InStove In India

India School Feeding

Plans change

In 2015, InStove began negotiations with Winrock International, a large non-governmental organization with diverse programming on a plan to implement “InStoves” in several schools with Nexleaf Analytics sensors to remotely monitor their impact. However, in January, 2016, negotiations hit an impasse when USAID determined that South Sudan had become too dangerous for programming and cancelled funding, forcing Winrock to pull out.

Without a South Sudan project, InStove discussed internally how to proceed with funding designated for the project in South Sudan which had, as its outcomes, generating robust, 3rd-party impact data on our stoves and creating a path to scale. Nick Moses, Director of Technology, proposed working with Nexleaf Analytics : a nonprofit that builds sensors that remotely monitor stove usage and measure impact (and would have been used in the South Sudan project). Nexleaf was at the time developing a project in partnership with the Government of India, and the German aid organization, GIZ, to measure the impact of implementing “improved” institutional cookstoves in schools in India. Nexleaf invited InStove to participate.

InStoves were shipped in the 2nd quarter of 2016, and arrived in India where they were installed in schools and a theater community. In these schools, students/children themselves must gather the wood for the kitchen; however, deforestation makes it very difficult to gather enough wood for the “mud stoves” that are currently used to prepare food.

The outcomes

The project is now underway, with several months of data recorded, and more accruing daily. This is potentially the most significant placement that InStove has ever had, and we will be sharing more information about it, along with our Nexleaf Collaboration, at the ETHOS conference in January. India represents not only the second most populous country in the world, and the second-largest in terms of the climate-changing emissions from biomass consumption, this project itself has the ability and indeed the likelihood, to be recognized and scaled.

This project contributes significantly to global understanding of the impacts of quality implementations of clean, institutional, biomass cookstoves, and helps to make the business case for carbon finance of large-scale, institutional biomass cookstove projects (which in the past have received less funding than household interventions with randomized control trials).

Over the project period, this project will prove that these stoves will achieve impacts of:

  • Reducing CO2 emissions by 3,650-7,300 tons;
  • Reducing firewood consumption by 2,425-4,850 (47-95 acres of clearcut rainforest);
  • Protecting the health of hundreds of women, children, and community members from the dangers of open-fire cooking;
  • Saving at least $16,172 in fuelwood costs for each of these four institutions (potentially more than $64,000 if stoves are used more than the conservative estimate of once per day, or if firewood costs exceed the conservative estimate of $0.05 per student per week).

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