Alternative Fuels

Solar Stoves. Solar stoves have proven to be very popular in one of the target villages. Solar stoves need no fuel. Because they cook slowly, solar stoves do not need to be attended, freeing village women to do other economic work either in agriculture or local sales. Solar stoves are easily constructed from two cardboard boxes, a piece of plexiglass, and some aluminum foil. Total cost for materials appears to be somewhere in the five dollar range. One advantage of using the Solar Stove is the dramatic decrease in exposure to smoke which at present is a leading cause of respiratory diseases in women and children. Another advantage is that the Solar Stove uses no fuel which frees the women to participate in other activities that create economic advantage. The time savings factor was supremely attractive, in that women not only did not have to gather wood, but they did not have to attend the stove. Because of the distinct economic advantage of the Solar Stove, the entrepreneurs who make and sell these stoves have a huge economic incentive to promote their use. Instead of having Project COPE trainers trying to reach the surrounding villages, entrepreneurs working under economic incentive will spread the use to surrounding villages.

 

Rocket stoves. Rocket stoves are designed to complement the Solar Stove when the weather is cloudy or when food must be cooked over a more intense fire. Even a primitive Rocket stove built from simple bricks dramatically reduces the need for fuel. Instead of large limbs or charcoal, which villagers use at present, Rocket stoves can create intense heat from small twigs and branches or even agricultural waste. Rocket stoves also have low smoke emission which reduces the chances for respiratory diseases among women and children. Entrepreneurs can easily build even more highly efficient rocket stoves. Once villagers learn the advantage of these super-efficient stoves, they will understand the advantage of the improved stove and be willing to pay for it. Therefore, an economic incentive is created for village entrepreneurs to train their neighbors in the advantages of Rocket stoves, again saving training expenses for Project COPE.