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close this bookBoiling Point No. 45 - Low-cost Electrification for Household Energy (ITDG - ITDG, 2000, 44 p.)
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View the documentRural electrification in Nepal: Experiences of an integrative social contextual approach
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View the documentWhat’s happening in household energy?
View the documentPublications & Letters
View the documentITDG energy news

GTZ pages

Household Energy Programme (HEP) Postfach 5180, 65726 Eschborn, Germany Tel: +49 6196-79 1618/6354

Editor: Cornelia Sepp and Anette Emrich

News from Headquarters

Figure 1: Working groups on sustainability in household energy-related strategies; venue Addis Ababa


HEP-Meeting 2000

The HEP-meeting 2000 took place at GTZ-HQ in Eschborn, Germany, from September 4-6, 2000. Most of the participants came from all GTZ-supported household energy projects (ProBEC, Southern Africa, Ethiopia, Burkina Faso, Senegal), the rest were supra-regional staff of HEP, and some associated experts.

Workshop objectives were defined as followed:

1. Recent approaches for dissemination of HE-technologies (applied by completed and ongoing projects and programmes) were outlined, and evaluated with regard to criteria for successful and sustainable strategies.

2. The different elements of national HE-measures to establish successful and sustainable structures were outlined and compared to experiences from regional programmes. These comprised:

· advice to and sensitisation of decision-makers,

· capacity building (national, governmental, non-governmental and private partners)

· information exchange and networking among the actors engaged in the HE-sector

Their transferability was assessed, and differing features were identified. Feasible adjustments and modifications, which may contribute to future work and activities, were highlighted.

3. Based on the present role/ functions of supra-regional HEP activities vis-a-vis individual projects and programmes, the future expectations of HEP and HEP-related services on the Planning and Development Department beyond the year 2001 were defined.

The participants presented their experiences regarding the above listed issues, and identified constraints and opportunities in working groups.

The workshop report presently is in preparation, and conclusions and results of the meeting will be published in BP 46.

Extension Course on household energy for decision makers

The extension course - first designed in November, 1999, for the GTZ-supported Household Energy/Protection of Natural Resources (HEPNR) project in Ethiopia - is now available in non-country-specific English and French versions. Prior to conducting the course in certain countries, the material has to be adapted to the specific situation of the country/region. Facts and figures on the countries household energy situation have to be collected, analysed and included into the course structure. The course may also be adapted easily to the participants’ specific background and fields of interest.

Figure 2: Supply enhancement as part of an integrated energy strategy

Supply enhancement as the easiest way out. Plant and forget?


· Supply enhancement requires certain political, legal, and economic remifications, which may take years to achieve,

· supply enhancement is dependant on comprehensive land-use planning initiatives,

· supply enhancement relies on minute control, public awareness, and capacities for forest management,

· supply enhancement takes time...

...and can therefore be no single patent remedy for Ethiopia’s problem, although it has to be part of an integrated strategy! No single, isolated approach will solve the problem.

This course has been developed to raise national experts’ awareness of household energy related problems, and possible solutions. It should contribute to putting household energy issues on the political agenda.

Target groups are decision makers at different levels, who work in different sectors with a wide array of different professional backgrounds related to HE-issues. Potential users are all projects, national institutions/organisations, and NGOs lobbying for improvement of HE-related problems, which are in a position to invite decision makers.

The 3-day-course is structured as follows:

The first day is dedicated to problem analysis, the second to the comparison of different strategies, and the third to discussion of implementation strategies for household energy programmes. The problem analysis starts from a country specific introduction to the household energy situation, followed by a discussion of problems at micro (household) and macro-economic levels. Supply enhancement (Figure 2), inter-fuel substitution and demand management are presented, and addressed as the three major strategies for tackling HE-related problems. A computer-based model simulation, adapted to the specific situation of the country in question, is used to compare the impact of different strategies. The closing part of the course addresses measures needed for successful implementation of household energy projects/programmes.

The methodological approach of this three-day course relies heavily on visualisation (either through PowerPoint slide presentations or transparencies). Equally important, however, are in-depth discussions following each presentation. Group work, especially regarding the case study model simulation, is considered essential to increase ownership of the information gained.

A manual is provided for the organiser of such a course. Examples of talks and all PowerPoint charts are presented with additional comments and hints for the trainer. All parts are specially identified, where adjustment to specific country data is required.

As yet, two courses have been conducted (Ethiopia and Mauritania), the feed-back on which has been exceptionally positive. For more information please contact the HEP at GTZ/Eschborn.

Studies on the communication situation in the household energy sector - HEP Sahel

An analysis workshop for three communication studies on HE-related issues in Senegal, Niger and Mauritania took place in March in Ouagadougou. Meanwhile, three more studies on that subject have been finalised for Burkina Faso, Chad and Mali, and the respective results were analysed in Dakar. Each series of studies was coordinated and backstopped by an additionally contracted expert in order to guarantee both common methodology and approach for these studies. Having sent draft versions to local stakeholders, their feed-back was included in the final version. Based on results of the study, country-specific proposals for the implementation of the recommendations are presently being developed. These proposals should be integrated into strategies and action plans to improve communication in the household energy sector. In Mauritania, an action plan was elaborated for the household energy sector early in 2000, including the improvement of communication.

Dissemination experiences by ProBEC:

Box 1: Need for differing dissemination strategies in different areas

In the Mzuzu area of Malawi, where fuelwood is generally collected and no marketing channels exist, the introduction of biomass energy conservation (BEC) measures has so far followed a self-help approach. On the other hand, stove makers in Mulanje district in the country’s south, where households are increasingly forced to buy fuel wood, have charged their customers a fee right from the outset. In Mozambique, the stove prototypes selected for dissemination are made by artisans who definitely expect a return from their product. The same applies to metal stoves being introduced in Zimbabwe. These few dissemination strategies suggest that varying degrees of commercialisation occur as one moves from mud/clay stoves to portable and metal stoves.

The regional approach of ProBEC (Programme for Biomass Energy Conservation in Southern Africa) has shown clearly the need for adjustment of dissemination strategies to the socio-economic characteristics of the concerned households and communities. The situation may not only vary from country to country, but even from one community to the other as shown in the examples in Box 1.

The above experiences were reflected in a regional workshop on improved stove design and dissemination strategies, which was organised by ProBEC with support from Edwardo Mondlane University in April 2000, in Maputo, Mozambique. The workshop’s purpose was to update the skills of BEC experts in Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe in designing, constructing, and producing efficient stoves for burning biomass.

The workshop’s focus was on introducing fuel-efficient biomass-stoves to a given community, which by nature is a needs-oriented approach. Stove users demand high quality services adapted to fit the socio-economic framework, which varies by region, and affects the choice of stove design and construction pattern. The workshop additionally addressed physical design parameters that are necessary to ensure energy efficiency, and/or smoke removal. Stove design and construction are balanced between socio-economic considerations on one hand and physical principles on the other. Also, aspects of kitchen management techniques and practices that have a bearing on BEC were covered. Dissemination strategies for improved cook stoves, which depend on the types of stoves selected, the economic situation of the users, and socio-cultural traditions, were discussed. Further topics were firewood management and alternative fuels, as well as dissemination strategies. The main emphasis was laid on stoves for household use, but the subject of stoves for large-scale use (institutions, small business) was also covered.

Each workshop participant outlined a strategy for the selection/design and introduction of improved stoves in her/his project, as one of the workshop’s major outcomes. Guidelines for the selection/design and introduction of improved stoves and kitchen management techniques were documented, and a pool of regional experts for the full range of issues outlined above, was established.

HE/PNR Ethiopia:

(Summarised from abstract by Samson Tolessa)

At present the GTZ-supported Household Energy/Protection of Natural Resources (HE/PNR) Project is a major project addressing household energy efficiency in Ethiopia. The project promotes dissemination of the improved biomass ‘injera’ stove in three Regional States with a commercial dissemination approach, involving the private sector. Potential individual stove producers receive training courses for stove production and management, technical support in form of material, assistance and supervision, and are supported by the project with market promotion and advertising activities.

It is estimated that the 30 producers promoted by the project until 2000, annually will sell and install 30 000 stoves. The annual biomass savings would approx. amount to 17 500 tonnes. The annual energy expenditure savings of the households, calculated with the current average fuel wood price of 0.35 ETB/Kg, would be about 6.3 million ETB (1 USS = 8.15 ETB 1 Euro = 7,107 ETB). Related to savings in forest area of the high yielding Eucalyptus, this would be equivalent to 2250 to 3000 hectares per year.

The Women and Energy Project (WEP) in Kenya

(Summarised from abstract by Vivienne Abbott)

A recent post-project study commissioned by GTZ examined the sustainability of, and drew lessons from, the Maendeleo Stove dissemination in Kenya (Figure 3) five years after the end of the Women and Energy Project (WEP). The WEP developed an alternative dissemination approach, known as the ‘semi-commercial’ approach. It involves commercial manufacture and selling of the technically important inner part of the stove, the liner, associated with a significant extension component in order to train the user to build the stove’s body around the liner. The WEP eventually abandoned the approach in favour of a fully commercial dissemination. The transition was not easy, and the problems associated with the transition are outlined in the study. The WEP ended before the transition was considered complete. Activities have continued at a reduced level.

Supporting producers within the framework of the Improved Stoves Project - GTZ, Mali

Since 1984 GTZ has supported activities to introduce and stabilise the production and dissemination of improved cooking-stoves in Mali through the following phases:

1. Technical training of producers (traditional blacksmiths), and creation of demand through PR and project-based marketing,

2. organisation of producer associations or cooperatives, and management training to take over the marketing,

3. consolidation and extension of the network through creation of new associations in all regions and secondary towns.

Sustainable production and dissemination of improved cooking-stoves were the primary, long term objective of GTZ’s support activities, with transformation of traditional craftsmen into modern entrepreneurs or business groups as secondary, supplementary objectives.

Support measures of the project included:

- technical training and refresher courses in stove production

- assisting associations with registration procedures

- management training combined with literacy training

- creation of revolving funds

- supporting the producers in optimising material supply

- supporting the associations in administrative questions (elaboration of annual balance sheets)

- assisting the foundation of a National Union of Blacksmiths, composed of local associations.

Results and lessons learnt from the project:

Regarding the first objective, production and dissemination seem to be well implanted in Mali, and a long-term demand has been created. This could not have been achieved alone by the GTZ-supported project, but only with substantial contributions of other projects. Those new associations which were among the first associations to be set up, and which therefore finished the entire management training cycle, are now well established and have enough orders to last. However, for those which came into contact with the project later, the training and learning phase was too short to allow consolidation. This was partly due to the fact that the follow-up phase of the project (1998-2000) lacked funds, and management training was hampered by poor co-ordination of too many actors.

Lessons learnt

- Strict separation between a project approach (e.g. for research and development), and a commercial approach for already tested equipment.

- Planning should define rigorous quantified objectives. Significance of publicity measures (e.g. radio and TV spots and price changes) should be tested to determine how much consumer demand can be increased.

- Training for producers should be based on social surveys in the region.

- Business plans should be established for each product and producer.

- Integration of small-enterprise promotion and micro-finance programmes should be planned by the project.

- Publicity measures may be subsidised in the beginning, but should be integrated in the cost structure of the producers and retailers, as soon as the market reacts to the promotion.

- Regular meetings between promoters, producers and retailers are useful for evaluation, and should culminate in the creation of associations.