye in Chad, it would be difficult to live without the profits from her wood business. “I have to confess that I am trying to survive with the little I earn from the business. This enables me to provide for the daily needs of my family. The money I receive from my husband is not enough, because we have a big family of 13 people”, she stated. For Madina, it is her family’s living standard that has greatly improved, “I look after four children and I have registered them in a local private school in order to ensure a bright future for them”. Badje says, “the profit I make enables me to provide for my needs whether they are personal or related to the family or community. I don’t know my profit as such, but I am able to pay my contribution to the tontine fund(an informal saving/credit association widely used in West Africa) and meet my daily expenses.”

The woodfuel supply chain The retail sale of firewood is an activity almost exclusive carried out by women, especially so in urban centres. They are generally supplied by carrier-wholesalers who transport the wood from the forest using trucks or carts drawn by donkeys. In Chad, “we are supplied by wholesalers. They travel hundreds of kilometres into the bush to cut dead wood or at times live wood, which is then dried and sold to us”, says Akhayé. Badjé, a wood and charcoal seller in Bamako, Mali, travels to the forest with the truck drivers so that she can buy at a lower price. She also buys wood from carrier-wholesalers. In Niger, Mrs Madina Mamane is registered with a truck owner working in the wood business who brings supplies to her home. So for many of the women firewood retailers, there is no need to travel in order to get their supplies. In Burkina Faso this fact is reflected by Florence who says “the selling of wood does not require any movement, in as much as the carrier-wholesalers do the supply, and the door-to-door woodworkers cut the big logs into small pieces that can be used immediately”. Woodfuel supplies can vary throughout the year and Madina says that in Niger, during the wet season, “wood is scarce and very costly. Most of the trucks are in bad state and do not have access to forest areas whenever it rains heavily.” According to Badje of Mali, wood is very expensive in the rainy and cold seasons. For Florence in Burkina Faso it is “during the rainy season that it is difficult to get supplies of wood due to the condition of access roads in the forests. People are also occupied all the time with farming and can no longer engage 24

Figure 4: A women firewood seller stands in front of her stock. (Photo: PREDAS) Figure 5: Juliette arranges her fuelwood in small bundles in Burkina Faso. (Photo: PREDAS)

During the rainy season it is difficult to get supplies of wood due to the condition of access roads in the forests.

in the wood business. The wood loading prices are very high”. Florence noted that she would have less supply problems if she had sufficient money to stock wood during the dry season. Unfortunately for Madina, “the lower the supply of wood, the more the price increases”.

Firewood and taxation In Burkina Faso, for example, the price of wood is fixed by the Ministry of the Environment and this price has not changed for the last twenty years. A stere of wood (one cubic metre of stacked wood, including spaces) is sold at 2,000 FCFA to carrier-wholesalers. Akhayé Harouna of N’djamena, Chad, buys wood by the stere from local villages and says that a stack of wood, comprised of 6 pieces and weighing about 2 kg, is sold for about 50 FCFA, but that the price can vary from one area to another. She also buys wood from carrier-wholesalers. The firewood is then cut and resold in smaller bundles with the price determined by the type of customer: from housewives who buy smaller quantities of wood; through to bakers, brewers, meat roasters etc. who require much larger volumes. Taxes related to the sale of wood can be a considerable burden. Harouna says that taxes are her major concern, “I only resell and so I am carrying a double burden. First, wholesalers increase the price of wood because they pay a high tax to the forestry authority, and then I also pay a tax of 2,000 FCFA on a weekly market day”. In Niger, on the other hand, Madina finds the taxes affordable, “as retailers, we pay 150 FCFA per month, but truck owners pay about 3,000 FCFA tax for every trip”.


PREDAS 5

Why do women use wood as a cooking fuel?

Wood and women’s health

Firewood is the most commonly used fuel in Sahelian countries and is seen by women as the cheapest source of energy available to them. However, this perception may not necessarily reflect the results of a more rigorous economic analysis. Wood is available in small quantities and for the very poor twigs, bark and other small pieces of wood can be used to meet daily cooking fuel needs. Aichatou Aboubacar of Niger is of the opinion that “wood cannot be said to be the ideal fuel but it is most accessible. Wood can even be bought at 50 FCFA, much less that other types of fuel”. Cooking during social events is mostly done with wood and a three stone fire as this allows for the use of larger pot sizes. Woodfuel is also used when preparing medicinal plants and some special dishes. As a by-product of burning wood, charcoal is produced which can be used as a fuel at a later date. One of the major disadvantages of using wood as a fuel is the emissions that are produced by often inefficient stoves or fireplaces. Walls and pots are blackened, food and clothing are tainted by smells and, most critically, the health of women and young children are put at risk. Wood is also not very suitable for urban use, where supply and storage issues as well as emissions can create problems in densely populated areas. During the rainy season wood can prove difficult to light and the supply chain can be disrupted by the inaccessibility of many roads. According to Kaltouma, “the use of wood is not an easy task. After lighting the fire, one needs to fan it for a long time before obtaining some glowing embers. This means that cooking food can be a slow process, a housewife must be patient. It gets worse during the rainy season when a lot of energy has to be exerted in order to fan the fire whenever wood is wet.”

The normal cooking practice in Sahelian countries is to prepare meals inside cramped and badly ventilated kitchens, using fuels such as wood, cow dung, charcoal and crop residues on a rudimentary three stone fire. This is a daily reality for most women, especially in rural areas, which exposes them to potentially harmful levels of smoke and particulates. The cooking of meals outside is not a preferred option, due to wandering animals, the risk of burns to playing children, the effect of wind on burning wood etc. When cooking, women often complain of respiratory problems, headaches and eye pains. Those with babies (up to 1.5 to 2 years old) carry them on their backs, so exposing their infants to the same damaging health impacts and putting them at increased risk of serious respiratory infections. In very poor households, some women are forced to use roots, plastic or rags as cooking fuels, the emissions from which are thought to further increase the risk of respiratory illness. To date, there is a lack of studies on the effects of indoor air pollution on the health of women and children in Sahelian countries. Juliette of Burkina Faso lists the disadvantages associated with the use of wood as “lots of smoke, very messy because of the soot and the bad odours that change the taste of meals”. In addition she says that the use of wood causes “eye irritation, respiratory problems, sweating and running nose, which results in coughs, sneezing, colds and tears in my eyes. Children feel uncomfortable and they cry while rubbing their eyes and nose against their mother’s back. They cannot breathe easily and they cough”. Aïchatou Aboubacar in Niger says, “it may happen that dry wood may not be available in the rainy season or when it rains, in this case smoke is released and this can be harmful to health”. However, in many cases the women do not establish a direct link between indoor air pollution and respiratory infections. Women are exposed to smoke throughout their lives, as they start cooking from about the age of eight and continue right through until they retire. Mrs Kaltouma Kabo of N’djamena in Chad says, “obviously the use of wood is not without consequence. The first victim is the housewife herself. The smoke released by firewood is harmful to the eyes, my eyes water continuously while I am cooking.”

Fuel use in Mauritania The most widely used household cooking fuel in Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger and Chad is wood, with charcoal being the most popular in Senegal and Mauritania. In the main urban centres of Mauritania, some 43% of households use charcoal as their main cooking fuel, with most of the remainder using it as a supplementary fuel. This consumption pattern has had a knock on effect in encouraging charcoal use in secondary towns and also in some rural areas. LPG is also used by 37% of urban households as their main cooking fuel, although this figure reduces at the national level. However, some 20% of rural household also use LPG and nationwide the use of this fuel is increasing. Firewood consumption is declining in urban centres (19%), but is comparable to charcoal in rural areas (32%) where it competes with LPG as supplementary fuel. PREDAS Mauritania survey Boiling Point. issue 56 — 2009

Outdoor air pollution Another important factor is outdoor air pollution. Analysis of firewood use shows that the fuel can contain a significant quantity of pollutants, the concentrations of which are used by many countries in specifying outdoor air quality standards. Emissions include carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxides, with many organic components like benzene, formaldehyde and aromatic polyamines being considered as toxic or carcinogenic. Mireille Ehemba 25


PREDAS

Charcoal: An urban fuel

C

harcoal is predominantly an urban fuel in Sahelian countries that has increased in popularity with the growth of many cities. In Mauritania, it is the most commonly used fuel, especially in the urban centres. For many households, the fuel represents a more practical source of energy than wood as it is cleaner and easier to use, as well as being cheaper to transport from forest to town (due to it’s higher energy density). The fuel is also well matched to the culinary traditions of many Sahelian countries, where the slow-cooking or simmering of some dishes, roasting of meat and fish etc is popular. Assitan of Mali would not use firewood if her financial position was better, she says that “the advantage of charcoal lies in the fact that it does not produce smoke like wood.” However, the growth in charcoal consumption has also accelerated deforestation in many areas due to often inefficient production processes requiring 5 to 8 kilograms of wood for every kilogram of charcoal.

I manage to sell about fifteen bags of charcoal every week… Thank God, this enables me to pull through.

Charcoal and wealth creation In Senegal the production of charcoal is mostly carried out by forest agencies approved by the Ministry for Water Resources and Forestry. These agencies control the entire charcoal network from the production through to retail stages, and are normally managed by men. The retailers (‘diallos keurigne’) are responsible for the distribution of charcoal, which they sell in charcoal parks located around the city districts, particularly in the suburbs. Nevertheless, it has been noted that women are becoming more involved in the charcoal supply chain in both a seasonal and full time capacity. Their work enables them to earn money and so provide for their families, in terms of school fees, the purchase of food and fuel, health costs, social events etc. When interviewed, the women said that their incomes allow them to survive, as they are often heads of family or living in polygamous homes, where rivalries can mean that their husbands do not provide sufficient support for them or their children. In both Senegal and Niger, women charcoal traders were paying into a tontine fund, where they typically made daily deposits of between 100-1000 FCFA which they then receive back at the end of the month. This regular form of income provides a useful addition to the daily profits from their charcoal selling activities. In Burkina Faso, women pack charcoal into bags which they then sell for 50 to 100 FCFA, ending up with a net profit of between 1,500 and 2,000 FCFA per day.

Figure 6: Mrs Alima Sacko packs charcoal into bags in Kassela, Mali. She produces between 10 to 15 big bags of charcoal every week and sells each one for around 3,000 FCFA. (Photo: PREDAS)

26

Figure 7: Juliette makes piles of charcoal for sale in Burkina Faso. (Photo: PREDAS)


PREDAS

In Chad, Mrs Am-Rakhie of the Kourmari village said, “I resell a bag of charcoal for 3,000 FCFA of which 250 FCFA is paid to the forestry authority as tax, leaving me with a profit of 750 FCFA. I manage to sell about fifteen bags of charcoal every week, from which I earn approximately 45,000 FCFA of profit a month. Thank God, this enables me to pull through.” Mrs Ache declares that, “At the beginning, I started this trade with about ten bags. As I am speaking to you, I have got about forty bags, which proves that my trade is flourishing year after year. When I started in this business twenty years ago a bag of charcoal was sold for 2,500 FCFA. Today the price varies between 6,000 and 7,500 FCFA.” She goes on to say, “I noticed that as festivals approach, the demands of my customers tend to exceed my capacity. At times I sell up to 60 bags in a week. This forces me to borrow some bags of charcoal from my colleagues in other areas. The market evolves but to the detriment of the poor. The price of a bag is not within everyone’s means.” She adds, “the use of charcoal still persists in the mentality of Chadian women. It is true that some of them use gas, but their proportion is low. Charcoal is still up-and-coming in Chad, therefore us women engaged in the charcoal trade don’t complain.”

The problems of working with charcoal In working with charcoal, women face numerous problems. The bags contain a lot of dust, which is both unsellable and also harmful to health, with women drinking milk in the evenings to help clear their respiratory tract. In the market place, charcoal sellers often don’t have a permanent stall and other traders object to their presence due to the dust that they generate. At a social level it can be deemed undesirable for woman to be working in the charcoal trade, but in the opinion of the women themselves aesthetics is not very important, it is a matter of income generation, therefore they will continue to fight in order to ensure that they are respected in the market and have a stable selling place. In Chad, Am-Rakhie responds, “the price of charcoal is high. I buy a bag that weighs 25 to 30 kg at 2,000 FCFA from the wholesaler. The price fluctuates according to the season, during the rains it doubles or even triples. In the month of August especially, the buying of charcoal is more difficult. It is not within the reach of retailers because the prices are high”.

Women charcoal producers

Charcoal is still up-and-coming in Chad, therefore us women engaged in the charcoal trade don’t complain.

Charcoal production is an activity almost exclusively reserved for men, with women being responsible for it’s retail. However, woman charcoal makers can be found in Kassela, Mali, due to this being one of the only income generating activities available to them in the area. Alima Sacko is 46 years old and has been working in the charcoal trade for the past 15 years. Alima buys wood from the carrier-wholesalers who operate in the managed forests, and she produces between 10 to 15 big bags of charcoal every week, which sell for an average of 3,000 FCFA per bag. For the past two years, Alima has been using a new carbonization technique that reduced the production time from one week down to 2-4 days. Unfortunately she has since reverted back to the traditional charcoal kilns as “the new technology is profitable but each batch requires a large quantity of wood which I cannot afford due to a lack of capital”. Her working equipment is basic, a barrel and two shovels, and Alima says that she is tired of this work and if she had a choice she would give it up. Niare Boudua Konte

Figure 8: Mrs Am-Rakhie sorts charcoal in Kourmari village, Sub-prefecture of Koundoul, Chad. “I manage to sell about fifteen bags of charcoal every week. Thank God, this enables me to pull through” she says. (Photo: PREDAS) Boiling Point. issue 56 — 2009

27


PREDAS

LPG: A convenient fuel

I

n Sahelian countries, Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) can be considered as a fuel at the top of the ‘energy ladder’. Electricity is also used for cooking but this is an expensive option and so accessible to only the rich. In many countries such as Senegal, Mauritania, The Gambia and Cape Verde, governments have carried out the policy of mass LPG promotion for many years, with the aim of reducing human impact on the local environment. However, due to both availability and price issues the fuel has yet to be widely adopted across the region.

Is LPG cheaper than charcoal? The price of LPG is a limiting factor to its widespread use but in urban areas, where family sizes are decreasing, it can offer a cheaper alternative to charcoal. In Senegal, LPG supplies are becoming more intermittent and prices are rising. The most popular sized 6kg cylinder costs around 2,000 FCFA and lasts for an average of ten days, when just used for cooking breakfast and lunch for a family of 6 to 8 people. However, for many women LPG is still a more economical choice than charcoal. When preparing a typical midday meal they can use between 2 to 3 kg of charcoal, at a cost of 200 FCFA per kg, and when making millet couscous between 3 and 4 kg. According to the women interviewed, the advantage of charcoal is that it can be sold in smaller quantities and used whenever LPG supplies run out. Mireille Ehemb

Each family should try to use LPG in order to prevent women from becoming slaves in their own kitchens, a place where they can spend many hours a day cooking meals.

Figure 9: Miss Khadidiatou Dia says, “I have been using LPG for more than 5 years. I prefer it to charcoal”. (Photo: PREDAS) 28


PREDAS

The benefits and drawbacks of LPG In Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger, vast awareness campaigns have been used to promote LPG consumption. By highlighting the fuels environmental and domestic benefits, this policy has shown some positive external effects. Women using the fuel say that they appreciate its speed and cleanliness as well as the reductions it offers in fuelwood collection efforts and, more especially, health impacts. According to Mrs Dona Nela of Cape Verde, “each family should try to use LPG in order to prevent women from becoming slaves in their own kitchens, a place where they can spend many hours a day cooking meals.” In Niger, Maïmouna Ousmane works in a small town located about a hundred kilometres from Niamey, the capital city. She uses LPG as her main domestic fuel and is of the view that “cooking with gas is faster and cleaner. With LPG I can quickly cook something and eat at any time, which is difficult to do with wood or charcoal”. She goes on to say, “there is a big difference between the use of wood and gas. First, cooking with gas does not produce smoke. It is also faster and your dresses and pots remain neat and it is more convenient to use than wood. LPG also helps with the fight against deforestation”. Irene Miranda Tavares, a women who sells gas cylinders in Cape Verde, says that the use of LPG is on the increase and that “women should make efforts to use gas because wood is scarce on the islands and the little that is available must be preserved. With the use of gas, the walls of the kitchen are no longer blackened and time can be saved in order to engage in other activities, particularly those that generate incomes.” However, Maïmouna also complains that, “I have a big problem with supplies as when my gas cylinder is empty I may have to wait days before I can get it refilled. Gas can also be dangerous and must be handled very carefully. An undetected leak can cause damage and be harmful to one’s health”. She goes on to say, “Gas, according to my neighbours, is a luxurious product and you must have the financial means to be able to use it regularly. With the recent increase in the price of gas, one must be determined if you want to continue using it.” In Cape Verde, although LPG is a popular cooking fuel, many poorer households cannot afford to use it.

The mixed results of LPG promotion in Mauritania. Efforts to substitute the use of biomass with LPG in Mauritania first began in the late 1980’s and was focussed on Nouakchott and the arid zone. The dissemination of the new fuel then rapidly spread to more rural areas, and this was achieved with almost no financial incentives from public authorities. There were, however, some problems: After the devaluation of the local currency in 1994, the import price of LPG increased. This then resulted in a reduction in the number of households switching to LPG as charcoal was price competitive in many urban areas. The stock of LPG cylinders in the country was old and limited in number, contributing to the lack of growth in the market. Local cooking habits continued to present a barrier to the further uptake of LPG. For instance, festive meals (marriages, naming ceremonies, etc.) are never prepared with gas - firewood is always preferred. Study carried out by PREDAS Mauritania

I have a big problem with supplies as when my gas cylinder is empty I may have to wait days before I can get it refilled.

Boiling Point. issue 56 — 2009

Figure 10: Although not a focal country of CILSS/PREDAS, in neighbouring Sudan a women cooks on an LPG stove in Kadugli, a camp for displaced and marginalised people on the outskirts of Kassala. (Photo: Liz Bates/Practical Action) 29


PREDAS

Household fuels: Perceptions and culture

F

irewood is the most commonly used fuel in Sahelian countries and is seen by women as the cheapest available fuel, for many it is the only available fuel. Where forestry resources are sufficient, firewood has no monetary cost as it can be collected for free, and where supplies are limited, wood is traded but still represents the lowest cost fuel. It is an accessible and affordable fuel, as it can be bought in small quantities and used on a simple three stone fire, and suited to a wide variety of cooking tasks (simmering, roasting, social occasions). Wood is, however, a dirty fuel that is not particularly suitable for urban use. Smoke blackens walls and pots, food and clothing are tainted by smells, and women and children suffer from a range of health issues, from stinging eyes through to major respiratory infections. Charcoal is a convenient and relatively clean fuel to use that has been widely adopted in the urban areas of many Sahelian countries. Other advantages of the fuel include the ability to purchase it in smaller quantities, as well as it being well matched to the culinary traditions of the region i.e. roasting meat and fish. However, it is a more expensive option than wood and the production and processing of charcoal results in environmental damage and dust, which is messy and harmful to health. LPG offers women a modern, fast and user-friendly way of cooking but its high costs, both upfront and running, make it unaffordable to most. In addition, the stove/fuel combination can have safety issues (i.e. manipulation, damaged cylinders) and are not suited to the larger pots used for social events.

Figure 11: The ‘energy ladder’: cooking fuels used by households in Senegal.

Cleanliness, Efficiency Speed, Comfort Electricity

Urban areas

LPG

Charcoal Wood

Rural areas

30

Cow dung, crop residues

It is unusual to see Sahelian housewives use just one type of cooking fuel. Instead they adopt a multiple fuel use strategy that allows them to better cope with their daily needs and resources (i.e. culinary habits and fluctuations in income, fuel price and availability, family size etc). In theory, as a household’s income rises they will move up the ‘energy ladder’ by adopting cleaner, more modern types of fuels and stoves. This energy transition process can be seen in the urban areas of many Sahelian countries where households are switching from using wood to charcoal, and also charcoal to LPG. In Mauritania, most urban and rural households have adopted similar eating habits. Rice is cooked for lunch, couscous at dinner and mint tea is drunk in the afternoon. Each activity requires a lengthy cooking time but the preferred fuel for each task varies. For the cooking of rice women favour charcoal to LPG, even if they are sold at the same price. Conversely, for the preparation of couscous, firewood is preferred. For a dish where rice and sauce have to be cooked in parallel, a combination of fuels/stoves might be used. The sauce, which requires a longer cooking time, would be made on a charcoal stove while rice would be prepared on the higher cost LPG stove. This highlights the fact that in addition to affordability issues there is a cultural dimension to the use of cooking fuels. In Niger, coal is processed into a household fuel by smallscale industry. Maïmouna Ousmane says, “I heard about the (mineral) coal at a ceremony where women used it to cook a meal. I liked it and I have been using it ever since, but only on the weekends as it’s a bit difficult to light.” In Mali, Mrs Nogaye M’Baye uses a mixed biomass/coal fuel to cook meals and thinks that this heats up much faster than charcoal. She says, “the energy production of the new coal is very significant compared to charcoal, because after a day’s cooking the embers left over in the stove are reused the next day to start preparing another meal. The disadvantage of this coal lies in the fact that once it is lit you cannot put it out, which you can do with charcoal.”

I heard about the (mineral) coal at a ceremony where women used it to cook a meal. I liked it and I have been using it ever since.

Kerosene

Peri-urban areas

Multiple fuel use, a necessary strategy

Growing Prosperity


PREDAS

Owing to the platform, we no longer need to travel for milling and grinding shea butter and groundnuts.

The multi-functional platform and income generation In Burkina Faso, Mali and Senegal there are some national poverty reduction programmes aimed at developing multifunctional platforms (MFP). Designed especially for rural areas, the multi-functional platform is a series of machines that are driven by a diesel engine (using diesel, biofuels or biogas) and used for the processing of cereals and production of electricity at the village level. The mechanical energy can be used for milling, grinding, hulling, etc. or transformed into electrical energy by a generator, which produces electricity for domestic as well as small scale enterprise (electric lighting, welding, carpentry tools etc). This can also be used to pump water from a borehole into the village. In using an MFP, the burden of household tasks can be reduced and the time saved can be used by women for income generating activities, and the outputs of this directed to other initiatives such as the purchase of improved cook stoves, forestry training/management. Salamata, a user of an MFP in one of the 8,000 villages in Burkina Faso tells us that “thanks to the platform, we no longer need to travel for milling and grinding shea butter and groundnuts, charging of telephone batteries and lighting. The time gained enables us to work more effectively in the farms and to make and sell soumbala” (a condiment/seasoning made from the fermented seeds of the Néré tree). She goes on to say, “my profit from soumbala has allowed me to do two things: increase my production and sales of soumbala; and to earn more money, between 6,000 and 15,000 FCFA every month, which I use to take proper care of my children and to improve the quality of food by buying more ingredients like dry fish and rice.”

Figure 12 A multi-functional platform that runs on diesel or liquid biofuels, and can be used for maize milling as well as electricity production. (Photo: PREDAS)

Future policies In Sahelian countries, urban areas are consuming large quantities of biomass sourced energy and so the regulation of the woodcutting industry is an important issue. Over the coming years it is necessary to follow a number of complementary actions: 1. The continuation of activities that promote the sustainable use of firewood and charcoal in both urban and rural areas by: Vigorously continuing the promotion of sustainable forest management by the people themselves. In empowering local communities with increased responsibilities, with respect to the regulation of firewood cutting, they will be committed to the protection of their natural resource. Moreover, they can derive significant incomes from the sale of firewood and charcoal and are therefore motivated to protect the source of their livelihoods. Evidence for the successful implementation of this approach can be seen in both Mali and Burkina Faso, where people are sustainably harvesting wood through their involvement with forest management associations. Reintroducing and encouraging the use of improved stoves designed for wood and charcoal use. Improved stoves are an important component of the overall strategy as they represent a simple and effective technology that is within the reach of an average Sahelian household. Consumers are already aware of the existing energy efficient models and new dissemination programmes need to be put in place. 2. The development of (mineral) coal as a household fuel in Niger and possibly Mali, where it could be blended with biomass. In addition a supply network could be established to distribute the fuel to other Sahelian countries which, together with stove manufacturing, would create employment for many. Coal fits the culinary needs of many households and also offers reduced cooking times, lower fuel costs and eases pressure on local forestry. 3. The continued promotion of LPG, especially in urban centres where uptake is increasing. Also, the development of LPG stoves/burners that better match the cooking requirements of Sahelian households. 4. Additional social scientific and technical research into other household stoves and fuels, such as kerosene and solar cookers. 5. The development of markets for biomass briquettes made from agricultural residues (cotton stems, rice husks, peanut shells etc).

Boiling Point. issue 56 — 2009

31


PREDAS

CILSS: Regional cooperation for the sustainable development of the Sahel

T

he Permanent Inter-state Committee for Drought control in the Sahel (CILSS) was set up in 1973 and it is comprised of nine member countries: Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, The Gambia, Guinea Bissau, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal and Chad. CILSS is governed by two organisations - the ‘Summit of Heads of State or Government’ and the ‘Council of Ministers’ - that set policy guidelines and make decisions based on the wishes of its member states. The ‘Programme for the Promotion of Household and Alternative Energy sources in the Sahel’ (PREDAS) is a CILSS initiative implemented with support from the European Union and the Federal Republic of Germany. Its overall objectives are to contribute to the sustainable management of natural resources in the region, as well as poverty reduction through the supply of low cost household energy. The aim of this publication is to show the role of women in the supply of household energy in Sahelian countries. The report, coordinated by Smail Khennas and Elhadji Mahamane Mahamane Lawali, was written by Mrs Armande Sawadogo and is based on the findings of a series of surveys carried out by: • • • • • • •

Mrs Armande Sawadogo, Burkina Faso Mrs Pereira De Barros, Cape Verde Mrs Niare Boudia Konte, Mali Mrs Issouffou Aïchatou Illou, Niger Mrs Mireille Ehenba, Senegal Mrs Raïssa Kassire Coumakoye, Chad In Mauritania, the survey was carried out by a consulting firm

For more information please contact: Elhadji Mahamane Mahamane Lawali PREDAS Regional Coordinator, CILSS Executive Secretariat, 03 BP 7049 Ouagadougou 03, Burkina Faso. Tel. +226.50.3741 25/26 Email: mahamane.lawali@cilss.bf Website: www.cilss.bf/predas Elhadji Mahamane Mahamane Lawali is a forestry expert and since 2002 has been the coordinator of PREDAS. He was previously the director of the household energy component of the Energie II project in Niger, funded by DANIDA and the World Bank. He was also in charge of following up the postRio outcomes at the Ministry of the Environment in Niger. Dr Smail Khennas is a senior energy expert and was the technical advisor to the PREDAS programme from May 2003 to June 2006, based in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. He is currently employed on a part time basis by Practical Action Consulting in Rugby, United Kingdom. Email: smail_khennas@yahoo.fr

www.hedon.info/QXPA * Visit the PREDAS website * Energia news article ‘Women and the supply side of energy in Sahelian countries’ * Economic Community Of West African States (ECOWAS) website * The West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) website Meet us @HEDON 32


THEME

A breath of fresh air: Protos the plant oil stove

Author Samuel N. Shiroff Protos project leader, BSH Bosch and Siemens Hausgeräte GmbH, Carl-Wery-Strasse 34, 81739 Munich, Germany Email: protos@bshg.com

Figure 1: Kami cooks on a first generation protos instead of her wood fire (Photo: BSH) Figure 2: The second generation protos stove (Photo: BSH)

With a project that originally began in 1998 with the work of Dr. Ing. Elmar Stumpf at the University of Hohenheim in Germany, the initial steps were taken in the development of the world’s first fully functional plant oil cooking stove. In 2003, the stove gained the attention of BSH Bosch und Siemens Hausgeräte GmbH who then developed it into a product for the `bottom of the pyramid`. BSH were able to improve the performance, life-span and most importantly reduce the costs so that they could offer protos at a price that people could afford. First launched three years ago, the stove has now undergone a major redesign which the manufacturers claim will offer a step change in cost reduction, efficiency improvements and user friendliness. This article offers an overview of the BSH protos stove.

K

ami is making their evening meal. The usual routine starts earlier in the day with the collecting of fire wood. The fire is then slowly set to cook the staple rice. This is inevitably accompanied by a smoky kitchen, and Kami’s slight cough is proof that this is not the first time. This evening however, the air is clear as Kami is using her brand new protos plant oil stove with coconut oil as the fuel. Everybody cooks, but not everyone cooks in the same way. While those in wealthier countries generally use electricity or gas stoves, more than 2.5 billion people around

Boiling Point. issue 56 — 2009

the world still use the older, less efficient and unhealthy fuel sources such as wood, charcoal, kerosene and other biomass. The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that 1.6 million people, mostly women and children, die each year as a result of their exposure to indoor air pollution.

The challenges and the vision The BSH Home Appliances Group thought it could use its considerable expertise, experience and engineering prowess to tackle this problem. With a project that originally began in 1998 at the University

of Hohenheim in Germany, the initial steps were taken in the development of the world’s first fully functional plant oil cooking stove. “My original work began at the University of Hohenhein”, explains Dr. Ing. Elmar Stumpf, “ I was a Ph.D. student and enamoured with the idea of creating a new technology. When it eventually caught the attention of a large multi-national I thought – now here is the chance I have been waiting for to make an impact.” “In 2003, when BSH learned about this new technology we decided it presented a very interesting challenge for 33


THEME Figure 3: Cooking fuel pyramid Who and where are the users?

us”, explains the Senior Vice President of sales for emerging markets Dr. h.c. Dirk Hoffmann, “concurrently, we believed that if we could develop a product for the `bottom of the pyramid` it would provide BSH some unique insights into a market that we do not currently serve with our conventional products.” Dr. Stumpf was brought on board to make the next developments in the technology. “We had achieved some real advances in Hohenheim, but the product was not ready for a mass market. With the resources and the teamwork at BSH we were able to improve the performance, life-span and most importantly reduce the costs so that we could offer protos at a price that people could afford. Plant oils often have different levels of viscosity and BSH was determined to make a cooker that would not only burn all types of oil, but would also do so without requiring them to be refined. “People in rural settings may have the ability to press their own oil, but they don’t have the infrastructure to refine it,” explains Dr. Stumpf, “our challenge was to make a cooker that would burn oil that had been filtered in a simple manner and required no refining. This isn’t oil you buy in the store. It is a very simple and low cost fuel.” By the time BSH publicly launched Protos in April of 2006 the stove had already gone through many different technical and design changes. However, a last change was in store. Although the protos team had already reduced the cost of production by over 50% and had dramatically increased the efficiency of the stove, a series of experiments came together to allow for a technological leap that created a new protos generation. The new cooker has a revised design and brings with it a 40% cost reduction, 30% efficiency increase and a dramatic improvement in user friendliness with easier cleaning and quieter operation. “The only downside,” explains Samuel Shiroff, protos project leader, “is that it caused a disruption in our production schedule and plans for large-scale market introduction. Although waiting for a new generation meant a 12-month delay, we decided that the purchase cost and especially the 34

reduced operating cost were such strong arguments for poorer customers that it would be inappropriate to sell them the first generation when the second was so much better.”

The fuel, the customers and the carbon Protos presented some brand new challenge to BSH. Dr. Hoffmann explains, “although we have always made adjustments in design, size and other changes needed for different market specifications of electricity or gas, we never before put much thought into the source of the fuel. With plant oil this is different.” BSH makes a clear policy of stating that it will not introduce protos in markets where it cannot be assured of the sustainability of plant oil: in terms of both environmental and social factors. Hoffmann continues, “A second huge challenge is serving a different kind of customer. BSH primarily sells high-end goods to customers for whom price is not the sole concern. We realized that protos’ customers might not be able to pay even the cost of production, but like all customers, they want a userfriendly, well designed and durable product. We always knew that achieving this and economic sustainability – that is not losing money on every product – was going to require some innovative business models.” As is true with any product, identifying the correct market segment to target is essential (see Fig. 3). Poor households have a lot in common but they are by no means a homogenous group. A plant oil stove requires a liquid fuel. In addition, research conducted by BSH indicated that in most circumstances only families that were already using a monetized fuel (i.e. paying for it) would be willing to switch to protos. Moreover, although the cost of the stove itself must be reasonable, the most important cost criteria would be on a cost per meal basis. Using plant oil as a fuel source in protos needed to be at a lower cost than the current alternatives. Concurrently, plant oil had the large advantage over liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) in so far as that plant oil can be purchased in small quantities whereas LPG often presented cash flow problems for poor families.

Once the correct market had been identified, tackling the challenge of the purchase cost of the stove required a different perspective. BSH has focused on truly understanding how protos provides a variety of service. Shiroff clarifies, “protos is a stove, but people don’t really want a stove, they want warm food – that is the service a stove provides. In addition we recognized that protos provides some additional services; in terms of health, by reducing indoor air pollution; as well as environmental, by running on a locally produced, carbon-neutral fuel.” BSH established that although users appreciate the health and environmental advantages, they are not in an economic position to pay for such “premium services”. However, there are organizations and markets that specifically direct funding towards the health and environment sectors. “We recognized that there are foundations, charitable organizations, companies and even government organizations that saw a real benefit to filling the necessary cost gap so that the end-user is able to afford the stove. In terms of environmental service, when we are able to replace fossil fuels like kerosene, or wood and charcoal which is not being harvested sustainably, we can generate carbon credits – which are also enough to cover the cost gap as well,” clarifies Shiroff. Thus, BSH has implemented two business models. The first, traditional model simply sells the cooker for a price which covers production cost and overhead. The second involves a price for the enduser below the cost of production, with the cost gap filled via purchasers of “additional services” provided by protos such as health, environmental or local economic benefits. Within the context of carbon credits, BSH has submitted a methodology to the UNFCCC which is responsible for the Clean Development Mechanism of the Kyoto Protocol. Although still in the approval process, the methodology already makes it possible to receive voluntary carbon credits which, as part of a project with a positive social benefit for the poor, can provide adequate revenue to dramatically lower the cost of the stove and expand the number of people who can afford it.


THEME Figure 4: “We are very excited about protos,” says Surya shortly after completing the training, “the plantation will provide us with the fuel which is lower than kerosene and I no longer have to drive 40 minutes to get it. The stove cooks fast and it definitely does not have the bad smell of kerosene. I think our food will taste better too.” (Photo: BSH)

one really has experience. Once there is a critical mass of users, only basic training is needed. Similarly, we want to make sure that enough people really are comfortable with our product so that as new users purchase their cookers, following some basic instruction, they can just ask a neighbour if something is unclear.” BSH is in the process of making protos as widely available as possible. As part of a technology transfer, BSH has established a local production partner in Indonesia where protos will be produced. Initial plans are to manufacture 50,000 units in 2009 and then to expand as demand increase. BSH remains open to additional production partners; however at first all orders will be filled out of this first production facility. Market demand will dictate whether additional production partnerships are established elsewhere in the world. Additional information is available at the protos website, available via the @HEDON link below.

Profile of the author

Bringing Protos to the market BSH recognizes that the users of protos have different needs and are in different locations than its traditional customers. As a result, the company has decided to work with partners who have a deeper knowledge of these customers. “To bring protos to the market involves some complexity. It is necessary to establish both a cooker and a plant oil supply chain,” explains Shiroff. “In the first stages of development and field-tests we worked with the GTZ and the DEG to take advantage of their considerable experience in development. Now, in the market introduction we are continuing to deal with different cultures in often remote places; we know that we need local assistance if we want to be successful. Therefore we have decided only to work with project partners who have the capacity and local knowledge to create the necessary infrastructure and manage a protos introduction sustainably.” A plant oil cooker does not function without plant oil and therefore that is the first necessary question to clarify. Boiling Point. issue 56 — 2009

The first large scale projects are slated to take place on either plant oil plantations or in villages specifically identified to be part of an energy-self-sufficient program of the Indonesian government. Plant oil plantations often have thousands of workers. Sometimes they live more than an hour away from the nearest shopping stores and the plantation company is responsible for supplying them with the products essential for daily living. The ability to purchase fuel that is grown locally – rather than imported via longdistances – provides cost advantages for the both workers and the plantations. BSH has established clear guidelines for bringing the cooker to a new market. Not only must the supply chains be in place, but the first users must also be trained. Shiroff elaborates, “Using protos is easy, but it is not exactly the same as other cookers. Perhaps it is best comparable to when automobiles are first introduced. For the initial users, intense training is needed since it is not yet common knowledge how to operate a car and no

Samuel Neal Shiroff is the project leader for the market introduction of Protos, the plant oil cooking stove, at BSH Bosch and Siemens Home Appliances Group - located in Munich, Germany. Sam is responsible for developing and implementing the business models necessary to reach the market segment for which Protos was designed - individuals who are purchasing wood, charcoal or kerosene for their cooking fuel source. Sam is also active in conceptualizing and developing carbon-savings, energy efficiency related programs for conventional appliances.

www.hedon.info/RXPA * Full article online * Author profile and latest contact details * Protos website Meet us @HEDON 35


THEME

Tapping the potential of Brazil’s Proalcool movement for the household energy sector Author Regina Couto1, James Murren2 Director, Project Gaia Brazil. Rua Grão Mogol, 662, Bairro Sion - CEP: 30.310-010, Belo Horizonte/MG, Brazil

1

Email: reginafcouto@gmail.com Brazil Team Leader for Stokes Consulting Group (Project Gaia, Inc.)

2

Email: jmurren@gmail.com or jmurren@projectgaia.com

The Brazilian alcohol programme, focussing exclusively on the industrial-scale production of ethanol, has been successfully operating for more than thirty years. This article discusses how the same can be accomplished for cooking and household energy - a Proalcool movement for the household. Instead of relying on large scale ethanol production and distribution, the household energy market can be provided with ethanol from micro distilleries - a distributed rather than centralized energy model. The Dometic CleanCook stove has undergone successful pilot testing in Brazil for such a purpose. An active and enterprising microdistillery movement has perfected the microusina that produces not only fuel ethanol for cooking, lighting and power but also other products for sale or for use on the farm. This article will show that an on-farm micro distillery is a highly sustainable and environmentally friendly activity that can provide clean energy to the surrounding community.

Pilot study

T

he pilot phase of Project Gaia in Brazil began its field implementation in July of 2005 with the following immediate objectives: a) to install Clean Cook ethanol stoves in 100 households in the Minas Gerais state; b) to assess user acceptance of the stove and fuel in rural and urban households by measuring, among

36

other factors, perceived and actual stove/fuel safety, ease of use, convenience, appearance, cleanliness, and overall performance in fuel consumption economics. Long term objectives included: to understand the feasibility of rural, communitybased cooperatives or associations in manufacturing and supplying their own ethanol to fuel the stoves through the use of microdistilleries; and to evaluate the stove’s potential impact on local cutting of wood

Figure 1: Ms. Nelci has completely stopped using LPG. Before the CC, a 13 kg LPG tank lasted 30 days. If the unit price of ethanol and LPG were equal, Nelci says, “I would use CC because it cooks faster than LPG,” explaining that the CC’s flame is stronger than LPG’s. Before the CC, Nelci and her husband Joao collected wood every day for about 2-3 hours each time. Since the CC, they collect wood once a week for about 2-3 hours. (Photo: Cheryl O’Brien)

for cooking fuel and in the reduction of indoor air pollution. The pilot test of the ethanol-fuelled Clean Cook (CC) produced positive results. The stove was well accepted by the families in terms of safety, fuel consumption, ease of use, appearance and cleanliness. The fuel consumption of the stove was relatively low and, even with the small size of the fuel canister, refuelling was typically only conducted


THEME Figure 2: “If I can buy alcohol little by little in small amounts, it would be better for me…Sometimes I can’t afford to buy the LPG tank. It’s too much money. If the alcohol price goes lower, I will cook with the CC stove only”, said Ms Gilza. (Photo: Cheryl O’Brien)

every 2-3 days. The CC stove displaced a greater quantity of LPG stoves than wood stoves, the obvious reason for this being relative fuel costs. Many of the families expressed concern about the environmental impact of collecting wood for cooking, and saw the stove as a possible solution to the challenge they face in seeking affordable cooking fuel. In Salinas, families now have to walk further to find wood and, when combined with rising LPG prices, this has caused growth in the market for purchased fuel wood.

Pilot study results 1. 74% of study households found the CC stove to be “safer” to operate than their LPG stoves 2. 95% of study participants in Salinas and Jatiboca, and 76% of homes in Dom Orione, said the CC stove was “as clean or cleaner-burning” than an LPG stove 3. 81% of families considered their kitchen environment to be “cleaner” as a result of cooking with the CC stove 4. 71% of families in Salinas, and 53% in Dom Orione, decided to continue using the CC stove by purchasing ethanol at full price after the study ended 5. Nearly every household observed that the CC stove cooked common food stuffs (eg. beans, rice) faster than their LPG stoves, saving approximately 15 minutes of cooking time on average for each of these food items 6. The CC stove reduced the use of wood and LPG stoves in part. Many families remarked that because the CC stove had only 2 burners, and that traditional meals in Minas Gerais require 4 burners to prepare, they had to use another stove to cook their meals. However, a majority stated that if a 4-burner CC stove was available, it would meet their cooking needs and they would switch to cooking with the CC stove. 7. Amongst the lowest income households, the ability to purchase ethanol in small quantities was very attractive. Boiling Point. issue 56 — 2009

Buying ethanol in small quantities One key advantage of the Clean Cook stove, as noted by 60% of the families in Salinas, was the ability to buy ethanol in small amounts as and when they had money available. Given that the majority of families do not have a steady income, it is difficult for them to have the economic means to buy an expensive LPG cylinder. For the families in the pilot study, the current reality of higher ethanol prices at the pump renders the use of the CC stove, if dependent on pump ethanol, as being more costly to run than LPG. Despite knowing this, many of the families of lower or variable income say they would prefer to cook with the CC stove, if supplemented with some cooking with wood for certain food stuffs. They also emphasized that many families cook with more than one stove and that for them the CC is a better option than LPG because it is clean, safe, fast cooking and because they can buy ethanol in small quantities. It is possible that families living in Sao Paulo state, where Brazil’s major centre of sugarcane and ethanol production is located, could purchase ethanol from the pump to fuel the CleanCook stove. Currently in Sao Paulo state, ethanol sells at the pump for between 1.00-1.45 Reais (0.59-0.85 USD). Surveys indicate that most households would purchase ethanol for cooking up to a price of about 1.20 Reais. In areas where pump ethanol is not affordable, one possibility for ethanol production is the microdistillery.

Microdistilleries In rural Brazil, microdistilleries (MD) have the potential to alleviate poverty, especially in agricultural families. The national legislature has recognized this and three laws are currently being debated in the legislature regarding the provision of market incentives for MD. In Minas Gerais there is a state law that provides incentives to microdistilleries, though it is not yet fully implemented. The increasing global demand for both ethanol as an automotive fuel and for sugar has proven very beneficial to the

Figure 3: Microdistillery of Angatuba - Sao Paulo. Installed by the Municipality to produce ethanol for official vehicles. Farmers in the surrounding area are partners and supply the sugar cane. It serves as a great public investment for the local economy. They also produce rapadurinhas for the municipal kindergartens. (Photo: Regina Couto)

large sugar companies, as internal market prices have increased with global demand. Microdistilleries could be used to supply the local markets and perhaps keep costs down in the household market in some key regions. A microdistillery that produces 100 to 500 litres per day could be managed by one farming family. Aside from producing ethanol for their own use, they could also make other products such as rapadura (sugarcane juice/sweets), sugar, and cachaça (alcoholic drink). The production of alcohol on small rural properties has the potential to generate a cycle of development and raise the productivity of small-scale producers. With 2 hectares, the bagasse and vinhoto by-products can be used to feed 10 cows, which not only improves the quality of the land but also gives the farmer more produce. In northern Minas Gerais, smallscale farmers are very familiar with milk and cachaça production, meaning that they understand the distillation process and many have some of the equipment necessary for alcohol production. Using MD residues at the farm level is a perfect fit for this technology. The environmental impact of sugar/ethanol waste products can be reduced by using the residual sugarcane bagasse to feed cattle and the ‘vinhoto’ can be used as fertilizer in the fields. For local governments, the improvement in the quality of life in rural areas through the promotion of microdistilleries could reduce the costs of many social programmes. For more on the benefits of microdistilleries see the @HEDON link over the page. 37


THEME Figure 4: Microdistillery at the Federal University of Viçosa. The university has carried out studies of improved technologies, and set up a unit for testing on campus. This model does not use a boiler and so offers a lower cost solution. (Photo: Regina Couto)

Replicability and sustainability Alcohol fuel programmes can be replicated in tropical countries where the weather is suited to the growing of sugarcane, and even the possibility of using other crops such as cassava, sweet potato, and sorghum saccharin. In least developed countries, where access to energy is often minimal at best, the creation of MD could provide a great benefit for marginalized people. The production and use of ethanol in an MD can have multiple effects: increased incomes in rural areas and a consequent reduction in the numbers of people leaving the countryside; improved quality of life due to reduced levels of domestic pollution; reduced environmental impact from fuelwood gathering; and provide a source of clean, safe household fuel.

Local stove production

References

Profile of the authors

From the outset of the project the manufacturer of the CleanCook stove, Dometic AB of Sweden, have shared the goal of local production with Project Gaia. Currently, the process is underway in Ethiopia and is in the initial stages in Brazil. Several metal manufacturers have been identified and Project Gaia are facilitating correspondence between the potential local producers and Dometic, with full transfer of the technology expected to occur by the end of 2009.

Fialho, Ademir Abreu, et al., 1998. Programa Nacional Integrado de Álcool e Leite – PRONAL; Manual técnico de implementação. Brasília.

Regina Couto is Director of Project Gaia-Brazil. She is a development specialist with expertise in social and sustainable development and poverty alleviation. She recently completed coursework in the Sugar-alcohol Industrial Process with a focus in social production of ethanol.

Outlook Although microdistilleries are currently not permitted to sell their ethanol commercially in the open market, it is quite feasible to set them up as a cooperative or association between households and the MD operators. Nevertheless, MD is a technological option that goes beyond Brazilian borders. Considering the recent fluctuations in LPG prices worldwide, and assuming a reasonably high carbon tax on fossil fuel use, biofuels, and more notably ethanol, are an obvious future alternative to LPG among some of the 2.4 billion people who do not have access to clean cooking fuels. 38

Mello, Marcelo Guimarães,2000. Energia da Biomassa, Belo Horizonte. Mello, Marcelo Guirmarães et al., 2001. BIOMASSA – Energia dos Trópicos em Minas Gerais, ed. LabMídia/Fafich, Belo Horizonte. Nascimento, Marcelo Rodrigues, 2007. Processamento da Rapadura, ed. DC/UNB, Brasília. Rosado Junior, Adriano; Oclelho, Hilton Machado; Feil, Norton Ferreira, 2008. Estudo da viabilidade econômica da produção de álcool combustível em pequenas propriedades de caráter familiar, ed. UFRGS, Porto Alegre. Silva, Juarez de Souza, 2007. Produção de Álcool Combustível na Fazenda e em Sistema Cooperativo. Ed. CENTEV/UFV, Viçosa.

James Murren has been working with Project Gaia since 2005, having lived and worked in the three project sites: Ethiopia, Nigeria and Brazil. His academic background focused on environmental policy and resource management. He currently lives in Lafayette, Indiana, USA.

www.hedon.info/TXPA * Full article online * Author profile and latest contact details * Extra text: The benefits of microdistilleries * Project Gaia website (English) * Projeto Gaia website (Portuguese) Meet us @HEDON


Viewpoints

VIEWPOINTS

An interview with Benard Muok Benard Muok PhD, PISCES Project Manager, African Centre for Technology Studies (ACTS), Gigiri Court, Off United Nations Crescent, P.O.Box 45917 - 00100, Nairobi, Kenya. Tel: +254 20 712 6889/90/94/95 Email: B.Muok@acts.or.ke Website: www.pisces.or.ke and www.acts.or.ke

Can you talk a bit about yourself, where you live, your work history and your involvement with household energy? My name is Benard Muok and I work at the African Centre for Technology Studies (ACTS) in Kenya as the project manager of PISCES. I have a PhD in Agriculture with a focus on livelihoods and poverty alleviation in the drylands of sub-Saharan Africa. I first became involved with household energy when I researched woodfuel use and its effect on farmland trees as an undergraduate student of forestry at Moi University, Kenya. Since then I’ve spent over 10 years in the research and management of natural resources and have focused on energy access, food security as well as environmental conservation, climate change and water security.

by DFID that operates in India, Kenya, Sri Lanka, and Tanzania. The group is lead by the African Centre for Technology Studies and the main partners are The University of Dar es Salaam, Practical Action, The University of Edinburgh, and the M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation. The main thrust of the PISCES project is to develop policy approaches that can unlock the potential of bioenergy to improve energy access and livelihoods. The project is guided by four principles: that livelihoods are contingent on food, water and energy security; and bioenergy is the pivotal issue intersecting these factors; it is vital to look at bioenergy holistically; and this needs better data and an improved framework for decision making.

What would you say are the major issues in the Household Energy Sector today? We need to develop strategies that are based on increasing the use of energy carriers other than biomass, or on using biomass in more modern ways. Poverty alleviation and development depend on universal access to energy services that are affordable, reliable, and of good quality. The idea is to not only provide energy access but also for the production of bioenergy to power rural development through the creation of new livelihoods opportunities. Poverty is the most fundamental reality of developing countries - and the energy consumption patterns of poor people tend to add to their misery and aggravate their poverty. A direct improvement in energy services would allow the poor to enjoy both short and longterm advances in living standards. In spite of the enormous biomass potential in Africa, the very unequal distribution of resources is a major barrier to ensuring a sustainable supply. In many areas wood-fuel resources are under severe pressure, a fact reflected in the growing use of inefficient and unhealthy non-woody biomass resources such as animal wastes and crop residues in some rural areas, and increasing prices for woody biomass in most urban centres.

Can liquid biofuels be grown sustainably and benefit local people? What impact do you think they might they have on poverty and more specifically energy poverty? Yes they can. However, the recent dialogue around biofuels has tended to focus on large-scale production to supply liquid transport fuels to the global market. Discussions on livelihoods implications have tended to take a backseat. My view is that the questions of where and how to produce biofuels is better considered at a smaller scale, where ecosystem services and livelihoods from agricultural lands are of fundamental importance. Liquid biofuels have the potential to unlock significant socio-economic benefits in rural areas. The ability to grow some feedstocks on agriculturally marginal land and the labour-intensive production chain could prove important drivers for rural development. This in turn would help to alleviate poverty, stem rural urban migration, increase income generation for poor families, create employment and reverse environmental degradation. The production of biofuels on small farms can increase diversification and provide an additional revenue source. This is in contrast to larger scale systems where producers sell feedstocks to consolidated processing facilities with the profits going to outside corporations. Furthermore, the creation of distributed, small-scale energy systems in rural areas increases energy

What is the PISCES project and why should we pay attention to it? The PISCES project is a 5-year energy research programme consortium funded Boiling Point. issue 56 — 2009

security and reduces dependence on dirty, labour intensive traditional biomass fuels. If there is a place for liquid biofuels in developing countries, what delivery mechanisms would you advocate? To consider this a few questions need to be addressed - What models of financing, incentives and capacity development can create, sustain and scale-up access to biofuels in poor communities? How can sustainable supply and value chains be enabled and regulated for delivery of biofuels to poor communities while minimising negative impacts on food and water resources? What are the impacts and trade offs between centralised versus decentralised biofuel service delivery? While I am not trying to give a ‘doctors’ prescription for this, I believe that a mechanism that addresses the above questions should be considered as our best option. Is there anything else you would like to mention in this interview? Ooh, yeah my favourite quote, “The humming of bees and whistling of birds is an indicator of a healthy environment” - Prof. M.S. Swaminathan. So let us keep our environment healthy.

Profile of the author Benard Muok holds a PhD in Agriculture from Kyoto Prefectural University, Japan. He also holds MSc and BSc degrees in Forestry from Moi University, Kenya, as well as an International Certificate in Plant Conservation from the Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew, UK. Dr. Muok is a specialist in natural resource management for improved livelihoods and poverty alleviation and his research interest is in the area of bioenergy and food security. He started his career with the Kenya Forestry Research Institute (KEFRI) where he rose to the level of a senior research officer in charge of species domestication and introduction. Dr Muok has extensively published in international journals and books and is currently project manager of the DFID funded Policy Innovation Systems for Clean Energy Security (PISCES). 39


GTZ NEWS

News

Editor Lisa Feldmann and Agnes Klingshirn HERA, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ) GmBH, Postfach 5180, 65726 Eschborn. Email: lisa.feldmann@gtz.de

Good prospects for clay stoves in Malawi – impact assessment shows benefits

Figure 1: Cooking on a chitetezo mbaula. More and more women are using only the improved stove for their daily cooking in rural Malawi. (Photo: Lisa Feldmann, GTZ)

In March 2008 a household survey was conducted in Malawi to assess the impacts of the dissemination of improved portable clay stoves. The production of these stoves, called Chitetezo Mbaula, is promoted within the Programme for Basic Energy and Conservation (ProBEC). The survey covered 327 households in six villages in Mulanje, Thyolo and Ntcheu districts, with stove producers also being interviewed to gather information about their businesses. The two Mulanje villages were already surveyed in 2004 and an analysis of the results shows that the adoption rate rose by a factor of three since the previous impact assessment.

The adoption of the fuel saving stove can be considered as a long term transition that leads to the eventual phasing out of the traditional three stone fire. This is reflected in the Mulanje villages, the initial site of stove promotion, where only 10% of Chitetezo Mbaula owners also used a three stone fire on a daily basis. In the Thyolo and Ntcheu villages, where stove promotion only began in late 2007, this level was at 37% and 25% respectively. In general, the Chitetezo Mbaula serves the same functions as the three stone fire. It was observed that the majority of users were operating the stove correctly and in over 85% of households cooking did not lead to noticeable smoke emissions. A comparison between the households that mainly used the three stone fire and those that used the Chitetezo Mbaula, showed that the improved stoves saved 43 to 50% of the time spent on firewood collection. For those in the ‘stove business’ this was only a part-time activity, but with the potential for scaling-up. Nevertheless, it was the most important household income for 30% of interviewed producers and the second most important for 35%. The prospects for sustainability are good as users appreciate the benefits of the stove and replace them when damaged. Most of the producer groups had established continuous production and adopted adequate marketing and promotional skills, which makes it highly likely that their businesses can continue without further support. The study is available at the Probec website, via the @HEDON link over the page.

Household energy efficiency in Tajikistan The GTZ programme Convention to Combat Desertification (CCD) and its regional programme in Central Asia are now starting to adapt and disseminate improved stoves in the Pamir region of Tajikistan. The GTZ/DED project “Sustainable Management of Natural Resources in Gorno-Badakhshan (Tajikistan)” will put a focus on the adaptation and dissemination of energy efficient technologies in the Pamir Mountains. It is part of the Regional Project to Support the Implementation of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UN CCD) in Central Asia. People in the Pamir region are increasingly suffering from a severe energy crisis. With the break down of the Soviet Empire, free of charge delivery of coal for all households in the region ceased and people now depend almost entirely on using scarce wood and manure as a substitute to coal. In the Western Pamirs the most important fuel is firewood from the degraded 40

Riperian forests. In the Eastern Pamirs it is Teresken and dung, the former being a semi-shrub that helps prevent the erosion of pasture land in this yak and sheep rearing region. The project will focus on simple and affordable thermalinsulation measures in private houses, efficient adapted cooking stoves, heat exchangers for existing inefficient metal box ovens and locally producible solar water heaters. Aimed at a sustainable introduction and dissemination of energy efficient technologies, the project follows a market driven approach. Consequently the following elements will be supported: 1. Standardization of products and training of local producers in technical and business skills 2. Awareness building among the local population 3. A “warm comfort” microfinance product for the thermalinsulation of private houses, which will be reimbursed by the savings in fuel expenditure.


GTZ NEWS

Improved stoves for heating and cooking in Mongolia

In Focus: Household Energy - new ways to protect the climate and reduce poverty

In Mongolia, stoves provide the basis for survival and comfort during the harsh nine month long winter, where temperatures can drop to as low as minus 40°C. So the heating function, and consequently the heat storage capacity of a stove, becomes extremely relevant. In Ulaanbaatar, the capital of Mongolia, roughly 60% of the population lives in Ger districts which are typically not connected to the central electricity grid system (as well as heating and drinking/waste water systems). A Ger (or Yurt) is a traditional dwelling place in Mongolia, developed to suit a nomadic way of life but which in urban areas does not always offer adequate living conditions. For cooking and heating purposes the Ger inhabitants use non-insulated metal stoves which have little heat storage capacity. The main household fuel is low quality Mongolian brown coal and so the emissions from traditional stoves, in addition to those from traffic and power plants, result in high levels of air pollution, especially during the winter months. GTZ’s ‘Integrated Urban Development, Construction Sector & VET Promotion Programme’ has therefore developed an energy-efficient stove with an increased heat storage capacity and reduced fuel consumption and emissions. Its heat storage capacity has been optimised by lining the combustion chamber with Chamotte (a fired clay produced locally from kaolin/ china clay). The stove also has a secondary air supply, a design characteristic not previously known in Mongolia, and is ignited with wood and then loaded with brown coal. Test results show that the new stove consumes 0.70 kg of fuel per hour, compared to 1.35 kg in a traditional stove. Carbon monoxide emissions were more than halved.

How can we provide 2.5 billion people with clean cooking energy? What kind of contribution could this make to poverty alleviation and climate protection? And what solutions and successes already exist? These questions were discussed by 120 participants from about 30 development organisations from Germany, Austria, Switzerland and the Netherlands during a symposium last December, organised by GTZ’s household energy programme HERA in Bonn, Germany. Participants came from a wide range of organisations including the WHO, FAO, NGOs such as World Vision, consultancies and research institutions. “The objectives of the symposium were to intensify the exchange of information and experiences between Germanspeaking development organisations and to develop potential for future cooperation”, explained Marlis Kees from GTZ HERA. The discussions and experience exchanged through question and answer sessions focussed on carbon trading for household energy, alternatives to firewood such as biogas or plant oil, subsidies and micro-credits as well as successful monitoring approaches for dissemination strategies of improved cook stoves. Recommendations for further action were developed for both research and implementation organisations and for policy advisors. For example: reliable data collection of woodfuel prices; the mainstreaming of cooking energy into other areas such as nutrition, health, and agricultural services on the local level; and more research on sustainable charcoal production and existing distribution networks. Furthermore, a strong demand for French publications, manuals and information was expressed. “These three days were fantastic and they certainly will bring more attention to household energy matters in German speaking countries”, Eva Rehfuess from WHO says.

New publication: Cooking Energy - Why it really matters if we are to halve poverty by 2015 This flyer explains in ten points the relationship between cooking energy and achieving the MDGs. It is now available in Spanish, French and English and these versions can be dowloaded via the @HEDON link over leaf. Figure 2: Typical living conditions of a family in the Eastern Pamirs. (Photo: André Fabian, DED) Boiling Point. issue 56 — 2009

41


GTZ NEWS

Second regional workshop of francophone projects, September 23-26, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso Six francophone GTZ-supported stove projects gathered to exchange experiences. The three countries that are currently receiving Dutch financial support reported considerable progress in the last year, and these experiences were feedback into the planning stages of other programmes. Lively discussions were complemented by the views of DGIS/Senternovem, GTZ head office and consultants, and they emphasised the importance of credible monitoring to support project achievements. Improvements to the mud single-pot rocket stove, invented by the Uganda project, which allows for air inflow from the side, were demonstrated and directly introduced. With regards to stove commercialization: encouraging examples are mostly found in urban contexts, for rural areas there are still more unanswered questions than actual solutions; long debates revolved around the pro’s and con’s of fixed versus portable stoves and their different dissemination approaches, material choices, and implications for quality control etc. With intervention costs depending greatly on population density, accessibility and rural purchasing power, the challenge is how to work towards sustainability in rural areas. Interesting field visits and great organisation contributed to making the event a real success. The participants underlined the value of exchange between francophone and anglophone experiences and requested for more translation of English literature, especially of handson guides.

Report on biomass energy consumption and availability in South Africa South Africa’s poor are concentrated in the woodlands of Limpopo, KwaZulu Natal, and the Eastern Cape. Over 80% of rural households in these regions depend on fuelwood as their primary source of energy, as a recent desk study prepared for the Programme for Basic Energy and Conservation (ProBEC) reveals. Sources of firewood are mainly natural woodlands (60%), trees outside forests (13%), commercial plantations (9%), and processed waste (9%). At a national and regional scale, the sustainable annual production of fuelwood is probably sufficient to meet annual demand. However, local shortages can and do arise due to over-harvesting and changes in land use. On the demand side, residential energy consumption accounts for some 18% of national energy demand. The total demand for fuelwood is estimated at 11.2 million tonnes per annum, which is equivalent to 40% of residential energy demand. The number of households that depend on fuelwood as their main energy source is estimated at 2.3 to 2.8 million, the majority of which are located in rural areas. This represents some 12 to 15 million people or 25 to 30% of the South African population. However, the analysis suggests that future demand will stabilise and eventually diminish due to lower population growth rates, HIV/AIDS and migration. Future research should be conducted on wood species that provide a low smoke fuel and that also offer other uses such as food security. On the demand side, the study concludes that improved wood stoves and solar cookers have not made great inroads into rural households. Therefore, application oriented research and pilot projects should be conducted on the most effective introduction of these appliances. It is stressed that particular attention should be paid to maintenance services for the appliances. The study is available on the Probec website, see the @HEDON link below.

www.hedon.info/UXPA * Full GTZ news online * Editor profiles and latest contact details * ProBEC website * GTZ Hera website * Cooking Energy - Why it really matters if we are to halve poverty by 2015. * L’energie de cuisson - Ce qui compte réellement pour réduire la pauvreté de moité d’ici à 2015 * Energía para cocinar - Por qué es importante si se desea reducir la pobreza a la mitad para el 2015 Figure 3. Participants of the regional workshop enjoyed the experience exchange. (Photo: GTZ) 42

Meet us @HEDON


GVEP INTERNATIONAL NEWS

News Editor Georgia Berry

What’s been going on at GVEP International? The cold has really set in for the GVEP International London office, ice is on the ground! Working with our Partners and the team in the regions is keeping us busy though, and we have recruited a new Chief Operating Officer, Simon Collings. The launch of our new collaborative website is really taking off, with over 600 partners having now registered. The feedback is very positive, with one partner telling us he thinks it will become a ‘hotspot’ for the energy world. The site allows partners to profile their organisations, hold conversations, discover funding opportunities, learn about projects, and access information on energy access products and services. There are also resources available for download, job vacancies and lots more. To register, please go to www.gvepinternational.org GVEP International has opened its East Africa office in Nairobi, which is being run by Mr. Mahesh Gohil with the help of our new East Africa Finance Manager, Mr. Mugo Wakaranja. The Developing Energy Enterprise Project (DEEP) East Africa co-ordinated by GVEP International is currently in its first year of implementation, and newly on board in Nairobi is Mr. Daniel Macharia, Regional Project Manager. With six active partner organisations in the consortium, the team is creating linkages with other institutions including communities and entrepreneurs. Business mentor trainings have been going well in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania and a baseline data collection of small and micro enterprises is almost complete. It is expected that there will be further trainings, both on technology ranges and products available as well as business skills in the next few years. It is expected that the trained entrepreneurs will each be able to develop a Business Plan with assistance from the DEEP EA team to enable access to financing opportunities. To read more please see the @HEDON link below, where you can also find extra information on the other GVEP International news items. In Latin America, GVEP International coordination platforms are well underway in Peru and Honduras, bringing together energy access stakeholders from across the sectors. Sarah Adams, our CEO, attended the initial workshops for the platforms, assisting the governments of these countries to establish a national energy strategy. Pedro Gamio Aita, Former Vice Minister for Energy in Peru, has joined the team as our Regional Manager for Latin America, and Fernando Cerna is our Regional Coordinator, based in Hondruas and working hard on platforms. The benefits of partner linking were experienced by 2008 Ashden Award winner, Joao Alderi do Prado from the Cooperativa Regional de Eletrificação Rural do Alto Uruguai Ltda (CRERAL) Brazil, who, as part of our agreement with the Ashden Awards to provide technical support to their winners, was sent by GVEP International to visit biodigester companies in Germany. Boiling Point. issue 56 — 2009

GVEP International, 150 Minories, London, EC3N 1LS Email: georgia.berry@gvep.org

Update on GVEP International M&E feasibility study in Southern Africa Author Wendy Annecke At the beginning of the year GVEP International commissioned a feasibility study and business plan to identify and report on the demand for energy M&E in Southern Africa, and the possibility of establishing an M&E facility in the region which would build M&E capacity. Almost fifty stakeholders from governments, donor organizations, the private sector and NGOs were interviewed, and two draft reports were produced. In September 2008 GVEP International hosted two workshops in Johannesburg, South Africa. The purpose of the first was to review the findings of the feasibility study and chart a way forward for M&E. The workshop was attended by 15 participants from 8 of the 10 countries that were visited for the study, and represented government energy departments, donor organizations, NGOs and the private sector.

EDF Energy supports five different energy access projects in India Author Aradhana Janga EDF Energy provided co-financing to the Small Scale Sustainable Infrastructure Development Fund Inc. (S3IDF) under the project “EDF Energy Pro-Poor Investments Portfolio” for an 18-month time-slice starting December 2006 until May 2008. This grant was part of EDF Energy’s overall programme to support economic growth in India in ways that are financially sustainable and which create wealth, employment and social development. Besides providing financing for S3IDF’s regular activities of developing new partnerships with banks; NGOs; technology suppliers; monitoring and evaluation experts, this grant helped co-finance several additional energy-linked investments as part of S3IDF’s portfolio. The five investments that were co-financed with the EDF grant were: Reliable and cost-effective lighting for Street Vendors; Appropriate productive end-use infrastructure provides livelihood; Reliable lighting for cottage industries; ‘Last Mile’ Electricity Franchisee; Computerized machines increase productivity.

www.hedon.info/VXPA * Full GVEP International news online * Editor profile and latest contact details * Register on the new GVEP website * Article weblinks Meet us @HEDON 43


PRACTICAL ACTION NEWS

News

Editor Lucy Stevens Practical Action, Schumacher Centre for Technology and Development, Bourton on Dunsmore, Rugby, CV23 9QZ, UK lucy.stevens@practicalaction.org.uk

News from the PISCES Bioenergy Research Programme Author Steven Hunt Practical Action Consulting

Policy Innovation Systems for Clean Energy Security (PISCES) is a five-year research initiative funded by the UKâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Department for International Development (DFID). PISCES is working in partnership in India, Kenya, Tanzania and Sri Lanka to develop new knowledge for the sustainable use of Bioenergy to improve energy access and livelihoods in poor communities. Some notable recent achievements include:

Bioenergy Market Mapping workshop for policy stakeholders in Kandy, Sri Lanka 28-30th July 2008 This event drew together Practical Action experience in Participatory Market Systems Development (PMSD) and rural energy access to attract a range of high-level policy stakeholders to learn more about Bioenergy market systems. The three day workshop included both background on the tools for Participatory Market Mapping as well as direct exposure to Bioenergy market actors in production, processing, application and use of Bioenergy. In addition to just learning, the participants took the opportunity to share experiences and debate the gaps and challenges in these emerging market systems. The potential of an indigenous, sustainable and low-carbon energy source for development on the island is clear, and this workshop was aimed at helping build the market understanding and linkages that could help make this happen.

PISCES is led by the African Centre for Technology Studies, Kenya (ACTS) with lead partners Practical Action, M.S.Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF), the University of Dar es Salaam and the University of Edinburgh together with a network of national and international partners and collaborators. For more information please read the interview with the PISCES project manager Benard Muok on p39, visit the PISCES website (via the @HEDON link over the page) or contact info@pisces.or.ke To find out about Practical Actionâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s work on the project please contact steven.hunt@practicalaction.org.uk

44

Figure 1. A firewood vendor in Mandera (Photo: Practical Action)

Joint PISCES-FAO Case Studies on Bioenergy linkages with livelihoods in 12 countries A collaboration between the FAO and PISCES has completed a series of international case studies exploring the impact of local-level Bioenergy Initiatives on rural livelihoods. The studies were led by Practical Action Consulting and cover Latin America, West and East Africa, South and South-East Asia. They develop understanding of the full extent of the livelihoods benefits of a range of small-scale Bioenergy initiatives using natural Bioresources, Bioresidues from agriculture, forestry and industry, and purpose grown Biofuels. The studies analyse relationships, rights, responsibilities and revenues across the whole market chains including by-products and supporting services. The report will soon be available on PISCES and FAO websites and via relevant networks including HEDON.

Bioenergy Policy Working Groups established in Kenya and Sri Lanka As part of its remit to facilitate Bioenergy policy development for energy access and livelihoods in the four programme countries, PISCES has supported the establishment of Bioenergy Policy Working Groups (PWGs) in Colombo and Nairobi. In Sri Lanka the group is meeting quarterly and has focussed in on biomass as the key work area, conducting a biomass policy review and advising PISCES on policy gaps on which to focus research efforts in the coming years. In Kenya the market mapping method was adapted to better capture the full range of policy stakeholders and a first meeting has been held with two policy briefs produced on the Bioenergy policy scenario in Kenya, and the use of Market Mapping in policy stakeholder identification. Both are available now from the PISCES website.


PRACTICAL ACTION NEWS

Solar and Wind Energy Resource Assessment in Kenya (SWERA) Author Daniel Theuri Senior Energy Programme Manager, Practical Action in Eastern Africa

Solar and Wind energy are emerging as the fastest developing renewable energies in the world today. Many developing countries hold tremendous potential in their resource base; and with the demand for energy services rising fast, solar and wind energy become serious options. In developing countries like Kenya, investments in solar and wind are hampered by the lack of hard data and information to support policy, planning and investment decision making. Without reliable resource information, potential investors tend to avoid the risk of project development activities. Mainstream investors, venture capital firms and independent power producers are not aware of the viable renewable energy options, or the investment opportunities waiting to be exploited. A Solar and Wind Energy mapping exercise was carried out in Kenya with the primary objective of promoting and supporting renewable energy by overcoming informational barriers to wind energy financing. It is hoped that information on the potential for solar and wind energy will influence policy and national planning by providing institutions with readily available options and alternatives to delivering energy services using multiple sources, critical in securing energy supplies in the country. The international SWERA project was lead by UNEP and funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) with local in-kind contributions by Practical Action and the Kenyan Ministry of Energy. It was a collaboration between several leading European and American agencies under the leadership of UNEP/DTIE supported by a local implementation team to map both solar and wind energy resources. The European and US teams comprised of the Institute of Thermodynamics of the German Aerospace Centre (DLR), RISOE, the European Wind Research Centre, NASA, State University of New York (USA), NREL the National Renewable Energy Laboratory of USA, Tata Energy Research Institute (TERI) of India and a host of other partners specific to the countries and regions. The local partners comprised of Practical Action in Eastern Africa, the Department of Meteorology in the University of Nairobi and the Regional Centre for Mapping of Resources for Development. Practical Action was the local project lead implementer and co-ordinated data and information collection and validation while the University of Nairobi Meteorology department provided local knowledge on the two resources. The Regional Centre for Mapping for Development provided mapping experience and GIS mapping services. The result of four years of work in three African countries (Kenya, Ghana and Ethiopia) was the production of very high resolution maps for solar Direct beam irradiance and Global horizontal irradiance; and average wind speeds and power Boiling Point. issue 56 â&#x20AC;&#x201D; 2009

density at 50 metres above the ground level for the whole country. A geospatial mapping identifies locations for further measurements and validation for investment purposes. The production of these maps is a great achievement for these countries. Now, potential inventors do not have to waste a lot of time identifying potential sites for study but can go straight into firm energy pre-investment studies and propose projects for local communities or connection to the national grid. The SWERA report can be referenced via the @HEDON link over leaf.

Figure 2. Solar direct beam irradiance map of Kenya - Three years annual average daily total sum of DNI kWh/m2/day, SWERA project

Figure 3. Wind map of Kenya - Annual mean wind speed in m/s at 50m height, SWERA project

45


PRACTICAL ACTION NEWS

Energy sector review, Bangladesh Authors Shamim Hasan and Lucy Stevens Practical Action Bangladesh recently commissioned a review of the national energy sector with a particular focus on the scope for renewable energy, and the potential for NGOs to play a role in improving access to modern, clean energy for the poor. The review was written by the consulting firm ‘BizEx’. There are still millions of people in Bangladesh without access to energy, and overall the sector is developing slowly. Nationally only 35% of the population is connected to electricity with a clear urban-rural divide. Only just over a quarter of rural households are connected compared to three quarters in urban areas. Bangladesh has access to some of its own energy resources, mostly in the form of natural gas and a little coal. However, most of this serves the commercial sector or urban areas and these resources are coming under increasing pressure, both from higher demand due to rising imported fuel prices, and few new reserves being discovered. This is adding to national calls for the exploration of alternative fuels. Despite the Government’s stated goal of ‘electricity for all by 2020’, it is likely that commercial demands will have the primary call on the limited expansion of electricity grid capacity in coming years. In the absence of a radical change in energy policy, rural areas are likely to have to continue to rely on off-grid solutions. From a policy perspective, there is need for greater coordination and better financial instruments to support entrepreneurs and users to help expand access to, and reduce the price of renewable energy for isolated, poor communities. This would be in line with national goals outlined in the country’s Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper because of the contribution energy can make to education, health, job creation and so on. The present Renewable Energy Policy includes a target for renewable energy to satisfy 5% of total power demand by 2010 and 10% by 2020. GTZ has been supporting the government to rewrite the National Energy Policy and to prepare a framework for the new Sustainable Energy Development Agency. The review considers the potential for various types of renewable energy. However, one problem is that the size and economic potential of most renewable energy resources (e.g. solar photovoltaic, wind power, biogas) in Bangladesh is not well known. Solar: This is the sector which has progressed the furthest. Solar energy has the potential to be used across the country and, after a decade of efforts, a viable market for solar PV now exists. Nationally it is estimated that 170,000 domestic solar systems had been installed by early 2008. Rahimafrooz (a private company) has been a leader in the market and aims to supply around 500,000 solar systems in the next three years. It has 43% of the market share in systems and 90% of the market share in batteries for solar home systems. 46

Government efforts have been directed through the Bangladesh Infrastructure Development Company Limited (IDCOL) and supported by the World Bank. Its solar programme resulted in the installation of around 141,000 home systems by August 2007. The company provides finance and helps build the capacity of partner organisations. The most successful of these is the large national NGO Grameen Shakti. BRAC also has a programme for small-scale solar home systems. Most of the buyers have been farmers and small businesses who use the electricity for productive as well as domestic uses. There seems to be more scope in this area, and one example is the potential for promoting solar pumps (already under development by Rahimafrooz). If organised on a large enough scale there is scope for claiming CDM credits for switching from diesel to solar pumps. This could prove increasingly important in the context of increasing global prices for imported oil. Various organisations are also developing cheaper, lower-powered systems using LED lights, in order to increase affordability for poorer households. Biogas: This is already a relatively popular technology for producing gas for cooking. There is some potential for converting biogas to electricity as well. It has also been promoted by IDCOL and NGOs such as Grameen Shakti. Wind: Potential is limited mostly to coastal areas. However, in this zone winds are often too strong for most existing systems during monsoon periods (March to October). Wave and tidal power: Potential exists in coastal areas, but the technology is not well developed at a global level. Micro and pico-hydro: potential is limited to Chittagong and the Chittagong hill tracts. Biofuels: There is potential for growing Jatropha and Verenda. Nationally there is scope for blending diesel with biodiesel. In some places, the oil from these plants is already used for lamps. In a densely settled country there are natural concerns about turning land used for food crops over to biofuels, meaning that they would have to be grown on unused or degraded land. There is scope for NGOs like Practical Action to partner with more established partners like Rahimafrooz and Grameen Shakti to help develop these options and support their introduction as part of integrated rural development programmes. Practical Action’s role may be in helping to pilot and demonstrate additional options for renewable energy products which can be taken up by these partners who have a wider reach to millions of potential beneficiaries.

www.hedon.info/WXPA * Full Practical Action news online * Editor profile and latest contact details * PISCES website * SWERA Report, UNEP 2008 * Practical Answers Meet us @HEDON


PRACTICAL ACTION NEWS

Planning for Energy Access – the GVEP International Kenya Project Phase 1 of the GVEP International project: The Development of an Energy-Poverty Reduction Action Plan for Kenya, was a capacity development project of UNDP and the Kenyan Government aimed at understanding energy supply and demand issues at village level. The long term objective was to contribute to increased access to modern energy services in Kenya. As part of this, the project developed an energy poverty reduction roadmap. To realize this final output, the project undertook several activities that led to (1) production of a comprehensive energy baseline data for Kenya, (2) assessing energy considerations and linkages in relation to national priorities for development and poverty eradication, and (3) assessing sectoral energy needs and to develop a cross-sectoral energy roadmap. The project was a highly collaborative process and involved several sectoral stakeholders. In Kenya a lot of capacity building took place with the sectoral planning units of the various collaborating players. These included some eight key ministries, NGOs and Jua Kali (artisan) associations among others. The lead implementer and a host of local consultants also benefited. The Ministries represented at the workshops identified the need for even wider capacity building for the planning methodology in future. The key achievements of this project can be summarized as: 1. Development of an energy baseline and the first energy atlas in the country. This atlas is a compilation of the national energy baseline data and information on supply and demand. This went alongside a national stakeholder matrix for energy.

The project was instrumental in building the capacity of collaborating organizations on designing an energy atlas. 2. Development of an analytical framework for assessing the linkages between energy and poverty eradication through a process of a literature review and a planning methodology (in the context of national planning processes). In applying the framework a total of 8 key sectors in fighting poverty were identified: Energy, Health, Education, Environment, Agriculture, Livestock, Trade and Industry, and Water and Irrigation. The major challenge faced, and the most daunting, was the lack of data and information critical in designing the plan and developing the baseline. In most cases only sketchy information was available, in a very poor form and requiring a lot of cleaning, which took much more time than anticipated. A second challenge was the lack of local capacity to undertake the analysis and sectoral-based planning. Among the lessons learned is the need to fully integrate gap analysis and create enough room for data collection during the project design. Another lesson was the need to structure capacity building as a separate component in order to specially build a critical mass in the new planning methodology. In promoting sustainability, replication and/or up-scaling, the project led a group of regional energy experts in developing a regional energy access strategy. The highlights of the strategy are i) how best do we reach out to the 48 million people underserved and unserved in the region? and (ii) what mix of services and technologies are needed to have a high impact and at the same time be low cost and scalable to create a huge impact and meet the MDG targets in terms of energy services.

Practical Answers

P

ractical Answers was created to provide a means of accessing the wealth of technical information held by Practical Action. As well as Technical Briefs and other technical documents, it also includes: The Technical Enquiry Service supplying, free of charge, technical and developmental information to development workers, community-based organisations, NGOs and other agencies using appropriate technologies to implement sustainable development. Resource Centres based in the Practical Action offices, are open to the public and hold a distinctive collection of appropriate technology and development literature. Practical Action has created a range of materials such as leaflets, CDs, journals and online resources covering many appropriate technology subjects. There are over 250 practical guides and case studies that explain, in a few pages, how to apply these technologies. Manual and engineering drawings can provide more detailed information when required. This material is complemented by the many books and journals available from Intermediate Technology Publications. Through Practical Action’s international network of enquiry services, the Technical

Boiling Point. issue 56 — 2009

Enquiry Service is able to call on the expertise of several hundred professionals in technical, economic, and sociological disciplines to help formulate the answers to enquiries - across our offices we receive and answer approximately 300 enquiries a year. We always try to supply information of direct relevance to the individual enquirer’s circumstances and will take into account the non-technical factors that might have a bearing on the use of the technology. Enquiries can me made online or through any of Practical Action’s international offices, see the website for a full list. Enquiries can me made online or through any of Practical Action’s international offices, see the website for a full list. Email: infoserv@practicalaction.org.uk Website: www.practicalaction.org/practicalanswers Practical Action UK Resource Centre The Schumacher Centre for Technology and Development, Bourton on Dunsmore, Rugby, CV23 9QZ, UK Tel: +44 (0)1926 634400, Fax: +44 (0)1926 634401 47


TOOLKIT

Toolkit

Fact finding for your business

For both commercial and social businesses alike, an effective business plan is what can help turn a clean energy idea into a reality. The goal of a business plan is to convince the reader that your proposed objectives and strategy will succeed. In order to do this you need to know as much as possible about your potential customers and existing competition, by acquiring as much accurate and specific information about them as possible. In this toolkit we introduce the basics of what is needed for you to do this.

Gathering information = Fact-finding

T

he type of customer and market assessment you will do depends on the type of business or project that you’re pursuing. The research for developing a small power station selling to a utility is different from that required to develop a company selling solar dried food to retailers. Collecting information on customers and competition requires physically going into the area in which you wish to operate and collecting the data. Additional information can be found in libraries or by telephone. The list below gives some ideas:

Successfully collecting market data is difficult and time consuming. For instance, research shows that only 5 per cent of people surveyed respond to mail surveys. Travelling through villages asking questions can also take a long time and the validity of the responses is often questionable. However, it is still essential that adequate market research be completed to convince a lender, investor or partner that the business concept has been analysed and that you can demonstrate why this business will work. There are several tactics for collecting information. For example, a great deal of information can be gathered by visiting or telephoning competitors and asking them about the product or services they offer, what they charge, their guarantees, etc.

Customer data collection methods: • • • • •

Phone interviews Face-to-face Mail surveys Large group meetings Desk studies - information gathering sources include existing studies, libraries, trade magazines)

Competition data collection methods: • • • •

Store visits Test goods Competitor reports Desk studies - Information gathering sources include the Internet, trade magazines, libraries, chambers of commerce, boards of trade

Sources of market and political information: • Magazines: The Economist, Foreign Affairs • Library • Internet – USAID and UN websites

48

Author Philip LaRocco (CEO, E+Co) and UNEP Edited by James Robinson For correspondence please contact: Dr Lawrence Agbemabiese, Programme Officer, Energy Branch, UNEP DTIE, 15 rue de Milan, 75441 Paris Cedex 09, France Email: lagbemabiese@unep.fr Tracy Smith, Communications Officer, E+Co, 383 Franklin Street, Bloomfield, NJ, 07003, USA. Email: Tracy.Smith@EandCo.net


TOOLKIT

A successful method for organizing customer information is to develop a questionnaire. A questionnaire allows you to ask a sample of your potential customers the same questions in order to draw reasonable conclusions about their demand for your product or service. It is likely that a lender or investor will ask you how you determined that your customers would be willing and able to purchase your product. Don’t forget to cite resources used in fact-finding. The types of information that must be gathered can be divided into four categories: 1. Market factors and trends: What is currently affecting the proposed area of operations or product? Consider macro-economic trends, energy plans and trends, government policy, and legal and regulatory issues. Summarize the major trends in the marketplace. 2. Customers: Who will you sell your product or service to and why will they purchase it? Compile demographic statistics such as how they will and can pay for your product or service (“ability and willingness to pay”), where they live, source and amount of income, age etc. As always, consider the direct and indirect benefits the customers will get from your product or service. Why will the customer be better off buying your products? 3. Size: Estimate the total size of the target market for your product or service both in terms of numbers of customers and gross sales and units of product or service sold (from competitors if necessary). 4. Competition: Compare their product or service to what you are proposing in terms of quality, price, service, warranties, image, etc. Be sure to describe your direct competition, but don’t forget your indirect competition. Your indirect competitors are the businesses that sell a product that is not the same as yours but could be used as an alternative by your customer. For example, if you want to sell solar lanterns for lighting to households near your village and they are currently using kerosene, an analysis of the Boiling Point. issue 56 — 2009

kerosene market must be completed. Include estimates of their market share (do all customers buy from them, why or why not?) and your sense of their financial health (are they profitable or about to go out of business?). A few of these categories are now discussed in more detail, to assist you in gathering your own data.

Your customers For energy businesses there are basically two types of customers: multiple customers (households and other businesses) and single or a small number of customers (national utility or a large industrial company). There are far more types of energy businesses with multiple customers. The following is a list, by product or service, giving examples of businesses that serve multiple customers: 1. Solar home systems for individual households. 2. Solar hot water systems for individual households. 3. Energy-efficient cook stoves for households or to be sold wholesale. 4. Energy efficiency lighting products for sale to individuals, industries or wholesale. 5. Small wind turbines for a household or community. 6. Community water pumping or minihydro. 7. Alternative cooking briquettes for sale to individuals or wholesale. 8. Food products made from solar drying, cooking or freezer technologies for sale to individuals or wholesale. 9. Products produced from technologies that use alternative energy as the input (such as nuts, oils, etc.) for sale to individuals or wholesale. The rationale for these types of businesses is that the product or service will be sold directly to a household or wholesale to another business such as a supermarket or export market. In all of these cases it is imperative to conduct market research that will prove that a market exists for your product (now as well as in the future) and that you are capable of carving out a niche for your business.

The primary goal of customer research is to collect data to prove to your audience that customers are willing and able to pay for your product or service. One way to do this is to find out what they are doing now to meet their needs and how much they pay for it. Then ask yourself, how will their life change if my business meets this need? Is it more or less expensive than what they previously used? Is it as reliable, available, and accepted? Would my new service or product require a major behaviour change for the customers? If so, what systems do I have in place to make that change easier for them? Will my product or service be technologically complicated for the end-user? Answering the following questions will help you to address these issues:

Customer questions 1. Types of customer targeted (individual, household, local government or community that may sell to households or individuals, industry) 2. Total estimated number of customers to be interviewed (e.g. 100 households, 5 communities, 20 industries) 3. What is the average customer’s source of income? 4. Does income generation fluctuate through the year? 5. What do customers spend most of their income on? 6. How much do they spend on energy needs? 7. How do they meet their energy needs? 8. How do they meet their water needs? 9. How are the customers currently filling the need your business hopes to meet? 10. How much does it cost? 11. Are they satisfied with the other source? 12. How much are they willing to pay for your product or service? 13. What sort of behaviour change, if any, would be required for customers to use your product? 14. How will your business ease the behaviour change for them? 49


TOOLKIT

The competition Whether proposing a rural energy business supplying electricity to a house, business, community or national grid, or starting a business selling fruit dried by the sun, a smart and easy way to conduct research is to find one or two similar businesses that have received financing or are operational and collecting revenues and study them. Investors are not pioneers if they can avoid it. Most choose to avoid it and lenders are almost never pioneers. So a good place to begin in the business development process is to answer the question, “Have others done this before?” This is easiest, of course, if one or two businesses similar to the one you are proposing have been started. You need to do some research and document what happened to your competitor (and when). While everyone likes to think that is to her business is unique, uniqueness is definitely not an asset when trying to convince others to make loans or an investment. If nothing like the proposed business has been built - and all too often this is the case - then the entrepreneur needs to build as many arguments as possible to reduce the perception of ‘pioneering risk’ (when an investor funds a business for the first time). For example, similar businesses may have been constructed and operated, albeit by the government or through an NGO programme using grant funds. This helps to reduce any perception that there are no qualified contractors or workers; that equipment is unknown, and so on. By citing such examples the entrepreneur confines the “newness” of the transaction to the fact that a private company is going to build this business (instead of the government). There are cases, however, where the entrepreneur will be the pioneer (the authors have been involved in a few). In these cases it must be proven that even though no such business presently exists, there is demand for the product or service, and that sales and profits will be realized. Is this easy to argue from this starting point? No. Can it be done? Yes - through thorough documentation, step-by-step 50

market research and cross checking of the validity of your assumptions. The most effective way to define your competition is to think of similar businesses that compete for your customer’s money. When thinking of competitors, it is essential to consider both your direct and indirect competition. Remember, direct competitors are those that sell exactly the same type of product or service as your business, indirect competitors are those that sell a product or service that provides the same benefit for the customer. For this section, information must be gathered regarding the numbers of competitors and details of their operations and financial stability. Completing this task will help you to understand your competitor’s strengths and weaknesses, the potential demand for your product and this information will eventually be used to develop your competitive advantage and build barriers between your business and your competitors. Figuring out who are competitors can be done in several ways. One of the simplest is to consider the situation from the customer’s point of view and to think of all of the possible ways in which customers can solve their purchasing need. A way to learn about competitors while developing your business strategy is to keep records of them. Put together a file on each of your competitors and include copies of their advertising and promotional materials. Continue to add to the file and review it often—it will help you when you are determining your strategy for attracting customers.

Now that you know your competition, complete the following exercise:

Competitor questions 1. Who are your five nearest direct competitors? What do they do? 2. Who are your indirect competitors? What do they do? 3. How are their businesses: steady? growing? declining? 4. What have you learned from their operations? from their advertising? 5. What are their strengths and weaknesses? 6. How does their product or service differ from yours? 7. From where/whom do they source their product? 8. What is the sales price of their product or service? 9. How far is the nearest competitor from where you hope to sell your product or service?


TOOLKIT

Conclusion

Profile of the authors

In any energy project you need to know as much as possible about your potential customers and existing competition, by acquiring as much accurate and specific information about them as possible. However, thorough research is timeconsuming, but it is vital. Research provides clear answers to critical questions like ‘Can my customers afford my product or service?’ and ‘Can I generate revenues?’ This toolkit has outlined the reasons for collecting sufficient amounts of highquality data, which can then be used in a wide range of activities including project reports and even full business plans. So now you’re ready to collect as much data as possible pertaining to your idea. Once you have completed your fact-finding exercise you can move on to analyse and then present your idea in full.

The Rural Energy Enterprise Development (REED) initiative is a flagship UNEP Energy effort focused on enterprise development and seed financing for clean energy entrepreneurs in developing countries. Today REED programmes are operating in five countries of West and Southern Africa, Northeast Brazil and China’s Yunnan Province. This energy through enterprise model has been pioneered by the clean energy investor E+Co and advanced by a partnership between UNEP, E+Co, the UN Foundation, the W. Alton Jones Foundation and a diverse group of country enterprise development partners.

www.hedon.info/XXPA * Full Toolkit online with extra resources * The REED Toolkit ‘A Handbook for Energy Entrepreneurs’ is available online * AREED Website * UNEP Energy Branch website * E+Co website Meet us @HEDON

The REED Toolkit This toolkit is taken from the UNEP REED Toolkit ‘A Handbook for Energy Entrepreneurs’, a step-by-step guide to turning your clean energy business idea into a reality. The topics covered range from defining your personal and business objectives to preparing financial analyses and determining your distribution strategy. In addition to explaining what information is needed in an effective Business Plan, the Toolkit will help you to gather that information, and then to present it in an informative and convincing manner. By the end, you will have a Business Plan you can use to attract financing and to guide the growth of your company. In this edition of Boiling Point we present part of Chapter 2 of the toolkit, focussing on fact-finding. You can access the full toolkit via the @HEDON link on this page.

Boiling Point. issue 56 — 2009

Philip LaRocco is E+Co’s Founder and Chief Executive Officer, with over 25 years of experience in international business and project development. Phil specializes in innovative financing mechanisms and teaches a graduate course on Energy and Development at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. E+Co is a non-profit investment firm that provides business support services and capital to energy enterprises in Africa, Asia and Latin America. With 15 years of experience and offices in 10 locations, E+Co’s innovative business model provides lasting solutions to climate change and poverty.

51


HEDON

HEDON Supplementary papers

The following supplementary papers can be read in full on the HEDON website â&#x20AC;&#x201C; see the @HEDON box below for more details.

Community based biodiesel processing in Sri Lanka Namiz Musafer Practical Action Sri Lanka, 5 Lionel Edirisinghe Mawatha, Kirulapone, Colombo 5, Sri Lanka. Email: Namiz.Musafer@practicalaction.org.lk

T

his article summarizes recent experiences in developing community based biodiesel processing in Sri Lanka. By building on over 20 years of community based energy sector experience in the region, as well as the lessons learned by Practical Action in Peru, a research project was established centred on a biodiesel processing facility in Gurugoda, a remote village situated in the dry zone in North-Western Sri Lanka. The initial work carried out by Practical Action will require further development, and remains the only example of its kind in the country. More time will be needed before clear conclusions can be drawn about the viability and appropriateness of this technology as a solution to the energy needs of poor rural communities.

Improved cook stoves and their impact on firewood consumption and carbon dioxide emissions: A case study from TMJ area, Nepal Ram Chandra Khanal and Leena Bajracharya IUCN Nepal, PO Box 3923, Kathmandu. Email: khanal@iucn.org.np

Improved Cook Stoves (ICS) are becoming one of the most widely adopted technologies in some parts of rural Nepal. However, although ICS can provide social, economic and environmental benefits, their dissemination at the national level has been more limited. This case study attempts to assess the contribution of ICS to the reduction of both firewood consumption and CO2 emissions. 71 households were surveyed, using the before and after method, and focus group discussions were carried out. The study was carried out by IUCN in a rural mountainous part of eastern Nepal.

www.hedon.info/UEQA * Read the supplementary papers in full * Visit the MandESIG webpages Meet us @HEDON 52

Renewable human energy: One renewable energy company invests in the power of women through renewable skills philosophy Angela Blake

Public Relations, SunTank, 207 Arcadia Street, Hatfield, Pretoria, South Africa, PO Box 730, Groenkloof, 0027, South Africa. Email: info@suntank.com

SunTank, a Pretoria based solar heating company, manufactures and markets solar water heating systems for commercial and industrial applications as well as for all residential uses, large-scale and domestic. As a vertically integrated company, SunTankâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s services run from the local manufacturing of their products through to the sales and final installations of the systems, supported further by an after sales team. In this article, the company investigates the challenges faced in striving to maintain its leadership in the South African swh systems industry, despite the negative socio-economic impacts on the workers productivity and quality levels of output in the workplace. The company uses its manufacturing division as a social platform for the sustainable development of women specifically coming from social backgrounds where access to quality vocational training and employment is not granted.

MandESIG - The special interest group on Monitoring and Evaluation Established in September 2008, MandESIG connects all those engaged in the monitoring and evaluation of household energy projects in developing countries. MandESIG will foster coordination and collaboration between and among those working with M&E with a general aim of operationalising M&E in the household energy (HHE) sector. More specifically the aims of the SIG are to: 1. Support information exchange, knowledge creation and help build M&E capacity among all stakeholders 2. Consolidate existing M&E resources (methodologies, techniques, best practice, reports, meetings etc.) 3. Provide a framework to increase the profile and effectiveness of existing and future M&E initiatives of key stakeholders (GVEP International, M&EED, WHO, GTZ etc) 4. Involve and learn from M&E practitioners from outside the HHE sector (health, water etc) 5. Work towards a closer integration of various M&E themes, including social development, user perspectives, technical, financial, health and emissions. To visit the MandESIG pages follow the link in the @HEDON box below.


CALL FOR PAPERS

Call for papers Boiling Point 57: Household Dynamics The next edition of Boiling Point is due for publication in mid 2009 and we are inviting readers to submit articles, papers and news. So if you feel that you have something to contribute to the wider household energy community, then please read the information below and send us your experiences – HEDON would love to hear from you! Boiling Point looks for articles which are written in clear plain English, which have positive information and can be used by other people in their own work. Do not be deterred, however, if English is not your first language or if you are not used to writing - it is the information which is important - we will edit articles and return them for your approval.

Theme articles Each edition of the journal typically contains 4 to 5 full length theme articles which can include research papers, programme reports etc that are relevant to the theme topic. Boiling Point 57 will focus on ‘Household Dynamics’: In designing and implementing household energy projects, it is easy to assume that because an intervention is affordable and has been technically proven to yield benefits, it will be accepted by target beneficiaries. Experience however shows that the success of household interventions is mitigated by an array of complex factors. Issues that affect household energy and the responses of households to interventions include gender, migration (transient and permanent), income and social/livelihood security, cultural perceptions, livelihood strategies etc. Together these can be described as Household Dynamics and in this edition of Boiling Point we will be looking at how some of these factors can shape household energy interventions and responses.

General articles In addition we welcome general/short articles, which can cover any topic and examples include project/programme updates, technical papers, book/report reviews, conference and workshop reports etc. Please note: Technology based articles should be focussed on the real Boiling Point. issue 56 — 2009

life application of proven technologies. Each edition of the journal also contains a Toolkit and regular features such as a Case Study or Viewpoints (Opinion pieces and interviews) and if you are interested in contributing to one of these then please contact us on the address below.

Front cover photo competition HEDON are offering you another fantastic opportunity to get your best image onto the front cover of Boiling Point. We are looking for a full colour photograph for the front cover that illustrates the theme of BP57 - Household Dynamics More specifically the photo must be: of good quality format and suitable for high resolution colour printing (a minimum resolution of 300 dpi and a higher quality file type i.e. not .bmp); sent to us in it’s original format (not pasted into an MS Word file); credited to the correct person, with a caption if appropriate; owned by the person/ organisation entering the competition; and preferably have a central focal point, a bold composition and rich colours. The editor’s decision is final and the selected photo will win absolutely nothing, apart from the admiration of our 2,000+ subscribers and of course our thanks.

Guidelines and submission dates The BP57 deadline for article submission and the front cover photo competition is Friday 15th May 2009. When submitting an article to Boiling Point authors should note the following instructions: Articles can be submitted digitally in a commonly used word processing format or via post on a disc or transcript; Articles should be no more than 1500 words in length; Illustrations, such as drawings, photographs, graphs and bar charts are essential and should

follow the ‘Figure Formatting’ guidelines; All references should be provided in the format given in the ‘References’ guidelines. In addition articles should include a 100200 word summary, a 50 word profile for each author and up to six keywords that you feel best describe your article. Please read the more detailed guidelines, available at www.hedon.info/BoilingPoint or via the @HEDON link below. Files can be emailed to the editor at boilingpoint@hedon.info or posted to the address below. The Boiling Point editorial team will review your submission and final article selection is based on article quality, originality and relevance. Thank you for your cooperation, and please do not hesitate to contact us if you would like to clarify any of these issues. Regards, The Boiling Point Team HEDON Household Energy Network PO Box 900, Bromley BR1 9FF, UK Tel + 44 (0) 20 30 120 130 Fax +44 (0) 870 137 2360 Email: boilingpoint@hedon.info

www.hedon.info/VDQA * View the call online * Read the detailed author guidance notes Meet us @HEDON 53


A practitioner’s journal on household energy, stoves and Poverty reduction

The Hedon Household Energy Network is an international forum dedicated to improving social, economic, and environmental conditions in the South, through promotion of local, national, regional and international initiatives in the household energy sector.

All back issues now online • 56 editions over the past 27 years! • Free access and download www.hedon.info/BoilingPoint

Sponsor HEDON and Boiling Point Does your organisation want to become a sponsor? We offer a variety of website and journal sponsorship levels to suit your needs. For more details see www.hedon.info/Sponsors

Want to write an article? • Share your experience • Publish your results • Write a letter to the editor • Next issue on… Household Dynamics Photo: PREDA S and B SH (rig ht)

If it’s your news, project updates or just a story – we want to hear from you! See page 53



The new look HEDON website! www.hedon.info/JoinTheNetwork • It’s free and easy to use • Create your own webpage • Share your information • Join a Special Interest Group • Become a volunteer • RSS feeds – put the HEDON news on your website Plus news, events and lots more… Sign up for HEDON now!

A publication of the

1

www.hedon.info


Boiling Point 56