Solar Cookers World Network


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News and Recent Developments

  • April 2008: The Indonesian government will remove subsidies on kerosene on April 1st 2008 as the second step in its kerosene to LPG conversion program. The time may be ripe for promoting solar cooking in Indonesia.
  • November 2007: Jakarta officials plan to reduce kerosene consumption by distributing 30,000 parabolic solar cookers as part of a Clean Development Mechanism project, according to a recent Jakarta Post article by Adianto P. Simamora. The pilot phase of the project will take place in Kepulauan Seribu (Thousand Islands) regency, where sunshine is plentiful. As reported in the article, “Jakarta consumes about 2.7 million liters of kerosene a day. A family using one liter of kerosene per day emits two tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) each year.” Kerosene is available to consumers at a state-subsidized price of Rp. 2,000 per liter (about $0.22). “The solar cookers will be provided for free by German company EnerXi GMbh to support the city’s attempts to take part in the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) project,” writes Simamora. Through CDM projects, developing countries can earn Certified Emission Reductions (CERs) based on the resulting amount of CO2 reduction. (One CER is equivalent to one ton of CO2.) To help meet Kyoto Protocol targets, developed countries can then purchase CERs from developing countries. According to the article, the price of one CER is between $5-10. The article is available on the Jakarta Post Web site at
  • May 2007: Thirty thousand solar cookers to be sent to Indonesia to cut kerosene use in European CDM project - The Jakarta Post
  • December 2006: Alcan is providing innovative solar cookers and pans to 1,000 rural Indonesian families in the country's Banda Aceh region as part of a €450,000 contribution with Klimaschutz e.V. to a "Clean Development Mechanism" (CDM) project aimed at preserving the environment. The parabolic solar cooker harnesses renewable solar energy, to boil water, killing bacteria and cooking food. It is intended to reduce developing regions' dependence on traditional sources of energy, such as firewood and fossil fuels. "As part of Alcan's commitment to sustainability, the Company is proud to participate in a project that will preserve the environment for future generations, through an innovative product like the solar cooker," said Peter Hutsch, Managing Director, Alcan Singen GmbH, location of the rolling mill at which Alcan manufactures the solar cooker's critical reflector component. "By substituting traditional sources of energy like firewood and fossil fuels with the solar cooker, we estimate that this project will annually save 3,500 tonnes of CO2 equivalent emissions. Alcan benefits from the CDM project in the form of CO2 credits, so-called Certified Emission Reductions, within the emission trading system", he added. Klimaschutz e.V. is serving as a partner for the local co-ordination of the so-called "Solar Cooker Project Aceh 1, Indonesia" project, in addition to constructing the solar cookers in Aceh and monitoring their use over the next seven years. The project is the first German CDM-project registered by the United Nations climate office. The CDM project is defined in Article 12 of the Kyoto Protocol, which serves to protect the global climate in a sustainable manner and to promote the transfer of climate-saving techniques from industrial nations to developing countries. "This project once again demonstrates how Alcan's innovative aluminum solutions are well positioned to tackle both environmental and economic challenges," said Christophe Villemin, President, Alcan Specialty Sheet. "The solar cooker's reflector is constructed from Alcan's high-gloss rolled aluminium specialty sheet, Solar SurfaceTM 992, and has a transparent ceramic coating that protects against the weather, corrosion and mechanical damage." Currently, approximately 20,000 cookers are in use around the world and have been used effectively to provide clean water to victims of the 2005 tsunami that devastated Southeast Asia. It is estimated that up to 220 million solar cookers are needed to critically reduce developing regions' dependence on traditional sources of fuel. This number of solar cookers could also save approximately 700 - 800 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions.

The History of Solar Cooking in Indonesia

The principal promoter of solar cooking in Indonesia, a scientist named [[Herliyani Subarta]], is associated with the Technical Implementation Unit Energy Technology Laoratory, BPP Technologi. Good accounts of activities in solar cooking are provided in papers which Suharta has written in collaboration with her colleagues.

The articles describe the Indonesian Sun Cooking Project, sponsored by Earthwatch since 1995, in which almost 1,000 local participants have been trained in a new technology by over a hundred international volunteers from 11 countries. The local participants have in turn become mentors for others in their own communities; an additional 440 cookers were constructed and cooks trained at the time the article was written. A careful analysis of obstacles and constraints was made, as well, and changes in the project made to overcome them. While not entirely clear from the article, it appears that local people were initially taught to make box cookers, which are fairly complex to build. One of the problem factors was therefore the sheer difficulty of construction. The government was not very interested in the project and provided no support. Shortages of wood for cooking were not present, so immediate need was not a large factor.

In response to the analysis, a variety of courses have been followed. A detailed analysis of fuel usage and its cost was done, in order to illustrate the potential savings possible by the use of solar cooking, which turned out to be considerable.

At the policy level, an analysis of carbon emissions that could be curtailed was also made. Some of the attempts made to utilize the information for more effective dissemination strategies included community education programs on the energy saving topic and its application at the household level. Another was the creation of a "home based worker" mode of delivering the product and training; the solar oven would be available through micro businesses in "kit" form, then assembled and sold by the potential saleswoman. Micro financing of solar oven purchasing was also suggested.

The same group has also done technical work in Indonesia, assessing climatic circumstances carefully and exploring design issues towards enhanced efficiency and lower cost. The Indonesian solar cooking promoter group remains active and committed to this effort. There are other groups working in Indonesia, but less information is available.

[Information for this section was taken originally from State of the Art of Solar Cooking by Dr. Barbara Knudson]

Climate, Culture, and Special Considerations

In April 2008 the Indonesian government announced the reduction of fuel subsidies and as a result the cost of cooking fuel has risen to double what it was 2 years ago and seems to be headed higher still. As of June, 2008: Kerosene, used for cooking, is up from 700 rupiah per litre to 2,000 rupiah, an increase of 186 per cent.[1]

See also: Solar cooker dissemination and cultural variables


Possible funders for solar cooking projects in Indonesia


Articles in the media

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Manufacturers and vendors

Government agencies

    Educational institutions


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