Publication - Fuelwood Use and Carbon Emission Reduction of Improved Biomass Cookstoves: Evidence from Kitchen Performance Tests in Tigray, Ethiopia
In Ethiopia, biomass contributes to about 92% of the household fuel consumption. As a result, deforestation rate has alarmingly increased associated with greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and land degradation. The concerned government agencies have been widely making concerted efforts to reverse the situation by of promotion of improved cookstoves (ICS). However, the performance of these technologies in terms of saving fuelwood and their contribution to CO2 emission reduction in a real kitchen was not studied systematically. Thus, this research was initiated to address the knowledge gap.
The study was conducted in Tigray region in northern Ethiopia. The study households were selected following cross-sectional and longitudinal study designs. A kitchen performance test (KPT) was carried out based on 3 days of repeated fuelwood use measurements to compare the wood-saving performance of ICS in comparison with the traditional cookstove (TCS). The emission reduction potential of both ICS and TCS was calculated based on the Clean Development Mechanism and United Nation’s Framework of Convention on Climate Change and presented in CO2 equivalent (CO2e).
The result suggests significant differences in total and per capita wood consumption (p < 0.05) between improved and TCS. The use of Mirt and Tikikil compared to the traditional stove has reduced the household wood consumption by 35% and 18%, respectively. Furthermore, ICS stoves also reduced CO2e emission per stove per year by 0.65 and 0.27 tons, respectively.
ConclusionThe study deals with the significant contribution that the shift from TCS to the ICS brought in terms of reducing the amount of fuelwood used at household level and the carbon emission per capita. It addresses the crucial roles of such technologies in reducing forest degradation and the associated ecosystem loss. Therefore, policy aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions in developing countries at household level should at least start via promotions of ICS.