Cook stoves reduce emissions in Indian households
This project involves the distribution of approximately 2,300 domestic fuel-efficient cook stoves to households throughout India. These cooking stoves, which are developed by BioLite and are distributed and installed in collaboration with CO2Balance, are ultra-clean, fan-assisted wood stoves that cut toxic pollutant emissions by 90 percent, and reduce fuel use by 50 percent. In addition to utilizing BioLite’s patented technology (Direct Conduction Thermoelectric System), the HomeStove also generates its own electricity, providing users with enough reliable, on-demand electricity in a day’s cooking to charge a mobile phone and provide an evening’s worth of LED light.
The HomeStove is sold to individual households in exchange for the rights to the Voluntary Emission Reductions (VERs). Most local families would not otherwise have access to these fuel-efficient cook stoves because of its prohibitive expense.
170 million Indian households cook their meals on smoky, open wood fires. These fires contribute to the growing levels of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere. In addition, recent studies have determined that open fire cooking creates more black carbon – the second biggest contributor to global warming – than all the world’s cars and trucks combined. Traditional cook stoves also contribute to significant health and economic costs for users in India. The World Health Organization estimates that over four million people die annually from diseases related to indoor air pollution – more than AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria combined. In India alone, roughly 875,000 die as a result of indoor air pollution each year. The introduction and widespread adoption of these clean burning stoves will help prevent unnecessary illness and loss of life to this impoverished area of the country.
Economic & Environmental Benefits
Most biomass-burning households in India lack reliable access to electricity; 90 million of them have no electricity at all. This forces these families to use dirty, expensive kerosene lamps for lighting. Purchasing fuel for these lamps can account for between 5 and 30 percent of a family’s income, which costs India’s lower class an estimated $2.2 billion every year. Additionally, wood and solid biomass fuels also impose considerable economic cost to families, either in productive hours lost collecting or in the money required for purchasing the fuel.
BioLite hires local residents to manage on-the-ground operations, including importing the stoves and managing distribution relationships creating new employment opportunities in the region. Wood and solid biomass fuels also impose considerable economic cost to families, either in productive hours lost collecting or in the money required for purchasing the fuel.
Furthermore, preventing local deforestation for fuel usage will ensure the maintenance of regional watersheds that regulate water table levels and prevent flash flooding. Decreasing firewood consumption protects local ecosystems and wildlife habitats and prevents deforestation, which can reduce erosion and nutrient loss. The updated cookware ensures a healthier household and much cleaner planet.