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Assessing Electric Cooking Potential in Micro Hydropower Microgrids in Nepal

Published Date 

6 Mar 2020

References

Pandit, S. et al (2020)

Surendra Pandit; Biraj Gautam; William Clements; Sam Williamson; Kimon Silwal

About the publication

The transition to electric cooking in rural Nepali communities with micro hydropower (MHP) mini-grids was explored through cooking practices and MHP behaviour data collection and analysis, laboratory tests of battery powered cooking and modelling of MHP system power flows with and without storage. A cooking diary study was conducted which collected data from 15 households (HHs) in a rural village in Eastern Nepal called Salyan of Solukhhumbu district on the transition from wood and LPG cooking to electric - induction hobs and rice cookers.

The study led to a refined cooking diary methodology for the Nepali context. Key outcomes included: datasets of Nepali cooking times and energies to dish level resolution for wood and electric cooking; cooking menu and schedule data pre- and post-intervention; data on fuel stacking; exit surveys; and a cost comparison between cooking fuels. Findings included that there was a simplification of cooking (narrower menu and fewer dishes per meal) in the electric cooking phase but that generally HHs accepted and adapted successfully to the new technology. 83% of dishes were cooked on induction hobs and rice cookers, with varying degrees of fuel stacking with firewood and LPG between the HHs. In the eight weeks following the intervention phase, usage of the electric stoves fell for some HHs due to wood stoves providing space heating in the winter months and reduced spare power during dry season.