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Adkins E.,Columbia University | Chen J.,Columbia University | Winiecki J.,Columbia University | Koinei P.,UNDP Millennium Villages Project | Modi V.,Columbia University
Energy for Sustainable Development | Year: 2010

Cooking tests were conducted in randomly selected school kitchens in the Sauri Millennium Villages Project site, located in Siaya District of Nyanza Province in Western Kenya. The tests compared fuel consumption measurements obtained using a traditional three-stone fire with those from newly introduced institutional stoves based on the "rocket" design. The key metric used was Specific Fuel Consumption (SFC), defined as the weight of firewood consumed in cooking a single batch of food divided by the total weight of food, measured after cooking. Tests followed the normal cooking practices in the school kitchens and included the typical range of foods prepared for midday school meals programs. The study included two types of tests: paired tests, in which most conditions were controlled between one test conducted on a three-stone fire and a matching test conducted on a "rocket" stove; and unpaired tests, in which conditions were similar, but not strictly controlled, among two large sets of relatively independent three-stone fire and rocket stove tests. Results from both paired and unpaired experiments, averaged across all types of food cooked, showed that the use of rocket stoves yielded significantly lower SFC values without prolonging cooking time when compared with three-stone fires. An analysis comparing results from paired and unpaired cooking tests suggests that, due to high variance and sources of bias in unpaired tests, experimental design should favor paired tests. © 2010 Elsevier Inc. Source

Adkins E.,Columbia University | Eapen S.,Columbia University | Kaluwile F.,UNDP Millennium Villages Project | Nair G.,Columbia University | Modi V.,Columbia University
Energy Policy | Year: 2010

Lanterns that use light-emitting diodes (LEDs) powered by batteries, which are in turn charged by grid electricity or small solar panels, have emerged as a cost-competitive alternative to kerosene and other fuel-based lighting technologies, offering brighter light for longer duration at equal or lower cost over time. This paper presents lessons learned from the introduction of solar LED lanterns in rural Malawi. We discuss a market-based program using new and existing local commercial structures such as vendors and cooperatives to sell lanterns to village households without subsidy. The paper addresses issues of enterprise development, community interactions, and survey data on lighting use and expenditure patterns before and after LED lantern introduction. Households that purchased a lantern reported high levels of satisfaction with the LED lanterns as well as savings in annual kerosene expenditure comparable to the price of the lantern. These households also reported monthly incomes comparable to the price of the LED lanterns whereas non-adopters surveyed reported monthly incomes about half this level, suggesting a need for financing options to maximize adoption among poorer populations in rural areas. These results suggest that similar market based models of LED lighting technology dissemination have the potential to be replicated and scaled up in other off-grid regions in developing countries. However, viability of local cooperatives and supply chains for lantern products over the medium-to-long term remain to be assessed. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. Source

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