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WHY ARE SOLAR COOKERS STILL UNPOPULAR AMONG DEVELOPMENT EXPERTS?

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Author(s): PAUL KRÄMER

Journal: Journal of Engineering Science and Technology
ISSN 1823-4690

Volume: 5;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 75;
Date: 2010;
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Keywords: Image of solar cooking | Adaptation of cooker power to family size | Modernization of energy supply | Limits to renewability of biomass | Thermal output capacity of solar cookers | Family size cookers

ABSTRACT
The household energy problem in countries of the South remains critical. Solar cookers can contribute to a solution; however, their potential is seldom realized by the academic and political world. By contrast, bio-energy as a replacement for fossil fuels is increasingly popular in Europe. With regard to tropical developing countries, this European enthusiasm implies unrealistic views about the renewability of woody biomass in drylands under conditions of climate change and increasing population pressure. Another reason of error is a too narrow concept of modernization of energy supplies, neglecting affordable cooking energies and focusing nearly exclusively on electricity. Cheap solar cooking appliances with a low thermal output are useful in extreme situations like refugee camps to allow survival of large numbers of individuals or mini-groups. Under normal circumstances, families need appliances which can cope with the volume of staple food needed, which is the number of people times about 1 litre/person/day.

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