[Stoves] Stove types and poverty [Was Rogerio: Pro-publicaarticle out]

Sujatha Srinivasan sujatha at servals.in
Sat Jul 28 00:10:11 MDT 2018


Dear members of the group,



Greetings. I speak here now, because I was “asked” along with Sujay on the
cc by Nikhil.:)) Please know that although silent mostly, my team and I
read most of the messages, and also take the liberty to “pass along” what
we believe is relevant to the people in our cookstove eco-system. So thank
you for your discussions.



I have the following points to ‘contribute’ to the discussion, based on
what I am understanding from the email thread. But before that, a quick
‘setting of expectations’ - I do not have direct access to “primary data”
from the Deganga project. My responses are based on the data submitted to
me in my role as the “attester” for the project.  31,000 TLUDs is what has
been submitted to me as the number of stoves deployed. Not 40,000.



·       I think there are many things that made the TLUD “click” in the
Deganga project – and at this point, in my opinion, none can be singled out
as “key”. Unless someone funds a scientifically designed field research and
does a “regression analysis” on the “satisfaction levels with the stove”.
Until then, it can be a debate of perspectives – with some saying that it
is only because of the stove, with some saying its only because of the
carbon funding, with some saying its only because of the stove-char market
which puts money in the hands of the household.

o   Unless there is a project where users are paying the full price for the
stove, it would be difficult to assess what really drives the “favoring of
the TLUD stove” or any stove for that matter. In any project for that
matter.

o   I also think that the “key drivers of purchase” for any stove – will
change with scale and duration of the project. Since user expectations are
a moving target… so the results of any study that attempts to understand
factors that “favour the stove” from users, in my opinion, may be more
interesting for the “direct project stakeholders” as an input to manage
user expectations or to establish that the “right” stove was chosen. But
such studies could also run the risk of spotlighting one part of the
solution and trying to extrapolate based on that.

·       Testing of stoves, the way it is discussed in the groups, seems
largely focused on “first time testing till a stove model is chosen for a
project”.

o   Once the choice is made, the commercials are locked and in a way
“closes” out adding further improvements to the stove or closes out debates
on how the stove was tested and how good the testing was.

o   It would be equally important to have a set of guidelines to ensure
that the production practices of the vendors support consistency in quality
to the stove submitted for testing. Who does this verification? And how
robust is it? Is it largely left to the governance systems of the funder or
the business ethics of the vendor or the “market’s ability to observe and
escalate?

o   Large projects do not always think like how Dr. Paul Anderson thinks,
when he wrote – “If I were to conduct or have a hand in such testing, the
results could be questioned.”. They should be.

·       To Nikhil’s references on procurement and bureaucracy, particularly
for large projects, it is inherently in the nature of such large projects
to have a stronger business/commercial angle to it, that might have the
fall-out of creating entry barriers and tentative information sharing, for
other potential contributors – whether in terms of technology or financial
solutions. In most cases, most of the “non-product” process are set up
fairly rigidly, at the outset, dictated by project feasibility (not exactly
wrong either). The net effect, in my opinion being, a large project that
has higher potential to benefit the deserving, can get “closed” to positive
contributions from others.

·       Which, as I see it realistically, perhaps opens up opportunities to
attract “specific” funding rather than just scale funding

o   I would think that the best way to attract funding for such large scale
projects – is to bring forward proposals that represent positive
contributions to the project – but are not covered in the original
commercials.  For instance - adding technical improvements to the stove or
improving the stove eco-system based on scale to sustain stove usage.

o   But then a reasonable hypothesis would be that this will again come
back to the inherent nature of large projects to being bureaucratic and
“closed” to such lateral entries.

o   In fact, it might actually require a high level of maturity by the
project stakeholders to open the project up for others to be able to
identify such niches – which means opening up the project to field studies
by others.



Thank you for the “space” to make my comments. I’m sure these are not
entirely new to you.


Kind Regards

Sujatha


On Fri, Jul 27, 2018 at 3:04 AM, Anderson, Paul <psanders at ilstu.edu> wrote:

> Nikhil,
>
>
>
> Directly answering your questions:
>
>
>
> 1.  No.   I do not have funds for stove testing for TLUD stoves.
>
>
>
> 2.  Surprise response:   For MY work, I am not seeking funding for testing
> of TLUD stoves.   Not small grants, not large grants.     That is not
> utilizing my strengths.   And If I were to conduct or have a hand in such
> testing, the results could be questioned.
>
>
>
> So, AN OFFER.    Anyone who has the funds and ability to test the TLUD
> stoves as they are being so successfully in use in West Bengal will have my
> full support and assistance to facilitate the necessary arrangements.   I
> can be an adviser, or left off of the list.
>
>
>
> Yes, such testing needs to be done.   But my work is on expanding what is
> being continually shown to be working well with TLUD stoves in West
> Bengal.   (Funding would greatly help.)
>
>
>
> Paul
>
>
>
> Doc / Dr TLUD / Paul S. Anderson, PhD
>
> Exec. Dir. of Juntos Energy Solutions NFP
>
> Email:  psanders at ilstu.edu       Skype:   paultlud
>
> Phone:  Office: 309-452-7072    Mobile: 309-531-4434
>
>
>
> *From:* Nikhil Desai <pienergy2008 at gmail.com>
> *Sent:* Thursday, July 26, 2018 3:15 PM
> *To:* Anderson, Paul <psanders at ilstu.edu>
> *Cc:* Discussion of biomass cooking stoves <stoves at lists.bioenergylists.
> org>; Crispin Pemberton-Pigott <crispinpigott at outlook.com>; Sujoy
> Chaudhury <sujoy.chaudhury at gmail.com>; Sujatha Srinivasan <
> sujatha at servals.in>
> *Subject:* Re: [Stoves] Stove types and poverty [Was Rogerio:
> Pro-publicaarticle out]
>
>
>
> Paul:
>
> Do you have the money to conduct in-field research on TLUD gasifiers'
> emission rates and the impact on indoor air concentrations as well as
> associated (caused or not) changes in disease incidence by age and sex?
>
> Say, for about three locations varying in biomass fuel types and quality,
> cooking practices, and weather/season conditions, with or without chimneys?
>
> If so, someone can propose to use HAPIT for two weeks at a time, six month
> intervals over three years, and certify aDALYs that you can then market at
> the rate of three times the per capita income.
>
> This would take about two person-years of US/EU-level consulting, and 20
> person-years of India/Mexico-level consulting, plus travel and expenses, at
> about $1.2 million. There has to be at least one "international"
> investigator with enough say-so to publish in Lancet or Science, or some
> Elsevier journal.
>
> If you have $10 m, you will likely get results favorable to you, or at
> least not disfavorable to you.
>
>
> Or you could take Kirk Smith's mania for what it is - nothing.
>
> I just wrote an off-list response where you were cc'd. Kirk Smith's faith
> in "Mind the Gap" is unwarranted, simply because the supposed
> "non-linearity of exposure-response at the lower levels of exposures" is
> not based on any relevant data. It borrows spotty - and disputed -
> literature on active and passive smoking, outdoor air pollution, for
> radically different cohorts over radically different air quality
> situations. It assumes that everybody has the same confounding factors -
> health conditions, genetic stock, access to and availability of health care
> and medicine - everywhere in the world and any time, independent of the
> duration of the exposure.
>
> You can ignore the deceit that is in computations of premature deaths and
> DALYs. What matters for HAPIT is simply the change in PM2.5 concentrations,
> the assumptions behind which are unfounded and ludicrous, to say the least.
>
> I had a short critique of HAPIT last October, and sent it to Gold
> Standard, GACC (Sumi) and Kirk Smith, Ajay Pillarisetti. I posted a summary
> on this list. You may get the full critique from them;
>
> It is not just a critique of HAPIT; implicitly it is an attempt to
> deconstruct the whole ideology of "emission rates are damages".
>
> Now, back to what should be done differently.
>
> 1. Junk the notion of "safe" emission rates. What matters for "health" is
> significant reduction in the dosage of pollutants implicated in disease
> causation chain. Prof. Smith can go on ad absurdum about "associations" of
> this and that with PM2.5 levels, but, apart from blind faith in "the Gap"
> and IER, he has no business making any judgments about relative emission
> rates. (That is, I am willing to accept the absolutes - gas and electricity
> cause lower emissions and that unprocessed solid fuels may cause more. It
> is relative to what and with what impact on dosages, and which pollutants -
> including those from food itself - that matters, and even then only in
> part. There are few mass deaths due to dirty indoor air - 9/11 World Trade
> Towers and Pentagon is one example, Montepeuz prison is another.)
>
> 2. Junk ISO circus, and in particular the PM2.5 emission rate tiers, and
> the WHO "Guidelines for HFC". WHO has no business in energy and
> environmental policy, pretense and over-reach to the contrary, and knows
> little of air quality management, food culture, or economics. On your own,
> investigate a little about chemistry of local fuels and composition of PICs
> in your TLUD stoves other than CO. If high-temperature pyrolysis has
> virtually eliminated NMVOCs, relax. If there are still some that lead to
> indoor concentrations that are uncomfortable to the user, see whether any
> behavioral change is needed. Or use a chimney and check if it makes outdoor
> air quality worse than the national standard for hourly maximum or daily
> average and if so, for how much time.
>
> 3. My three questions were:
>
> i) What does a very poor household want in an improved stove - reliable
> fuel efficiency or low smoke, or, often, nothing, because the head of the
> household wants to fix a window or throw a party?;
>
> ii) What is "good enough" in the sense of "marketable, usable" for
> not-so-poor households and what all determine the overall economy of
> cooking - not just costs of competing stoves and fuels but availability and
> cost of water or food ingredients;
>
> iii) Are there "cooking systems" options that actually help alleviate
> poverty in terms of freeing up cash savings or time?
>
>
> I think - based on what I have read of the West Bengal project - I am
> cc'ing Sujatha and Sujoy, if they wish to add - that these three went in
> the favor of your Champion TLUD stove.
>
> This brings me to your questions:
>
> A. It seems good enough to get some support for some further scale up. No
> doubt. Public procurement rules go against "sole source" contracting, but
> if Shell Foundation or even UN Foundation have a window of "small projects"
> - the way UNDP/GEF had years ago ($200-500k, I think), that would be the
> best bet for you or your project partners. Bankability is the test. I
> suggest putting together a business plan and prospectus for a $2m funding
> for a total project cost of $5-10 m (including the cost of the stoves, paid
> for by the users by and large except for initial discount or credit.)
>
>
>
> C. Bureaucracies run on prods and fads, and have different thresholds of
> commitments for money and time, and different processes of justification.
> DfID dumped some 40 million pounds in India, Kenya, and GACC to get --
> don't know what; the project documents promised the sky, nighttime and
> daytime, because some bureaucrat (could have been a friend of mine; I don't
> know) chose to go ga ga over GACC and its misadventures. US government blew
> $100+ million (I have a table in a draft post) on "clean cookstoves" but
> mostly via USAID, USEPA, USDOE, NIH, and CDC. Its output is peer-reviewed
> papers and ISO song-and-dance.
>
> I cautioned readers of this list two years ago that WHO/ISO meant to drive
> clean solid fuel stoves out of the market by definition and by regulation.
> And that GACC had no legal existence, hence no accountability.
>
> Does anybody still doubt me?
>
>
> Nikhil
>
> On Wed, Jul 25, 2018 at 11:26 PM, Anderson, Paul <psanders at ilstu.edu>
> wrote:
>
> Nikhil,
>
>
>
> You wrote:
>
> >>. I am still looking for a formulation of the problem, definition of a
> market, and the delivery >>chain for usable stoves and fuels, at an
> appreciable scale.
>
>
>
> Are you saying that the West Bengal success story (Deganga report with
> 11,000, and now expanded to about 40,000), plus what I have been
> formulating, defining and with delivery chain is:
>
> A.   Not good enough to get some support for some further scale up?  Or
>
> B.   Is not known by you?   (as if you and others are not even aware of
> the progress and methods that are functional thus far on a break-even and
> even net financial gain  basis.)  Or
>
> C.   Something else????
>
>
>
> What should be done differently?    Or abandon because it is not
> sufficient?
>
>
>
> I cannot get Kirk Smith to publicly comment specifically on the TLUD
> gasifiers.  So you are in good company as those who cannot see any success
> worthy of acknowledging with biomass-fueled stove.
>
>
>
> Paul     (still with multiple avenues for moving forward.)
>
>
>
> Doc / Dr TLUD / Paul S. Anderson, PhD
>
> Exec. Dir. of Juntos Energy Solutions NFP
>
> Email:  psanders at ilstu.edu       Skype:   paultlud
>
> Phone:  Office: 309-452-7072    Mobile: 309-531-4434
>
>
>
>
>
>
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