To help 2 billion people transition from CO2 emitting cooking technologies based on biomass (excluding gas), 400 million households would need to be reached. Solar electric cooking will not be a 100% replacement due to longer periods of rainy or cloudy periods, but should be a good option (with energy storage) for 70-80% of the year, giving 200-250 good solar cooking days per year. Households consume 2-3 tonnes/year of fuelwood which emits around 5 tonne per year of CO2 emissions. Across 400 million households, this totals 2 Gt of CO2 emissions, about 5% of all global emissions, so a significant contribution. Decreasing these emissions can also be complemented by the fact more trees will remain in the ground, up to 20 million hectares which is the equivalent of 20% of the land area of USA, or the total area of France or Kenya or Thailand. These trees can absorb more CO2 as well as improve biodiversity. Assuming women can save up to 1 hour per day by automating tasks and speeding up food preparation with electric equipment, time savings can also total 100 billion hours per year, equivalent to 50 million new full time jobs, and unlocking $50-100 billion of extra income potential for the poor.
The total market cannot yet be served. Investors are scared of lending to the poor and offgrid villages for more than 1-3 years, compared to happily investing for 10-20 years in on-grid projects in richer countries. Solar and battery prices can also fall in the coming years, and a 50% cost reduction is expected in the next 5 years
increased ordering volumes will also help via mass manufacture. Solar electric cooking can now match up with 5-10% of the total potential market that spend $0.50-1/day on cooking fuel, but within 5-10 years could be applicable to 50-100% of the market, down to $0.10-0.20/day of cooking fuel expenditure. Significant health and fire/burn hazard benefits will also be realized
respiratory disease from indoor smoke kills as many people as other major diseases that attract far more funding than clean cooking does, but ensuring the SDG 7 goal of clean access to energy for all by 2030 can help save millions of lives as well, not just help save the climate.