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Energy solutions company aims to reduce smoke inhalation-related deaths in developing countries through innovative cookstoves
Submitted by: BioLite
Posted: Dec 03, 2013 – 07:00 AM EST
BROOKLYN, N.Y., Dec. 03 /CSRwire/ - BioLite, an innovator in personal energy solutions, has announced the launch of commercial pilots for its revolutionary HomeStove. The programs, launched this year in India, Ghana and Uganda, will demonstrate the health, climate, and economic benefits of the low-cost biomass cookstove, which reduces smoke emissions by 90 percent while simultaneously generating electricity to charge mobile phones and LED lights.
The HomeStove’s new thermoelectric technology has huge implications for the developing world, where 3 billion people still cook over smoky, indoor fires and 4 million people, primarily women and children, die annually due to respiratory diseases related to these fires. The HomeStove also has considerable implications for the environment: it dramatically reduces the climate-warming emissions from open fire cooking, which creates more black carbon than all the cars and trucks in the world combined.
Starting in the spring of 2013, BioLite has been working with local, rural energy distributors to bring HomeStoves to 10,000 families. Through thoughtfully constructed commercial sales programs and research studies, BioLite plans to refine its scaling plan that will allow it to reach more than 1 million homes within the next five years. BioLite utilizes a market-based approach to its stove distribution, which adds value to the product, creates jobs, and stimulates local economic growth.
"We believe that the combination of consumer desired electricity access with the health benefits of reduced emissions has the potential to revolutionize the purchase and adoption of clean cookstoves. And by building markets instead of using a charity-based model, we can scale and sustain the success of the HomeStove for real long-term impact, ” says BioLite CEO Jonathan Cedar. "While cooking is a necessity, dying from smoke inhalation doesn’t have to be.”
Continued Cedar, “These pilot programs will enable us to further research and optimize three key components of the HomeStove project: product adoption by rural communities, carbon reduction and possible offset credits, and pre-natal and infant respiratory disease prevention.”
HomeStove Pilot Program Overview
In India, BioLite is working with a solar energy distributor to refine its marketing and communication support, hone in on appropriate retail prices, and become an effective wholesale and maintenance partner with its distributor.
Additionally, BioLite is working closely with MIT's Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) on cookstove adoption research, which is generously supported by USAID’s Development Innovation Ventures program.
In Uganda, BioLite is focused on the carbon-reducing performance of the HomeStove and how this may ultimately affect market pricing. If successfully proven, carbon-offsets can be sold into European climate markets or voluntary carbon exchanges to help subsidize the purchase price of cookstoves to the poorest segments of the Ugandan market.
In Ghana, BioLite is working with the Ghanaian government's public pre-natal healthcare system, Columbia University, and the National Institute of Health (NIH), to demonstrate the effects of reduced indoor smoke on pregnant women and newborn babies.
BioLite refined its thermoelectric technology on the CampStove, a compact, portable wood-burning cookstove, which also utilizes biomass to create both a cooking fire while generating electricity. Sales of the CampStove help BioLite fund the initial costs to build and support the HomeStove market abroad.
BioLite develops and manufactures advanced energy products that make cooking with wood as clean, safe, and easy as modern fuels while also generating electricity to charge small devices like cell phones and LED lights off-grid. Headquartered in Brooklyn, NY, the company was founded in 2009 by Jonathan Cedar and Alec Drummond. BioLite is the recipient of numerous awards including the 2012 Popular Science Best of What’s New, 2012 Tech Awards, 2012 Fast Company Innovation by Design Award, 2011 St. Andrews Prize for the Environment, and 2010 Business Week Most Promising Social Enterprise. Discover more about BioLite at biolitestove.com.
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