Friday, May 17, 2013

Mobile app for monitoring and incentivizing use of clean cookstoves in India

INDIA: Qualcomm Inc., through Qualcomm Wireless Reach, Nexleaf Analytics, in collaboration with the Energy and Resources Institute New Delhi (TERI), Project Surya and the UK Department for International Development (DFID), have worked together on the development of SootSwap, a mobile application for monitoring the use and incentivizing the adoption of clean cooking technologies.

Approximately 3 billion people depend on traditional cookstoves for their cooking needs. The Global Burden of Disease Study 2010 estimates that four million people die each year as a result of inhaling the smoke produced by cooking over these open fires.

Switching to clean-burning cookstoves can reduce the amount of firewood used in open fires, as well as the amount of smoke indoors and outdoors. This could lead to improved health for the women and children who have shown to be the most exposed to the smoke.

At a cost of approximately $50-$100 (Rs. 2700 – Rs. 5500) each, clean cookstoves are currently unaffordable for the estimated three billion people worldwide living on less than $2 a day. Registered carbon credit programs are beginning to provide financial incentives for reducing carbon emissions through the use of clean cookstoves.

Estimates suggest that a family could earn enough money selling carbon credits on the carbon market to directly finance the purchase price of a clean cookstove within two to five years through a loan. However, it is difficult and expensive to verify the reduction in carbon emissions produced by clean cookstoves, making it a challenge to apply carbon credits to the use of improved cooking technologies.

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