2016 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 , Chandar, Mamta , Dwivedi, Puneet , Grieshop, Andrew P , Marshall, Julian D. , Talashery, Pradeep , Unger, Nadine , Zerriffi, Hisham
Institution: Stockholm Environment Institute , North Carolina State University , University of British Columbia , 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, 2016 through August 31,2017
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 third year of activities, we nearly completed fieldwork and data collection. In this phase of research the main accomplishments include implementing two cycles of stove change-outs, conducting interim and close-out surveys, as well as air quality and stove emission measurements, continuous stove-use monitoring. At the time of writing, we have completed fieldwork in one set of communities and provided stoves to control households as agreed in their terms of participation. In addition, we have completed roughly 75% of fieldwork in our second set of communities and expect to finish there by early October.

Here we report results from baseline surveys, air quality and stove emission measurements, as well as the results of the stove switch-outs in both locations. During recruitment, it became apparent that there was already significant penetration of LPG and electric stoves in HP communities but very limited penetration in KA communities. Despite the presence of aspirational stoves, 96% of HHs enrolled in the study reported that wood was their primary cooking fuel prior to our intervention. When offered a range of stoves, we found the majority of participants at all sites choose either LPG or electric stoves. We used logistic analysis to understand the socio-demographic factors associated with baseline stove and fuel use.
Wealth was a common factor associated with the presence of non-solid fuels in both locations  (p < 0.01). In HP, caste was an equally strong predictor of non-solid fuel use: people belonging to upper castes were more likely to own an aspirational stove (p < 0.01). In KA, the sample only consists of SC and “Other Backward Castes” (OBC), who are also historically marginalized and caste was not a significant factor in pre-intervention stove ownership. Education of the main cook, household head, and educational attainment were 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, marginalized HHs are more constrained.
However, we also found several potentially conflicting 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 HHs in which HH heads are primary cooks were significantly more likely to own non-solid stoves and fuels \(p < 0.05 or 0.10 depending on the model), but in HP, the relationship we found the opposite: HHs in which the HH head is the primary cook were significantly less likely to own non-solid stoves/fuels (p < 0.01 or 0.05 depending on the model). These opposing results have potential implications on the results of our intervention and will be explored further as our study proceeds.
By the close of this reporting period, we completed all stove exchanges and data collection in HP communities and most activity in KA. 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-trial ownership of aspirational stoves differed by caste (85% of general caste and 36% of scheduled castes), 70% of all HHs opted for either LPG or induction stoves and 22% chose an improved heating stove and 8% chose other types of woodstoves.
In March 2016, the team returned to HP to repeat surveys, pollution measurements and implement the first stove switchouts. 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 interest in improved woodstoves. At the end of the discussion, all participants had the opportunity to change their stove; eight out of nine household that originally chose improved woodstoves opted to change to an LPG or an induction stove. The one household that decided to keep their improved woodstove already had LPG and a traditional heating stove prior to the intervention.
Interim results indicate a strong preference for aspirational stoves. However, there were HHs that chose other options. We used multinomial regressions to analyze participants’ stove choices in Round-1. Here we provide a few noteworthy results. In HP, caste is an important predictor of stove choice: upper-caste HHs were more likely to select LPG over both induction and biomass stoves. In KA, where caste didn’t vary across the sample and HHs are generally less well-off than in HP, wealth was strongly associated with a preference for cleaner stoves (p < 0.05). Community discussions also indicate that people are using these stoves regularly. We are currently designing code to analyze stove use data so that we can quantify usage relative to traditional models. More detailed results are forthcoming.
In addition to these analyses, team members conducted research on ways in which social networks influence beliefs about household energy options. The team found some consensus among study participants for using fuelwood from forests and preferences for various cookstoves. Generally, fuelwood use is driven by availability, lack of alternatives, and lack of infrastructure. Factors like seasonality, cleanliness, smoke, costs, and taste influence the household’s stove choice.
Lastly, the atmospheric modeling component of the project has made significant progress in the past year. Using the NCAR CAM5-Chem within the Community Earth System Model (V1.2.2), team members performed 3 sets of model simulations using the configurations with and without solid fuel emissions globally and from India. BC’s role as a site of ice nucleation (IN) was varied. When BC is not a site for IN, global/regional solid fuel aerosol emissions have a net cooling impact. However, when BC behaves as a source of IN, the overall sign and magnitude of radiative forcing caused by solid fuel emissions may be positive or negative demonstrating that improved understanding of the role BC plays in ice nucleation is required.

Future Activities:

Major objectives include:

  • Final data collection in Karnataka

  • Analysis, write up, and publication of results

Journal Articles on this Report : 2 Displayed | Download in RIS Format

Other project views: All 20 publications 3 publications in selected types All 3 journal articles
Type Citation Project Document Sources
Journal Article Jagadish A, Dwivedi P. In the hearth, on the mind: cultural consensus on fuelwood and cookstoves in the middle Himalayas of India. Energy Research & Social Science 2018;37:44-51. R835421 (2016)
R835421 (2018)
  • Abstract: ScienceDirect-Abstract
  • Other: ResearchGate-Abstract
  • Journal Article Singh D, Pachauri S, Zerriffi H. Environmental payoffs of LPG cooking in India. Environmental Research Letters 2017;12(11):115003 (8 pp.). R835421 (2016)
    R835421 (2018)
  • Full-text: IOP-Full Text-HTML
  • Abstract: IOP-Abstract
  • Other: IOP-Full Text-PDF
  • Supplemental Keywords:


    Progress and Final Reports:

    Original Abstract
  • 2014 Progress Report
  • 2015 Progress Report
  • 2017
  • 2018 Progress Report