Solar Cookers International
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Organization Details


Countries currently involved: Tanzania, Kenya, and Nepal

SCI directly supports projects and partners who exemplify best practices in areas of greatest need particularly in Nepal, Kenya, and Tanzania. Research shows that people derive greater benefit from new technology when there is onsite support and buy-in. SCI's community partners, who understand local social, cultural and economic issues, establish project parameters that are feasible for impoverished people.

Solar Cookers International strategically guides its humanitarian project partners to develop self-sustaining models over time. This delivers better services to more people who benefit from this technology, and improves overall successful adoption of solar cooking.

Solar Cookers International facilitates development and implementation of best practices and monitoring and evaluation.
Program Successes
Nepal solar cooking projects specifically target under served groups including burn victims, those with leprosy, people who are blind and have other disabilities, women headed households, and more.

The first 30 women who started solar cooking recently in Tanzania thanks to SCI, in their first 10 months, collectively saved for their fuel an estimated:
- 694 bags crop waste (19% savings)
- 566 kg charcoal (28% savings)
- 1,955 bundles of wood (24% savings)
- 486 liters kerosene (25% savings)
- 60 liters LPG (29% savings)
- 5,449,852 TZS fuel expense savings (equivalent to $2,438 USD) (25% savings)

The incidence of smoke related health problems dropped from 77% to 33% for women and their families with just 10 months of solar cooking.

Just in the last few years, in Lower Nyakach Kenya, 2,406 solar cookers have saved an estimated 2,348 tonnes of fire wood, and reduced carbon dioxide emissions by 4,228 tonnes.
SCI holds special consultative status at the United Nations, where a SCI has worked since the early 1990's to engage more non-governmental agencies and government leaders in solar cooking. SCI demonstrates how solar cooking addresses all 17 of the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals. SCI advocates for the adoption of solar cooking because it is proven to address international problems including energy inequity. Solar Cookers International advocates for solar cooking at United Nations events including Commission on the Status of Women, the High Level Political Forum, the Climate Change Conference, and UN TV.
Program Successes
SCI presented on UN TV, broadcast to an estimated 20 million people.

At the United Nations Climate Change Conferences (the most recent being in Madrid, Spain in December 2019 - COP 25), SCI:
- Exposes tens of thousands of people to solar cooking
- Deeply educates dozens of government ministerial representatives about solar cooking
- Demonstrates PEP solar cookers at an exhibit booth
- Highlights the environmental and economic savings for close to 200 countries by switching from cooking with solid fuels to cooking with solar cookers
- Holds a multitude of press conferences
- Gives numerous presentations/side events
- Welcomes new SCI Associates
It's impossible to build a global movement without connecting people with knowledge and power, stakeholders, and people on the ground in collaborations. SCI is the hub-the connector for more than 500 partners in 133 countries to address energy poverty.

Many of SCI's partners work in regions where per capita income is less than $1.50 per day. SCI brings together a geographically, economically, and professionally diverse group of experts to advance solar thermal cooking science, and for global solar cooking networking and knowledge sharing. Diversity is invaluable to establishing new relationships and sharing best practices to help promote solar cooking globally, particularly in the global south. In January 2017, SCI held the 6th World Conference on solar cooking.
Program Successes
SCI has supported its solar cooking partners' voices to be heard at important events such as the High Level Political Forum, and the International Organization for Standardization. SCI also facilitates collaboration and networking through events such as webinars, including "Successful Solar Cooking Businesses" to help our partners and the sector build capacity and financial self sustainability.
SCI has developed and launched the Performance Evaluation Process (PEP) for solar cookers. Customers may notice many types and sizes of solar cookers, each with various cooking claims, construction and price, when searching to purchase one online. This can lead to confusion and uncertainty about the thermal performance of specific solar cookers. The solar cooking sector expressed the need for a single standard for testing solar cookers. As a neutral and brand-agnostic international organization, SCI responded to this need and developed its performance evaluation process (PEP) for solar cookers. SCI's PEP uses the ASAE S580.1 protocol for Testing and Reporting Solar Cooker Performance, which results in a single standard cooking power rating (in Watts) for each solar cooker tested.

SCI intends for its PEP for solar cookers to compel manufacturers to design high-quality products and empower decision makers at all levels. Standardized testing of solar cookers provides public accountability for manufacturers and provides users (individuals, government agencies, etc.) with information they need to select appropriate solar cooking devices. SCI will publish solar cooker power ratings, which will suggest device quality and boost consumer confidence.
Program Successes
- SCI has established four testing centers thus far, with at least a total of five planned globally.
- SCI has released open-source design plans for its testing station for added transparency.
- SCI created the PEP control software in-house and has conducted extensive testing of the software. Features were added during development phases, such as incorporating a global positioning system (GPS) for recording geographic coordinates and altitude for the testing location.
- SCI presented this information during a webinar with the International Solar Energy Society.
SCI runs and manages the world's largest database of solar cooking knowledge with over 1,800 pages - the Solar Cooking Wiki - at, publishes the SCI Digest, and offers webinars on solar cooking topics. SCI conducts research, gathers and analyzes sector data, and estimates that the currently identified 3.7 million solar cookers worldwide have impacted 13.4 million people.

Solar is the cleanest of all "clean energies." SCI uses its vast network and online presence to promote the elegant and brilliant solution of solar cooking which:
- Empowers women
- Preserves the environment (impacts climate change and animal habitats)
- Alleviates poverty
- Improves human health (cleaner air for all)
- Enhances quality of life (time & money to pursue small businesses and even leisure)
- Educates people on many levels, and frees resources so children can go to school
- Reduces violence against women and children who no longer glean wood

SCI educates people on statistics such as these:
- Each year, up to seven million people die prematurely due to air pollution from sources like cooking fires.
- Women and children have exposure levels 2-4 times higher than men, and a higher risk of fatality.
- Every day, 1,250 children under five die from pneumonia caused by inhaling soot.
- An open kitchen fire is like burning 400 cigarettes an hour.
- Families frequently must choose either fuel or food due to limited economic means; they risk personal safety to gather wood, and can spend 20 hours weekly to do so.
- The planet suffers, and climate change worsens. All the while, solar cookstoves offer a zero emission alternative.
Program Successes
- Solar cooking has been included in the California Science Framework, educating 6.3 million students in 10,000 schools.
- Solar Cookers International presented a webinar providing instruction on how to include solar cooking in schools' curriculum to meet standards.
- The world's largest online database of solar cooking information,, has over 1800 pages of information.
The Solar Cookers International (SCI) Association is a group of academics, decision makers, designers, manufacturers, entrepreneurs, innovators, advocates, humanitarians, environmentalists, and NGOs working to promote and improve solar thermal cooking worldwide. SCI Associates have a high impact on solar cooking worldwide. SCI provides the extensive resources that SCI Associates need for innovation and networking opportunities.
Program Successes
- SCI Associates, thanks to SCI supporters, were able to participate in the 6th SCI World Conference. There they met, exchanged ideas, and formed partnerships.
- These collaborations then created a solar cooking festival in Kakuma Refugee Camp, involving 1,000 people, and a multi-part webinar series in Spanish on solar cooking.
- Over 150 people have joined the SCI Association since its inception.