[Stoves] Inclusion of Scale-up studies --- was RE: An analysis of efforts to scale up clean household energy for cooking around the world

Anderson, Paul psanders at ilstu.edu
Sun Jul 29 07:48:40 MDT 2018

Nikhil and all Stovers,

I set aside the issues of whether improvement of health is or is not happening (or even being measured).  I am sticking on the topic of THIS cited publication about the scale-up efforts coverage:

This paper describes the clean cooking case studies project, introduces the individual studies contained herein, and proposes a general conceptual model to support future planning and evaluation of household energy programs.


1.  Good to have this summary;  bad if it leads readers to ignore OTHER efforts at scale up.  The big LPG project in India and smaller projects should be observed.   Granted that the study is specific to the ISN-financed / blessed efforts.   Can WE please make a longer list.  At least add on:

A.  the work in Mongolia

B.  the TLUD project in West Bengal (with at least 31,000 stoves, which already exceeds the TARGET of 20,000 TLUD stoves in Rwanda (at 1800 in late 2017).

C.  The Kenya work of Burn Construction with a CHARCOAL stove (No charcoal stoves in the studied projects).

D. Is there any Rocket-style stove project that should be included?

2.  No need to have a big budget to increase the data in Figure 1 (map) and Table 1 (list of projects being considered).   Maybe a small spreadsheet??   The we could sort by size of project and Growth rate and fuel type as well as country.   As Nikhil pointed out, LPG in Ghana is failing if only 8% of installed users continue to use the LPG stove!!!.

3.  We could also include some indicators of the amounts of money (and time expenditures) to accomplish each of the reported efforts.

We need a VOLUNTEER who can set up a spreadsheet and maintain it and make it available to all.   Sorry that my resources (me and people who I pay) are fully committed for the next 6 months.  I do NOT ask Crispin or Ron or Nikhil or Tom or Andrew to do the spreadsheet.

Is there anyone on this Stoves Listserv who personally or through someone that they pay/reward to do this?   ---------    Is there anyone who was involved with the cited document who would help with this?

If we do not do something like this, we are avoiding to look at the FULL bigger picture.

Note:   This is a proposal for scale-up of the study of scale-up to see if scale-up is actually occurring.

Sounds funny.   But this is serious business if the issue of “stoves” is to regain or retain its momentum, including possible surrender by biomass fuels to the likes of LPG and electricity.    Note:   Certainly LPG and electricity have a major role in solving the need for better cookstoves for impoverished people, but with at least 500 million households needing improves stoves, LPG and electricity are still far short of reaching half, and zero prospects of reaching the bottom 20% (100 million HH) where biomass fuels are already present and in use.


Doc / Dr TLUD / Paul S. Anderson, PhD
Exec. Dir. of Juntos Energy Solutions NFP
Email:  psanders at ilstu.edu<mailto:psanders at ilstu.edu>       Skype:   paultlud
Phone:  Office: 309-452-7072    Mobile: 309-531-4434

From: Stoves <stoves-bounces at lists.bioenergylists.org> On Behalf Of Nikhil Desai
Sent: Thursday, July 26, 2018 12:27 PM
To: Crispin Pemberton-Pigott <crispinpigott at outlook.com>
Cc: Discussion of biomass cooking stoves <stoves at lists.bioenergylists.org>
Subject: Re: [Stoves] An analysis of efforts to scale up clean household energy for cooking around the world


Jeez. This is rehashing of secondary and tertiary materials to cook up fancy boxes for rich theories of "change".

I am ready to accept that gas and electricity are "clean fuels" for all practical purposes, including household cooking. (LPG can be dangerous and so can electricity - I have seen pictures of open wires stuck into electric ring hotplate put on top of a mudstove in a Lilongwe neighborhood.)

But, the million dollar question is, what difference did these projects make to the "breathing space" of the users? What is the evidence that "clean fuels" led to significant reductions in the exposures of dangerous pollutants?

The authors accept that "none of these programs was explicitly motivated by, nor financed for, health gains as a primary goal." If their "clean household energy for cooking" is not for health gains from improved air quality (strictly, exposure reduction), what is it for - publishing free papers for perpetuating cite-o-logy? Why even bother with "clean fuels" if you have no evidence of "clean as used"? Why go on berating "polluting" and "more polluting" fuels (unprocessed solid fuels and kerosene) if you don't really know whether or how they are polluting?

Despite the title, this is not "an analysis of efforts to scale-up". I haven't yet read the Supplementary Data, but of the 11 "case studies" in Box 1, I see little "scale-up" to date, which, to me, is a geographically specific expansion over time.

1. Kenya/Tanzania/Uganda biogas, Rwanda pellets and fan, Cambodia biogas, China "compressed biomass", Ethiopia ethanol, Nigeria ethanol are too small, and too young or too slow. These are "photo opportunity" pilots and scale-up expected - such as Nigeria ethanol - remains to be seen.

2. Of the rest five - LPG in Cameroon, Ecuador, Ghana, Indonesia and Peru plus electric induction in Ecuador - three definitely qualify as "scale-up", one (Cameroon) is too young and one (Ghana) is apparently abortive - if the small one-time survey is any guide.

3, This is by no means "Around the World", a simple deceit that any data check would have alerted a high school sophomore. I would include India, China, Brazil, Egypt, Mexico, Philippines (and Japan, Korea, US; why not?). And if "healthy air" was an objective, why not identify the hot spots of "dirty air" over the last 20 years and study the contribution of "clean fuels" across the board (including CNG and LPG for transport in India, and gas/electric cooking outside the households?)

Those of us in gas and electricity business have known for a hundred years that cooking with gas and electricity is popular and contributes to improved air quality (among other things). We just didn't cook up the numbers on avoided DALYs. (There is still no quantification of avoided premature deaths and disability due to "clean fuels", at home or elsewhere. IHME and WHO should run their models retrospectively. They won't have the data on fuel quantities and qualities, emission rates, contribution to concentrations, total concentrations or exposures or disease incidence, but that shouldn't be a deterrent; they don't have such data for the last 28 years and merrily go killing by assumptions.)

We also know people "stack". Stacking is a virtue, Kirk Smith's "Mind the Gap" (with Jennifer Peel), notwithstanding.

In fact, the entire rationale for this and other such papers, including the WHO Guidelines for HFC (based on non-existent regulations for indoor air quality in developing countries), is cited by the authors as follows:
"The evidence underlying these recommendations identified two key issues for policy on cleaner household energy:
• The relationship between exposure to fine particulate matter smaller than 2.5 μm (PM2.5) and health risks for most health outcomes linked to HAP exposure is non-linear, such that exposure levels need to be reduced to values close to the actual guideline (10 μg/m3) to avert the majority of the adverse health impacts.
• While improved solid fuel stoves in everyday use, especially those with flues/chimneys, were found to result in substantial reductions of around 40–50% on average in kitchen PM2.5, the resulting levels were still well above the WHO guideline. This finding implies that substantive health benefits would not be achieved with currently available improved biomass stoves, and that sustained communitywide use of clean fuels such as LPG, biogas, ethanol, and electricity is required."

There is ZERO evidence for these claims. The first relies on extrapolating dosage-disease graph from other sources of pollution and other types of pollution (composition of pollutants) and other cohorts to household cooking with "solid fuels". Not only are the assumptions - of equitoxicity, uniformity of cohorts across lands and over decades - plain baseless, as Kirk Smith acknowldged in 1999 (though not about equitoxicity, which canard was invented by EPA after 2005), there is simply no data on HAP emissions and contribution to exposures.

As for the second, I would like to know how many of some 600 million households using solid fuels have been surveyed for indoor air concentrations, pollutant composition, and disease incidence, for what cohorts, how long, especially for "improved solid fuel stoves".

The claim "substantial reductions of around 40-50% on average in kitchen PM2.5" for these "improved solid fuel stoves" is also likely based on Berkeley-type box modeling based on emission rates, not actual field data before and after, at least not for any meaningful sample size and duration to derive any conclusion about using the IERs proposed in Burnett et al. 2014).

In sum, this is another propaganda for the intellectually invalids by those crippled by ideology. Their listing of "findings" - from "Government is key in setting the enabling environment" to "there is a set of user and community needs and perceptions" is preliminary introduction of textbook variety for the last 40 years. Their "key questions" are similar old hat. Non-practitioners should do better to inform debate than simply parrot. Peers should offer greater promise than beers - ferment and froth.

It is propaganda like this - with a hurriedly assembled WHO document, with the connivance of EPA and DfID (two million pounds directly) - that is a barrier to serious progress in making better use of biomass or other solid fuels locally available at low cost.


Nikhil Desai
(US +1) 202 568 5831
Skype: nikhildesai888

On Thu, Jul 26, 2018 at 11:16 AM, Crispin Pemberton-Pigott <crispinpigott at outlook.com<mailto:crispinpigott at outlook.com>> wrote:
By Ashlinn K. Quinn, Nigel Bruce, Elisa Puzzolo, Katherine Dickinson, Rachel Sturke, Darby W. Jack,
Sumi Mehta, Anita Shankar, Kenneth Sherr, Joshua P. Rosenthal

Approximately 3 billion people, most of whom live in Asia, Africa, and the Americas, rely on solid fuels (i.e. wood, crop wastes, dung, charcoal) and kerosene for their cooking needs. Exposure to household air pollution from burning these fuels is estimated to account for approximately 3 million premature deaths a year. Cleaner fuels - such as liquefied petroleum gas, biogas, electricity, and certain compressed biomass fuels - have the potential to alleviate much of this significant health burden. A wide variety of clean cooking intervention programs are being implemented around the world, but very few of these efforts have been analyzed to enable global learning. The Clean Cooking Implementation Science Network (ISN), supported by the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) and partners, identified the need to augment the publicly available literature concerning what has worked well and in what context. The ISN has supported the development of a systematic set of case studies, contained in this Special Issue, examining clean cooking program rollouts in a variety of low- and middle-income settings around the world. We used the RE-AIM (reach, effectiveness, adaptation, implementation, maintenance) framework to coordinate and evaluate the case studies. This paper describes the clean cooking case studies project, introduces the individual studies contained herein, and proposes a general conceptual model to support future planning and evaluation of household energy programs.


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