Qualcomm in collaboration with Nexleaf, TERI, Project Survya and the UK Department for International Development (DFID) has produced a mobile application called SootSwap, to monitor and incentivise the use of clean cooking stoves.
Targeting the estimated three billion people worldwide who still depend on traditional cooking stoves to cook their meals - stoves made of clay and using coal or firewood as fuel - this pilot programme aims to get them to switch to clean-burning stoves.
Clay stoves are mostly used by the poorest sections who live on less than $2 per day. The clean stoves will cost between Rs 2,700 and Rs 5,500. Hence local banks are being brought into the picture to provide loans to those who want to switch.
The clean stoves will use the same fuel - coal or firewood - but the amount of smoke emitted will be drastically reduced. Aimed at reducing carbon emission, this project will enable users to earn carbon credits by connecting a temperature sensor and a mobile phone to the stove. When the stove is turned on, the SootSwap application on the phone will start collecting data and upload it wirelessly to the server. The server will then use an algorithm to calculate the carbon credits earned and also the amount the users can get by selling those credits. This will pay off a part of their EMIs.
SootSwap has been successfully tested for three years through a pilot project involving over 100 rural Indian homes in villages around Jagdishpur, Uttar Pradesh. The makers next intend to demonstrate the benefits of the stove in 2,000 households, which TERI plans to achieve in the next six months.