The Danjiang River Solar Cookers are designed to improve the indoor air quality and living conditions of 100,000 rural households in the Southwest of Henan Province, one of the poorer regions in China.
The cookers consist of a 1.7m2 parabolic dish, which concentrates solar energy onto a central cooking pot and provides sufficient heat for cooking the local staple food of rice.
Its design is ideal for the local diet and climatic conditions, with ample sunshine throughout the year. The cooker displaces traditional inefficient coal-fired cooking stoves, significantly reducing fuel consumption and indoor air pollution.
Distributing free solar cookers to low income households, bringing health and financial benefits.
In addition to delivering emissions reductions to help take urgent action to combat climate change (SDG 13), the project delivers a number of other sustainable development benefits. These include:
- Affordable and Clean Energy: There are 50,000 solar cookers in operation throughout eight townships in the project area helping more than 300,000 people. The solar cookers completely displace older, inefficient fossil fuel-fired stoves through the use of renewable energy. The solar cookers eliminate the need for fuel during much of the year, reducing household expenditure for heating and cooking. Estimated annual savings are RMB 300 (US $50), which is more than 10% of the annual income of the poorest households. The thermal efficiency for a traditional coal furnace is 15%, in comparison to the solar cookers thermal efficiency of 65%.
- Good Health and Wellbeing for People: Displacement of fossil fuel-based stoves with solar cookers bring the additional benefit of reducing indoor air pollution. As up to 58% of black carbon (or soot) emissions come from burning solid fuels for cooking and heating homes. Exposure to this indoor air pollution is a significant risk factor in respiratory-related diseases, particularly for women and children who are most frequently exposed. Exposure to smoke from open fire or inefficient fuels causes 605,000 deaths in China every year.
- No Poverty: Within the project area, the local agricultural bureau invites households to take part in the project via local TV and posters. The bureau typically selects households which use coal as their fuel, have more than two people in the home and have a low or below (local) average income, allowing them to save a significant portion of their annual expenditure.
- Responsible Consumption and Production: This project enables the rural households to efficiently substitute solar energy for the fossil fuel used in daily cooking, water boiling, thus avoiding CO2 emissions that would be generated by fossil fuel consumption.
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