Successful solar cooking is dependent upon access to sunshine and the right climate. Though solar cooking is possible in many — if not most — countries, it is most practical for people living in climates that are generally dry and sunny for at least six months of the year. Latitudes between the equator and 40º are usually best, though solar cooking at high latitudes is possible, even in the winter. Ongoing development of more efficient models continues to push practicality into higher latitudes. Sharon Cousins reports from 47 degrees north, in northern Idaho, USA, that solar cooking is possible much more of the time than not for six months of the year, even under skies that are less than perfect, and some things can be cooked during winter, on rare sunny days. The savings on cooking power and air conditioning are significant.
The darker regions on the following map tend to have longer cooking seasons.
Solar Cookers International has compiled a list of twenty countries with the highest potential for solar cooking. Criteria for this ranking include annual average sunlight, cooking fuel scarcity and population size. Of the estimated 500 million people who have abundant sunshine and suffer from fuel scarcity, 85% of them live in just 10 countries.
Countries with highest potential
- South Africa
- Burkina Faso
- United States of America
- All countries where solar cooking activities are currently underway
- The suitability for solar cooking by region in Africa
This article uses material from Solar Cookers International's webpage http://solarcookers.org/basics/where.html.