Cookstove Research on the Rise
Over the past few months, there has been a lot of new research coming out on the impact of improved cookstoves in different parts of the world and on the need to focus more on consumer behavior as well as market-based approaches to meet local needs.
Rigorous research is not only critical to the advancement of a thriving market for clean cookstoves and fuels but it contributes to the growing body of research confirming the complexity of the cookstoves challenge and the importance of the global community working together to address it.
One of the most recently published studies is entitled, Low Demand for non-Traditional Cookstove Technology. This study highlights that neither availability nor distribution of more efficient or cleaner burning cookstoves and fuels are enough to spur widespread adoption of new technologies.
This type of knowledge has shaped the strategy of the Global Alliance of Clean Cookstoves and its partners around the world.
Another interesting study entitled Improved Cookstoves in India: A Study of Sustainable Business Models is based on interviews with 12 organizations selling improved biomass stoves.
Gireesh Shrimali, Xander Slaski, Mark C. Thurber and Hisham Zerriffi assess the results to date and future prospects of commercial cookstove operations in India. Specifically, they consider how the ability of these businesses to achieve scale and become self-sustaining has been influenced by six elements of their respective business models: design, customers targeted, financing, marketing, channel strategy, and organizational characteristics.
The researchers note that many previous efforts to disseminate improved cookstoves, primarily by governments and NGOs, have not been successful.
In their research, they noticed that the two companies with the most cookstoves in the field had in common enterprise financing, a sophisticated approach to developing sales channels, and management experience in marketing and operations.
The study, which originally appeared in Energy Policy 2011, is currently featured in the June 2012 newsletter of the Stanford Institute for Innovation in Developing Economies. Be sure to read the full reserach study.