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Energy SMEs in Developing Countries
We believe that business-led solutions are essential to meet the energy needs of rural populations living in developing countries. We curate and share links related to: renewable energy, energy efficiency, energy entrepreneurs, microfinance, impact investing, business development, solar, wind, hydropower, biomass, phone-charging, briquette and cookstoves small businesses, with a particular focus on sub-Saharan countries.
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Putting the cook before the stove: A user-centred approach to understanding household energy decision-making

Putting the cook before the stove: A user-centred approach to understanding household energy decision-making | Energy SMEs in Developing Countries | Scoop.it

This study seeks to better understand the most important influences over household energy choices, in order to identify practical ways to support communities shifting to cleaner energy use. The authors use a qualitative “generative” research methodology to investigate energy use and dynamics in four villages in Haryana State. They find a range of social, cultural and financial factors that influence the way people make decisions about energy and cooking, including the availability and flexibility of traditional fuels, the type of dishes prepared, the taste of food, problems with smoke, the aesthetic appeal of stoves, and how users perceive alternatives.

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Microfinance and Energy Poverty: Findings from the Energy Links Project

How can the microfinance sector in Africa increase access to energy? This report summarizes the results of the Energy Links Project, a three year pilot by the Center for Financial Inclusion at ACCION International. Energy Links aimed to determine how the established microfinance sector in African countries can address energy poverty by increasing access to small scale clean energy solutions at the household level.

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[STUDY] Up in Smoke: The Influence of Household Behavior on the Long-Run Impact of Improved Cooking Stoves

Rema Hanna, Esther Duflo and Michael Greenstone are the authors of a study on the long-run impact of improved cookstoves on health. The authors track households for up to 4 years after they received the stove. While they find a meaningful reduction in smoke inhalation in the first year, there is no effect over longer time horizons. They find no evidence of improvements in lung functioning or health and there is no change in fuel consumption (and presumably greenhouse gas emissions). The difference between the laboratory and field findings appears to result from households’ revealed low valuation of the stoves. Households failed to use the stoves regularly or appropriately, did not make the necessary investments to maintain them properly, and usage rates ultimately declined further over time. More broadly, this study underscores the need to test environmental and health technologies in real-world settings where behavior may temper impacts, and to test them over a long enough horizon to understand how this behavioral effect evolves over time.

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