News and Recent Developments
- November 2012: Regional Solar Food Processing Network to be established in India - Rolf Behringer reports that the German NGO WISIONS has agreed to support the establishment in India of the first regional Solar Food Processing Network. A workshop to inaugurate this effort will take place in early 2013 (date and location to be announced). The aim of the Solar Food Processing Network (SFPN) is to establish a global network of interested parties (NGOs, governments, farmers, and manufacturers) to develop and promote efficient methods of solar food processing and conservation. These are intended to help reduce poverty, improve local economic opportunities and health, and decrease environmental damage. In countries with high solar insolation, effective solar thermal production technologies will contribute to the sustainable development of small rural communities. SFPN is managed by the German NGO Solare Zukunft (Solar Future in English) (http://www.solarezukunft.org). It is financially supported by WISIONS, an initiative of the Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy to foster practical sustainable energy projects.
- September 2012: Seit sieben Jahren unterstützen die Schülerinnen des Jülicher Mädchengymnasiums afrikanische Frauen in Nairobi. Diesmal reisten 15 Oberstufenschülerinnen nach Afrika, um sechs Solarkocher zu übergeben und beim Aufbau zu helfen. Trotz einiger Anfangsschwierigkeiten war das Projekt ein großer Erfolg - und zwar für alle Seiten. Mehr Angaben...
- April 2007: The Mueller Solartechnik company will soon release its latest solar box cooker, Pil Kaar 2. It has two opposing reflectors that automatically adjust throughout the day to track the movement of the sun, using a microcomputer powered by photovoltaic cells. This allows for constant temperatures to be maintained over extended periods of time without manual adjustment. Due to the design of the cooker and placement of the reflectors, it is recommended primarily for those in equatorial regions. Contact: Mueller Solartechnik
- November 2006: Ulrich Zimmermann wrote to describe his experiences with solar cooking during vacations in the Alps mountains. He takes two cookers on his trips. He uses a small solar box cooker, designed by Group ULOG of Switzerland, for cooking meals at the Alpine cottage where he stays. The cooker is placed so that the broad eaves of the cottage protect it from rain, but allow the sunshine to reach the cooker’s window. Zimmermann also uses a solar CooKit, which he carries on hikes. Partway to his destination he sets up the CooKit and starts the meal cooking. He then continues hiking, and on the return trip he arrives back at the CooKit to find a tasty, hot lunch waiting for him. Zimmermann cooks his food in glass jars that are wrapped in aluminum foil. The outside surface of the foil is painted black to absorb the sunlight and heat the jars. Canning jars and lids are recommended because they release excessive steam pressure if needed. Alternatively, poke a small hole in the lid or leave it slightly loose. Zimmermann says that his trips to the Alps also testify to the importance of solar and other alternative energy sources to reduce greenhouse gasses and climate change. "In the Alps," he says, "you can’t avoid looking at the damage. … All the glaciers around have lost much of their length in the last decades by man-made climate change."
The History of Solar Cooking in Germany
This nation has been an outstanding exporter of solar cooking equipment, knowledge, and promotion over many years, as seen in the country reports which provide information about the many places they have been active. EG-Solar, active in many international sites, attempts to provide education and equipment for people in Germany, as well.
Information that would provide the full picture of use in these major European countries is not available, though most would estimate it to be limited. Though the price of much of the equipment produced in Europe and shipped elsewhere is sufficiently high that it must be subsidized abroad, it could however be sold for backyard or patio use in Europe, and some attempts in that direction are underway. No overall information on the success of that is available.
In Germany, one small experiment in using carbon trading is in place, mentioned in the section on EG Solar. Dr. Dieter Seifert has led the solar cooking community through his thorough investigation of the potential of the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM).
The only example known to this writer (Dr. Barbara Knudson) of the mechanism being used by solar cooking promoters is one in which a small program in Nepal has been financed with funds from the German government on the basis of carbon exchange credits. Dr. Seifert has taken the lead on this matter, and the solar cooking community would do well to learn more about the potential offered by the international framework of the Kyoto agreement.
Climate, Culture, and Special Considerations
- Solar cooker dissemination and cultural variables
- July 2006: Solar Cooking in Europe - Why and How? - Michael Götz
Articles in the media
- July 2009: FEDEX Delivers Solar Cookers to Myanmar Civil War Refugees in northern Thailand - Freight-Net
Manufacturers and vendors