More than 2.7 billion people in the world depend on charcoal, dung, and wood as major cooking fuels. These types of cooking fuels are associated with emission of pollutants and low fuel efficiency. However, there has been a paradigm shift from traditional cookstove to a non-traditional cookstove in rural areas. Based on a survey conducted in Bangladesh, the findings indicate that there is a low demand in the adoption of non-traditional cookstoves (Mobarak, Dwivedi, Bailis, Hildemann & Miller, 2012).
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The assessment paper which is based on a survey of women in rural Bangladesh explores the most valued attribute of a non-traditional stove, the significance of downward sloping curve, factors that influence household decisions to acquire an improved cookstove, and ways that can be adopted to improve improved cookstove programs.
The ability to reduce fuel costs based on the survey is the most valued attribute of a non-traditional stove. For instance, 47% of the participants used in the survey acknowledged that “ability of nontraditional cookstoves to reduce fuel costs as their most valuable characteristic” (Mobarak et al., 2012, p. 7). The least valued attribute is elimination of household smoke by non-traditional stove.
For example, only 9% of the participants acknowledged that reducing household smoke as their attribute. Downward sloping curve is an indication that as the amount offered increased, the preferences goods and services declined. It also implies that as the willingness to pay for non-traditional cookstoves increased as the amount offered increased.
A steeper slope for improved cookstoves is an indication that the aggregate demand for improved stoves increases as the prices offered is reduced. One of the major factors that influence household’s decisions to purchase an improved cookstove is placing an order. Based on the case study, placing an order was an indication that the person was willing to pay for the stove.
Price as a factor of demand influence household’s demand in the sense that when the price for efficiency stove compared to that chimney cookstove orders was reduced by 50%, the demand increased by 25% (Mobarak et al., 2012). Efficiency is another factor since based on the case study; households purchased improved stoves because of their efficiency in terms of reducing indoor smoke exposure and energy efficiency.
Awareness on the harm associated with frequent use of traditional cookstoves coupled by benefits of adopting cookstove technologies influenced the decisions for acquiring improved stoves. For instance, based on the case study, the demand for improved stoves increased after awareness was created.
According to the survey, most of the non-traditional cookstoves technologies available are not improved. Therefore, improved cookstove programs could be improved through the adoption of non-traditional cookstoves technologies which reduce emissions, save fuel, and are price friendly (Mobarak et al., 2012).
In addition, improved cookstove programs could be improved through development of policies that support the adoption of non0traditional cookstoves. According to Ruiz-Mercado, Masera, Zamora and Smith (2011), diffusion of innovations can be used to develop sustainable and improved improve cookstove programs. In conclusion, the most valued attribute of a non-traditional stove is the ability to reduce fuel costs while the least valued attribute is elimination of household smoke.
Based on the assessment, factors such as price of improved stoves, efficiency, placing order, and creation of awareness on the benefits of adopting improved cook stoves and harm of traditional cookstoves are the major factors that influence household’s decisions to purchase an improved cookstove. Adoption of polices, diffusion of technologies, and improved technologies which reduce emissions, save fuel and are price friendly can improve cookstove programs.
Mobarak, A. M., Dwivedi, P., Bailis, R., Hildemann, L., & Miller, G. (2012). Low demand for nontraditional cookstove technologies, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 109(27), 1-6.
Ruiz-Mercado, I., Masera, O., Zamora, H., & Smith, K. R. (2011). Adoption and sustained use of improved cookstoves. Energy Policy, 39, 7557–7566.