Solar Bora received a first step of funding from the Swedish innovation agency Vinnova, as a part of the program called Innovative Startups (for more information in Swedish, click here). As part of this funding Solar Bora have now completed the initial prototype development steps and verified these in a field trial in Mali.
Some of the conclusions from this field trial were:
- The Solar Bora concept definitely works!
- You can cook food using solar & battery powered induction stoves.
- Transitioning from traditional cooking using wood or charcoal to induction stoves is easier than predicted.
- Some support and training might facilitate to maximize the efficiency and minimize the efforts for the women cooking, but to get the food just as good as before is easy.
- Industrialization of the prototype will be the next step.
- The market demand for the product seem to be significant, but it of course requires a product that can sustain the conditions where it is supposed to be used.
The traditional way of cooking with charcoal or fire wood either requires many hours per day of active work to collect wood or costs around 40% of the household disposable income. It also generates Household Air Pollution (HAP), which is bad for your health. An example of this traditional way of cooking can be seen below.
With Solar Bora you change the way of cooking to what you can see below. This is saving the women 3 – 4 hours per day since the cooking goes faster and they never need to fetch wood or go to buy charcoal. It is also eliminating HAP and saving on average 7 ton CO2 per year and family.
The Solar Bora value proposition is rather simple
- Empower women by reducing the cooking time with modern induction cooking techniques
- Generate incremental income based on access to grid-quality electricity, for example with
- Shops offering the sale of ice
- Ironing of clothing
- Small scale workshops using battery/grid powered tools (drilling, sewing, cutting etc.)
- Improve health via reduction of Household air Pollution (HAP) moving from wood and charcoal to induction cooking
- Reduce the amount of CO2 generated by cooking by replacing wood and charcoal with solar energy
Solar Bora is grateful for the support from Vinnova and the program for Innovative Startups in Sweden. Without this support it would have been significantly more difficult to perform this field trial and to develop solutions that further the transition to a sustainable development of the Sahel region.