Digital cookstoves in India

Digital cookstoves in India

News item
15 Mar 2022

Digitization and cookstoves initially seem to have little in common. However, we are happy to explain to you how they can strengthen each other. We use blockchain technology in one of our cookstove projects in India.

The world is digitizing and we must take advantage of that. Digitalization can save a lot of time and money and allows us to get the maximum impact from our projects. In the Cooking as a business project we investigate digital innovation: Blockchain.

Cooking as a business

Cooking as a business is a project where households in India gain access to climate finance by using cleaner cooking appliances. The sale of carbon credits finances this. Women can use this income to pay for their cookstove, become more economically independent and for life improvements such as household needs – food or education for children. In this project we investigate whether blockchain technology can reduce monitoring costs, save time and improve transparency. By reducing monitoring costs, more money becomes available for other activities that improve living conditions.

What is Blockchain?

Blockchain is a secure database; you could compare it to an unbreakable chain. In blockchain databases, the data is distributed across multiple computers. Each computer contains an exact copy of the database. Data can only be saved or edited if all computers agree to the change.

blockchain

How does it work?

Blockchain data is collected by implementing sensors in cookstoves. The sensors measure cooking time and temperature and a certain combination of these variables can be registered as a cooking event. The cooking events are collected in a blockchain database. Based on the cooking events we can measure how much CO₂ is reduced compared to cooking on an open fire. This information is displayed on a so-called Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) platform to present the emission reduction. Money can then be transferred directly to the cookstove user based on the CO₂ credits generated by that specific household.

Future plans

Under the ‘Cooking as a business’ use case, we deployed 110 cleaner cookstoves with sensors in two villages in the Raichur district of Karnataka, India. So far we have completed phase 1. The cleaner cookstoves are monitored and the data collected is linked to the DLT platform to demonstrate the impact of emission reductions to external stakeholders.

Carbon credits generated at household level are displayed in real time. We are now preparing for phase 2, in which the carbon credits are actually sold to interested parties and money is transferred to the users of the cookstove, mostly vulnerable women.

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