Date of Meeting: 16 March 2017

Meeting Organizer: Solar Cookers International, Arc Finance

CSW Delegates Present: Ben Gilbert

Reporter: Ben Gilbert

Which SDG does this topic cover? 2, 5, 17

Type of meeting: CSW Parallel Event

Brief summary of presentation of information made

This is the reality of cooking food with the sun. Solar Cooking International (SCI) works strongly with partnerships. Partnerships are essential so that expertise can come together so things can be implemented.

Arc Finance specializes in micro financing especially in renewable energy technologies.

7 women a day are raped per day during collecting firewood (a vulnerable task) in UNHCR camps in Uganda and Chad. Goal is to have everyone able to access to clean technologies for cooking

Climate change is a reality and impacting farmers and communities worldwide. This effects health. Climate is also changing air quality due to urbanization and part of this is down to burning wood for cooking

4 approaches – all have a way of collecting solar energy and absorbs this energy into black pots and this heat is retained.

  • Panel cooker (can be made from waste products) very light and very low cost
  • Box cooker (it has a wider aperture)
  • Parabolic (circular). Focuses air in one particular stop
  • Institution scale cooker (can be installed at the top of buildings – for solar steam cooking system) 

Main benefits

  • Zero cost
  • Zero time from collecting firewood
  • Zero air pollution
  • Zero greenhouse gas
  • Zero smoke
  • Reduces deforestation
  • Can pasteurize water – killing microbes at a lower temp (65 degrees celius)
  • Can be used to dry fruit
  • Some models boil water

SCI promotes all types of solar cookers

How does this empower women?

  • Women are used to train others, they are used to manufacture cookers
  • Solar cooking save times because it reduces the amount of time that is needed to collect fuel. This frees up time for women
  • Solar cooking saves significant money

It can’t happen all the time so families need to resort back to gas/wood for fuel when the solar power runs out.

Some evaluations are being done – this is through a testing station which monitors all the elements (solar strength, wind speed, temperature increase etc) with information sent back to the manufacturers

Any danger – left unattended with children?

Requires Training to the family

What is the cost of the different models? USD10-200

What are the obstacles that families give for NOT taking it up?

  • Cultural resistance – I want to cook the way I always have cooked
  • I don’t have time,
  • I don’t have space

Sustainable Yogic Agriculture

(yogic farming)

  • Integrates yoga practices with sustainable farming
  • Impacts suicide and raises self esteem

India One Solar Power Plant

  • Generates enough power for 3 meals a day to 20,000 people
  • The components are locally sourced and local people were involved in building and maintainance.

Arc Finance

  • An organization that is enabling women to take out safe loans in order to purchase clean energy devices
  • One of the biggest obstacles to the uptake of any technology is finance
  • Looking for businesses that work in developing country context
  • Women usually buy smaller devices and are the most vulnerable
  • 100% loans are given to women

Energy diaries; collect data on a weekly basis from families on every transaction (turning a light on etc) and every financial transaction etc over a period of time (6 months/12 month). Data is collated and it starts to tell a story used to find interesting new insights. 

What was of particular significance to share with The Salvation Army globally?

  • There are opportunities for the Salvation Army to promote sustainable ways to meet the needs of families. For example, it may be possible to distribute solar cookers to families after a natural disaster 

Web links for more information

Tags: United Nations, SDG5: Gender Equality, SDG7: Affordable and Clean Energy, SDG12: Responsible Consumption and Production, SDG13: Climate Action