2015 Progress Report: Experimental Interventions to Facilitate Clean Cookstove Adoption, Promote Clean Indoor Air, and Mitigate Climate Change

EPA Grant Number: R835421
Title: Experimental Interventions to Facilitate Clean Cookstove Adoption, Promote Clean Indoor Air, and Mitigate Climate Change
Investigators: Bailis, Robert , Dwivedi, Puneet , Grieshop, Andrew P , Marshall, Julian D. , Talashery, Pradeep , Unger, Nadine , Zerriffi, Hisham
Current Investigators: Bailis, Robert , Chandar, Mamta , Dwivedi, Puneet , Grieshop, Andrew P , Marshall, Julian D. , Talashery, Pradeep , Unger, Nadine , Zerriffi, Hisham
Institution: Stockholm Environmental Institute , University of British Columbia , University of Minnesota , Yale University
Current Institution: Stockholm Environment Institute , Jagriti , North Carolina State University , SAMUHA , University of British Columbia , University of Exeter , University of Georgia
EPA Project Officer: Keating, Terry
Project Period: September 1, 2015 through August 31, 2018 (Extended to September 30, 2019)
Project Period Covered by this Report: March 1, 2015 through February 29,2016
Project Amount: $1,499,985
RFA: Measurements and Modeling for Quantifying Air Quality and Climatic Impacts of Residential Biomass or Coal Combustion for Cooking, Heating, and Lighting (2012) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Global Climate Change , Air Quality and Air Toxics , Tribal Environmental Health Research , Climate Change , Air


The objectives of the project remain as stated in the original proposal. Specifically, the project has four broad objectives linked to improvements in clean stove design and dissemination and impacts on health and climate: 1) assess the acceptability and availability of stove technologies and fuels, 2) experiment by offering stoves for free or at a subsidy and under varying social interactions to determine the impact of these factors on stove adoption rates and outcomes, 3) measure in situ impacts of stove adoption on air pollution and climate-forcing, and 4) model the impacts of widespread stove adoption on regional and global climate through a range of scenarios directly informed by data from the field. Fieldwork will occur in Himachal Pradesh (HP) and Karnataka (KA).

Progress Summary:

During the second year of activities, we initiated fieldwork and began collecting data. In this phase of research the main accomplishments include recruiting participants as well as carrying out baseline surveys, air quality measurements, stove emission measurements, and installing stove-use monitors (SUMS) in all participating households (HHs). More recently, we returned to the HP communities to carry out a second round of surveys and measurements and to offer participants in two communities the opportunity to switch their stoves for other improved models if they desired.

Here we report results from baseline surveys, air quality and stove emission measurements, as well as the results of the first round of stove switch-outs in HP. During recruitment, it became apparent that there was already a significant penetration of improved stoves, particularly in HP communities. To understand factors underlying baseline stove ownership, we used logistic regression analyses to identify the determinants of pre-intervention non-solid fuel and stove ownership. Wealth was a common factor associated with the presence of non-solid fuels in both study locations (p < 0.01 in all model specifications). Better off HHs were more likely to have LPG and electric stoves in HP and kerosene stoves in KA. In HP, caste was an equally strong predictor of non-solid fuel use: people belonging to scheduled castes (SC), who are historically marginalized throughout India, were less likely to own an aspirational stove  (p < 0.01 in all models). In KA, our sample only consists of SC and “Other Backward Castes” (OBC), who also are historically marginalized. There, caste was not a significant factor in pre-intervention stove ownership. Education of the main cook, household head, and educational attainment was important in HP: more educated HHs were more likely to own non-solid stoves and fuels (p < 0.05 or 0.10 depending on the model). These results align with conventional wisdom. Previous studies have found that wealthier, better educated HHs are more likely to expand their cooking options, while poorer, socially marginalized HHs are more constrained.

However, we also found counterintuitive results. For example, we examined the influence of the HH head serving as the primary cook, which might occur in a female-headed house, or in a male-headed house with less traditional gender roles. In KA, we found that HHs in which the HH head is also the primary cook were significantly more likely to own non-solid stoves and fuels  (p < 0.05 or 0.10 depending on the model). In HP, the relationship was also significant, but in the other direction: HHs in which the HH head is the primary cook were significantly less likely to own non-solid stoves and fuels (p < 0.01 or 0.05 depending on the model). These opposing results have potential implications on the results of our intervention and we will look into this in more detail as our study proceeds.

Since submitting the first annual report we have completed preliminary stove handouts in KA communities and the first round of switch-outs in HP communities. The initial round of stove selections demonstrated the popularity of LPG and electric induction stoves, which we refer to collectively as “aspirational”. In KA, where there was no prior uptake of aspirational stoves, 71% of HHs opted for LPG and 15% for induction stoves with no distinction between castes. In HP, where pre-intervention ownership of aspirational stoves differed dramatically by caste (85% of general caste and 36% of scheduled castes), 70% of all HHs opted for LPG or induction stoves. A further 22% chose an improved heating stove and only 8% chose other types of woodstoves.

In March 2016, the team returned to HP to repeat surveys, pollution measurements and implement the first stove switchout events. We held focus group discussions in two communities in order to collect views on the participants’ experience with various stove models in a group setting. The discussions revealed a strong preference for the aspirational models and minimal appreciation for improved woodstoves. At the end of the discussion, all participants had the opportunity to change their stove and eight out of nine household that originally chose improved woodstoves opted to change to an aspirational model. The one household that decided to keep their improved woodstove owned LPG as well as a traditional tandoor (heating stove) prior to the intervention. Interim results indicate a strong preference for aspirational stove models. Discussions also indicate that people are using these stoves regularly. However, we have yet to analyze survey SUMs data to quantify how much people are using these stoves relative to the traditional models. These analyses are forthcoming.

Future Activities:

Major objectives for the upcoming year include:

  • Stove switchouts and interim data collection in KA (Oct/Nov 2016)
  • Analysis of interim data collected from both HP and KA (Oct-Dec 2016)
  • Build and test climate model (Oct 2016 – Feb 2017)
  • Return to HP for the final round of stove bazaars, conduct surveys and pollution measurements, hold final focus group discussion, and final stove choices (Dec 2016 – Jan 2017).
  • Return to Karnataka for the next round of stove bazaars, conduct interim surveys and pollution measurements to record experiences and impacts of first round of stove adoption, and distribute second round of stoves (Feb – Apr 2017).

Journal Articles:

No journal articles submitted with this report: View all 20 publications for this project

Supplemental Keywords:


Progress and Final Reports:

Original Abstract
  • 2014 Progress Report
  • 2016 Progress Report
  • 2017
  • 2018 Progress Report