A review of the behavioural change challenges facing a proposed solar and battery electric cooking concept
This paper evaluates the behaviour change aspects likely to affect the uptake of a proposed electric cooking concept, which consists of a simple battery and 500W electric hob. The battery storage enables households with unreliable electricity supplies to cook at a time that is convenient to them. The specific focus is on the potential uptake of the eCook concept within the Sub-Saharan African (SSA) context, although where appropriate the paper draws upon relevant examples from other parts of the Global South (and beyond) and also makes some commentary upon the potential prospects for electric cooking within these contexts. The paper is organised into two main sections. The first comprises a literature review focusing on a range of related energy transitions, with the aim of drawing out the key lessons learned and highlighting their relevance to the assumptions underlying the proposed eCook concept. The second section draws on the review of experiences presented in the first section to make recommendations for how the eCook concept might be taken forward in ways that make transition more likely. The main findings of this study indicate that the eCook concept offers significant potential for a transition towards emission free cooking, with time/money saving for adopters and broader environmental benefits from reductions in fuelwood collection/purchase of charcoal/wood. The high upfront cost is predicted to be the most significant barrier that will affect household uptake, however recent developments in micro-loans and fee-for-service business models (particularly when combined with mobile phones) have the potential to overcome this. In contrast to other technologies such as solar cookers, where the adaptation of cooking practices has been a substantial barrier, the behaviour change required to use an electric hob is relatively minimal. The paper considers where this transition is likely to take place first, how it can be supported and what further research needs to be conducted.
UK Department for International Development
- Social Sciences
- Geography and Environment