Solar Cooking
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Last edited: 10 September 2019      

Allart at Everest base camp with the collapsible solar parabolic cooker he has designed. (3 kg, 1 m dia.)

Dawa Steven Sherpa on Everest summit with Allart's Solar Trekkers' Cooker

Allart Ligtenberg's objective in 1992 was to start a sustainable solar cooking and water pasteurization program solving Nepal’s severe health, environmental and energy problems. Solar cooking was not practiced at the time. His successful strategy is: find “champion” organization(s), create Awareness with public/private demonstrations, Build the infrastructure and do Continuous follow-up on programs each year (ABC). He also trains how to use, design and fabricate solar cookers, water pasteurizers, solar food dryers, heat-retaining boxes; advise organizations to become successful in solar energy projects, help start new NGO’s and businesses; identify reliable workshops producing quality solar devices on-time; and teach responsible eco-tourism with trekking organizations and lodgekeepers.

He designed a 400 gram Solar Trekkers Cooker for effective dissemination, and a 3 kg, 1 m diameter collapsible parabolic cooker, for remote and rural households and trekking/expedition groups. New initiatives: - An integrated cooking method adds fuelwood-efficient, smokeless “Rocket stoves” to solar cookers. A further integrated approach offers complete health, energy, environment-friendly solutions with solar space heating, photo-voltaics, efficient LED lighting, composting toilets, and biomass briquettes. - He initiated a School of Renewable Energy teaching all RE technologies, plus carpentry, metalworking and small-business. Skilled workforces of RE entrepreneurs will disseminate RE technologies and create jobs. - He initiated twenty-two Rotary Matching Grant programs in 10 years (18 for Nepal, the others for Indonesia and Afghanistan), resulting in training, distribution of solar/sustainable devices, empowering women, poverty alleviation, improving quality of life for 4050 families (29,000 people).

Allart Ligtenberg Nepal.jpg

Ligtenberg doesn't let any grass grow under his feet. He travels every year to two or three countries to initiate or follow up on numerous solar cooking and other sustainable technology projects, including projects of his Los Altos Rotary Club and partner Rotary clubs in the world.

Recent news and developments[]

Allart Ligtenberg introduced the high-mountain use of parabolic solar cookers in Nepal.

Heat-retention cooking basket introduced by Allart Ligtenberg in Nepal.

  • August 2013: Allart Ligtenberg, featured speaker at Solar Cookers International's Annual "Shine On!" event - Valued SCI supporter and inventor of the Solar Trekkers Cooker used at the summit of Mt. Everest, Allart shared his experiences bringing solar cooking and sustainable energy practices to Nepal and other developing countries since 1992.
  • February 2013: Twenty years of Solar and Green Cooking in Nepal - Allart Ligtenberg, founder of the Friendly Appropriate Solar Technologies (FAST) volunteer network, reflects on the progress made with promoting different aspects of integrated cooking throughout Nepal. A further integrated approach of "Green" solutions offered complete health, energy, environment-friendly solutions by adding solar space heating, photo-voltaics, efficient LED lighting, composting toilets, and biomass briquettes from waste for fuel. After joining the Rotary Club of Los Altos, California in 2002, Allart organized and participated in twenty-two Rotary Matching Grant programs in ten years (eighteen for Nepal, the others for Indonesia and Afghanistan). Read more in this document.
  • July 2012: Allart's solar cooking projects are covered by the Rotarian Magazine: The Sun Also Cooks and Harnessing the sun's power to cook
  • June 2012: Rotary International bestowed its highest honor for an individual on Los Altos resident Allart Ligtenberg this year. Rotary District 5170 Governor Arley Marley III, presented the Service Above Self Award to Ligtenberg at the District meeting June 1-3 at Lake Tahoe. Ligtenberg’s contributions began in 1992 when he designed and built a solar cooking and water pasteurization system that helped in solving Nepal’s severe health and environment problems. He initiated 21 Rotary Matching Grant programs in nine years for similar relief in Nepal, Indonesia and Afghanistan that improved the quality of life for 3,850 families and empowered the women in those areas. Read more...

A butterfly solar cooker preparing tea water in Tibet.

Allart inspects a typical round parabolic cooker in use.

Allart's wife checks the tea water with their own Solar Trekkers Cooker while in Tibet.

  • January 2011: Parabolic solar cookers popular in Tibet. Allart Ligtenberg has been involved for a number of years introducing solar cooking to communities in Nepal, Mexico, Mongolia, Indonesia, and other countries around the world. His work has given him a keen sense for perceiving the level of solar cooking happening in a particular country. He recently traveled through Tibet with his wife, and they were amazed at the number of parabolic solar cookers being used in cities and rural areas as well. Allart estimates that there may be 80,000-100,000 solar cookers in use in Tibet at this time. The cookers they saw used parabolic style reflectors, some round, others with a butterfly design. He ventured that the level of use was almost mainstream, typically for making large quantities of tea. They saw no solar box cookers or solar panel cookers. Usually, acquiring a parabolic style cooker is a more expensive approach than other solar cooking options, but he mentioned one manufacturer in China is able to market a one meter parabolic cooker for US$30-$40 due to large production numbers (100,000 units annually), and low labor costs.

Audio and video[]

  • August 2014:

Humanist Community Forum (2014-08-24) Solar Cooking and Other Green Technology Projects in Nepal (Allart Ligtenberg)

In 1992, Allart Ligtenberg retired early from his Hewlett-Packard engineering manager’s job to follow his dream of disseminating solar cooking/water pasteurization and other renewable energy technologies in developing countries. Allart started long-term solar cooking programs in Nepal, and each year he spends 2-3 months in Nepal to follow up on these programs.

  • July 2014:

Ligtenberg- Nepal Projects Sustainable development One Village at a Time

  • August 2013:

Allart Ligtenberg

Presented at Solar Cookers International's Shine On:2013 event, Allart Ligtenberg explains various solar cooking projects he has been involved with.

  • May 2013:


The Los Altos Rotary 2013 Art & Wine Festival Solar Cooking Demonstration With Allart & Ineke. The message is SOLAR Cooking Saves Lives & Trees Around the World! SOLAR COOKERS heat water to a Sanitary Level, Saves Trees, Saves Lungs. FREE EFFICIENT COOKING. Chocolate Chip COOKIES, POPCORN, BREAD, LASAGNA and WATER all on display cooked from the sun.

Articles in the media[]

See also[]

External links[]


800 Loyola Dr
Los Altos, CA
USA 94024

Tel: 650-948-8294
Fax: 650-948-8294
Skype: allartligtenberg