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Last edited: 15 July 2024      
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Solar Cookers International All About Access

Household air pollution: causes and solutions

SCI annual report 2022 (cover)

Solar Cookers International (SCI) helps lead global efforts to promote solar cooking. Solar cookers have no emissions and use free solar energy accessible worldwide for cooking and water pasteurization. SCI raises solar cooking knowledge and awareness by organizing and attending international conferences. It also hosts the Solar Cookers International Association, the Solar Cooking Wiki, as well as SCI's organizational website. This work assists in the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Tens of thousands of individuals and organizations from around the world have learned about solar cooking through SCI's advocacy, leadership, education resources, and information exchange network. SCI, based in Sacramento, California, USA is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, non-governmental organization supporting and reporting on the work of hundreds of partner organizations and individuals in 146 countries.

  • SCI has consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).
  • SCI sponsors the Solar Cooking Wiki (this site), an internationally recognized resource for solar cooking information.
  • SCI was named as a winner in the Keeling Curve Prize for sustainable planet solutions in August 2021. SCI won for its work “improving human and environmental health by supporting the expansion of effective carbon-free solar cooking in world regions of greatest need” in the Social and Cultural Pathways category.
  • SCI has a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator.
  • SCI's Worldwide Office is located in Sacramento, California, USA (Map).

In addition to its advocacy, leadership, research, and networking activities, SCI provides grant funding to pilot projects that focus on innovative processes that scale up solar cooking technologies in the regions of the world where the human and environmental needs are greatest.

Solar Cookers International is spearheading the solar cooker Performance Evaluation Process (PEP). Evaluation of the performance, user experience, and quality of solar cookers was identified as a high priority by the attendees of the 5th SCI World Conference in Sacramento, California, USA, 2014. The process and instrumentation was presented and demonstrated at the 6th SCI World Conference in Gujarat, India, January 2017.

If you would like to promote SCI's global work to introduce solar cooking technology to families around the world to improve health, quality of life, and the environment, please make a donation online or to the postal address below. The majority of SCI's funding comes from individual donors and foundations supporting social impact and environmental sustainability.

See SCI's website for detailed information.

Events

Most significant solar cooking projects

Kakuma12

Refugees from Sudan are trained by Solar Cookers International in the use of their new CooKit solar cookers.

  • A refugee camp in Kenya was the first to receive a large-scale solar cooking project - The Kakuma Refugee Camp was formed in 1972 when Sudanese refugees first arrived in Kakuma, Kenya. Introducing solar cooking to the camp was Solar Cookers International’s first large-scale refugee project, beginning in January 1995. Kakuma had considerable refugee turnover, but by 2004, when Solar Cookers International (SCI) concluded the project, the camp had tripled in size to nearly 90,000 refugees. Though rapid growth posed problems for assisting all those who wanted to solar cook, SCI ultimately served over 15,000 families. This project was one of the earliest to use the CooKit solar panel cooker to introduce solar cooking. The program also extended solar cooker technology to schools, especially primary school, through demonstrations, poems, songs and drama.

News

  • NEW: July 2024: Advocacy: Webinar at the United Nations High-level Political Forum 2024 Side Event Solar Cookers International (SCI) and featured guest panelists highlighted how initiatives at all levels, from grassroots projects to global advocacy, can help expedite the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and how language in a Voluntary National Review creates an enabling environment for scaling solar cooking. Advocates from diverse regions where solar cooking could be most effective, like Togo, Liberia, and India, spotlighted the importance of clean cooking solutions like solar cooking and interlinkages to the SDGs. Guest speakers included: Raïssa Oureya - Program Manager, Jeunes Verts (NGO), Togo, Yaou Mery - Director of Environment, Ministry of the Environment and Forest Resources, Togo Shedike V. Kamara - Executive Director, Eco Climate Initiative (NGO), Liberia, Jeevan Kumar Jethani - Sr. Director/Scientist-F, Ministry of New & Renewable Energy, India
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SCI Webinar- UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development Side Event 2024-2

Kakuma camp ASES poster, Alan B., 5-24-24


Sara Rosen at CC in Africa 2024

SCI representative, Sara Rosen, at this year's Summit, Photo credit: Solar Cookers International

  • May 2024: Solar Cookers International was honored to be invited by the International Energy Agency (IEA) to attend the Clean Cooking in Africa Summit at UNESCO in Paris on May 14, 2024. Over USD 2.2 billion was pledged, making a significant step towards a cleaner, more sustainable future. Together with global partners, SCI is committed to advocating for clean cooking solutions for communities worldwide. To learn more about the Summit, visit: SCI Participates in Landmark Clean Cooking in Africa Summit in Paris


SCI photo Solar Today, 3-15-24

An appreciative woman with her new solar thermal box cooker, Photo credit: SCI for Solar Today

  • March 2024: Solar Cookers International recognized in Solar Today - An article about the value of solar cooking in helping to address climate change, deforestation, and respiratory health was written by Sara Rosen, Program and Operations Manager at SCI. It was accepted for publication in Solar Today, the ASES news magazine. Read the article...


Elsevier logo, 2-26-24
  • January 2024: Cooking efficiency calculation published by ELSEVIER - In their Science Direct collection, 'Testing Solar Cookers for Cooking Efficiency' has been published in the recent issue of Solar Energy Advances, Vol. 4, 2024. Established under the direction of Solar Cookers International Program and Science Director, Dr. Alan Bigelow, the Performance Evaluation Process (PEP) is recognized as a valid method for testing the performance of solar cookers. SCI is now proposing that a metric for cooking efficiency be added to standards for measuring solar cooker performance. Other team members responsible for the cooking efficiency calculation are Justin Tabatchnick, who also designed the testing mechanism, and SCI Executive Director, Caitlyn Hughes. View the report
  • December 2023: COP28 Press Conference - SCI Executive Director Caitlyn Hughes and SCI Strategic Partnerships Manager Keith Wingeard discuss the importance of solar cooking and its impact on mitigating climate change
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COP28 Press Conference (Dec. 5, 2023)-2

  • December 2023: COP28 Press Conference with UN Climate Technology Centre & Network (CTCN) - Keith Wingeard, SCI's Strategic Partnerships Manager, interviews Fred Onduri, Vice Chair of CTCN Advisory Board. Mr. Onduri explains the role of the CTCN and sees new opportunities for developing countries in Africa to adopt solar cooking strategies to promote better health and take the pressure off precious local environmental resources.
  • December 2023: Special Message from SCI Executive Director Caitlyn Hughes from COP28
  • December 2023: SCI initiative in Yemen - Solar Cookers International, under the direction of SCI Science Director, Alan Bigelow, Ph.D., has been working alongside the Nahda Makers Organization to provide the Yemenis government with solar cooking solutions to benefit the typical family living along the arid west coast of Yemen. This area is currently recovering from wartime related damage. Funding for the initiative was provided by the German government. The two beneficiaries of the initiative are the families receiving the solar cookers, and also importantly, the people that are being trained and employed to manufacture solar cookers, solar dryers and heat retention cooking bags. Solar food dryers help to extend the viability of the crops grown locally. The manufacturing skills that are acquired are also applicable in making a variety of other necessary products for retail sale. The Nahda Makers Organization now has the production capacity, and looks forward to also exporting solar cookers and dryers to other neighboring countries.
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COP28 Press Conference with Nahda Makers Organization-2

  • December 2023: COP28 panel discussion: - Solar Cookers International Program and Science Director Alan Bigelow,Ph.D, speaks at the ‘Care, Share, Inspire - Climate Wisdom from COP28' panel discussion hosted by the Brahma Kumaris Environment Initiative and the Raja Yoga Center in Dubai. This exclusive series aims to bring the latest in science, policies, and wisdom towards and from the #COP28 climate conference directly to the global audience. The discussion focuses on key resolutions, agreements, and ways to contribute to a sustainable future.
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Care, Share, Inspire - Climate Wisdom from Dubai COP28 - 5 Dec 2023 at 8.30 pm (IST)-2

‘Care, Share, Inspire - Climate Wisdom from COP28'

SCI representatives at COP28, 12-7-23

Solar Cookers International representatives at COP28, Photo credit: SCI


  • September 2023: Solar Cookers International receives Patron of the Planet Award 2023 - SCI was honored to receive the Patron of the Planet award at this year’s NYC Green School Conference. The conference brings together leaders, educators, learners, policymakers, innovators, diplomates, administrators, solution providers, bookkeepers, healthcare experts, and climate leaders worldwide to discuss a wide range of topics related to fostering a more inclusive, compassionate, and climate-conscious approach toward humanizing and climatizing global education.
SCI Planet patron mod

Dr. Alan Bigelow, Science Director at SCI, receives the Patron of the Planet award 2023 for SCI, Photo credit: SCI


  • June 2023: The U.S. Senate introduces the Clean Cooking Support Act - Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) and Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) have introduced the bipartisan bill. Its intention is to improve global health and reduce climate-harming emissions by helping people in low- and middle-income countries gain access to cleaner-burning fuels and stoves for cooking. “Our bill aims to address a serious global public health and environmental issue where leadership by the United States can make a real difference. It would directly benefit some of the world’s poorest people, including the women and girls who are disproportionately affected, and reduce harmful pollution that affects us all,” said Senator Susan Collins. Solar Cookers International welcomes the news and is listed as a supporter among a notable field of other environmental advocates.
Kakuma cooker photo, 3-29-23

Woman examines an Ecomandate Foundation built solar box oven at the Kakuma Refugee Camp, Photo credit SCI

  • March 2023: Solar Cookers International in partnership with the Ecomandate Foundation - The organizations have implemented an ongoing solar cooking project at the Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya. Solar Cookers International emphasizes and applies best practices in project development and project monitoring and evaluation. Ecomandate Foundation brings hands-on construction, their local experience as part of the community, and familiarity with local customs, practices, and languages. Read more...


  • December 2022:
SCI team photo at COP27, 12-15-22 copy

The SCI team members at COP27 included SCI Board Members, Nathan Schumacher, Mike Paparian, Peg Barrat, Program and Science Director, Alan Bigelow, Executive Director, Caitlyn Hughes, and Strategic Partnership Manager, Keith Wingeard


SCI team at COP27, 12-9-22 copy

The SCI team at COP27, Photo credit: Solar Cookers International

  • December 2022: SCI at COP27 - Solar Cookers International representatives were able to explain to government officials the value of developing solar cooking programs within their countries. Executive Director, Caitlyn Hughes, Science Director, Alan Bigelow, and Strategic Partnership Manager, Keith Wingeard, held press conferences and side events to help conference delegates understand the importance of building solar cooking capacity, to see the related environmental benefits of solar cooking, and the importance of uniform solar cooker testing. They also offered strategies on how to navigate potential project funding sources. See the list of in-person hosted video events at: SCI at COP27 conference presentations and side events.
SCI is cooking at COP27, 11-17-22

SCI hosted a solar cooked meal for COP27 delegates, Photo credit: Rob Tyrrell

COP 27 logo, 1-28-22
UN Women's logo, 3-8-22
  • March 2022: United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) Forum - Solar Cookers International Executive Director, Caitlyn Hughes and Alan Bigelow, SCI Science Director, presented first-hand accounts of solar cooking initiatives empowering women. Other speakers included Esther Wang'ombe, Senior Deputy Director, Renewable Energy, Ministry of Energy, Terry Tempest Williams, author, conservationist, and activist, Dr. Daniel Kammen, Senior Advisor for Energy Innovation at the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and Rocío Maldonado, SCI Global Advisor. Watch the video below of the proceedings.
Solar_Cookers_International_at_the_United_Nations_Commission_on_the_Status_of_Women_(CSW)_Forum-2

Solar Cookers International at the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) Forum-2

COP26 logo, 11-24-21
Parabolic solar cooker, India, CNN, 10-21-21

A woman prepares a meal with her parabolic solar cooker in India, Photo credit: CNN

  • October 2021: Recognizing the need for solar cooking: - Solar Cookers International was pleased to be recognized for its effort in promoting solar cooking by CNN. Approximately four million solar cookers are in use at this time worldwide, helping to save entire forests from destruction. SCI Advisor, Janak McGilligan, describes the efforts the Jimmy McGilligan Centre for Sustainable Development has contributed to many communities in India with their solar cooking introductory programs. Read the article...
  • August 2021: SCI named as winner! - Solar Cookers International has been named as a winner in the Keeling Curve Prize for sustainable planet solutions. SCI won for its work “improving human and environmental health by supporting the expansion of effective carbon-free solar cooking in world regions of greatest need” in the Social and Cultural Pathways category. Dr. Shishpal Rawat, SCI’s Board President, said, “This recognition helps elevate the role of solar cookers as a key technology to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.” SCI estimates that there are over four million solar cookers directly and positively impacting over 14 million people, preventing over 5.8 million tons of CO2 emissions annually, equivalent to taking more than 1.25 million cars off the road, and an estimated 30 million tons of CO2 is prevented over the lifetime of solar cookers distributed, equivalent to not burning over 34 billion pounds of coal or driving over 76 billion miles. Read more about the SCI award in Mongabay.com. The awards ceremony is included at approximately the 48 minute mark in the following video.
Nepalese group watch solar cooker, SCI, 6-10-21 copy

Nepalese citizens receive training in using a parabolic solar cooker. Photo credit: Sanu Kaji Shrestha

  • June 2021: Solar cookers and sustainable cooking equipment distributed in Nepal - With assistance from Solar Cookers International, approximately 300 people from especially vulnerable groups from communities in Kathmandu, Lalitpur, Bhaktapur, Kavre, Okhaldhunga, and Solukhumbu districts have received solar cookers, solar dryers, heat-retention boxes, and water pasteurization and safety equipment, as well as the necessary training. These locations in Nepal have limited local resources, and the new appliances help the recipients be better prepared for the challenges facing their communities. Read more in the SCI Summer 2021 Newsletter
  • April 2021: SCI named as finalist - Solar Cookers International has been named as a finalist in the Keeling Curve Prize for sustainable planet solutions. The award announcement of the ten programs selected for the prize is scheduled to be made 31 July 2021.
SCI Order of Excellence, Republic of Kenya, 3-21
  • March 2021: The Solar Cookers International Order of Excellence annual award for 2020 has been given to the Republic of Kenya for including solar cooking in its Voluntary National Review (VNR) to track progress towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The award recognizes the most outstanding people and organizations whose sustained efforts have  contributed most to empowering people to cook food and pasteurize water with solar energy. 
See older news...

Publications

SCI Blog

Annual reports

Resources

Educational materials

Other documents

SCI Digest (Archive)

See SCI Digest.

Solar Cooker Review (Archive)

See Solar Cooker Review.

Articles in the media

Audio and video

  • NEW: July 2024: Advocacy: Webinar at the United Nations High-level Political Forum 2024 Side Event
SCI_Webinar-_UN_High-level_Political_Forum_on_Sustainable_Development_Side_Event_2024-2

SCI Webinar- UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development Side Event 2024-2

  • May 2024: ISES Solar World Congress 2023: Poster Presentation by Dr. Alan Bigelow, Science Director for Solar Cookers International
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Solar World Congress 2023- Poster Presentation by Alan Bigelow-2

SCI's_CSW68_Virtual_Parallel_Event-_Empowering_women_and_girls_through_solar_cooking-2

SCI's CSW68 Virtual Parallel Event- Empowering women and girls through solar cooking-2

  • December 2023: COP28 panel discussion: Solar Cookers International Program and Science Director Alan Bigelow, Ph.D, speaks at the ‘Care, Share, Inspire - Climate Wisdom from COP28' panel discussion
Care,_Share,_Inspire_-_Climate_Wisdom_from_Dubai_COP28_-_5_Dec_2023_at_8.30_pm_(IST)-2

Care, Share, Inspire - Climate Wisdom from Dubai COP28 - 5 Dec 2023 at 8.30 pm (IST)-2

‘Care, Share, Inspire - Climate Wisdom from COP28'

  • July 2023: Meeting the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals with Solar Cooking - Solar Cookers International and featured guest panelists highlighted how initiatives at all levels, from grassroots projects to global advocacy, help expedite the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and how language in a Voluntary National Review can create an enabling environment for scaling solar cooking.
Solar_Cookers_International_HLPF_2023

Solar Cookers International HLPF 2023

  • March 2023: SCI's CSW67 Virtual Parallel Event, "Empowering Women and Girls Through Solar Cooking" - Solar Cookers International hosts a webinar highlighting how solar cooking impacts women and girls around the world, featuring guest speakers from Cameroon, Morocco, and France. Speakers provide a general overview of the types of solar cookers, along with a brief history of solar cooking introductory programs.
SCI's_CSW67_Virtual_Parallel_Event,_"Empowering_Women_and_Girls_Through_Solar_Cooking"-2

SCI's CSW67 Virtual Parallel Event, "Empowering Women and Girls Through Solar Cooking"-2

  • December 2022: Solar Cooking – A Pathway to Emissions Prevention and Climate Crisis Mitigation-2 - SCI representatives hosted a side event presentation in the Cryosphere at COP27, to provide a general overview of solar cooking. They are joined by SCI Global Advisors, Janak McGilligan speaking on solar cooking activities in India, Deepak Gadhia on institutional large scale solar cooking methods, and Sanu Kaji Shrestha the founder of FoST, tells about his experiences promoting solar cooking in high altitude Nepal. Urs Riggenbach from Lytefire, mentions several entrepreneurship opportunities available with solar cooking.
Solar_Cooking_–_A_Pathway_to_Emissions_Prevention_and_Climate_Crisis_Mitigation-2

Solar Cooking – A Pathway to Emissions Prevention and Climate Crisis Mitigation-2

  • July 2022:
Solar_Cookers_International_hosts_Side_Event_at_the_United_Nations_High-level_Political_Forum_2022-2

Solar Cookers International hosts Side Event at the United Nations High-level Political Forum 2022-2

  • March 2022:
Solar_Cookers_International_at_the_United_Nations_Commission_on_the_Status_of_Women_(CSW)_Forum-2

Solar Cookers International at the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) Forum-2

  • January 2022:
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Alan Bigelow- The Performance Evaluation Process (PEP) Test for Solar Cooker Watts-2

  • July 2021:
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SCI at the United Nations High-Level Political Forum 2021-2

Solar Cookers International and Public-Private Alliance Foundation members and advisors discuss how solar cooking can help meet the 2030 Agenda of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

  • March 2021:
SCI_at_the_Commission_on_the_Status_of_Women_(CSW)_virtual_event-2

SCI at the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) virtual event-2

Dedicated in memory of the devoted solar cooking advocate Dar Curtis

  • December 2020:
Solar_cooking's_positive_impacts_for_women_and_the_environment

Solar cooking's positive impacts for women and the environment

Even though the United Nations Climate Conference did not happen in person this year, SCI continued to raise your voice in support of solar cooking at the United Nations Climate Dialogues virtual event which took place on December 2, 2020. In collaboration with The Women and Gender Constituency, SCI discussed solar cooking's positive impacts for women and the environment.

  • November 2020:
ReEnergy_Africa_eSummit_Day_Two_FRIDAY,_23_October_2020_Success_Stories_Session

ReEnergy Africa eSummit Day Two FRIDAY, 23 October 2020 Success Stories Session

SCI's Executive Director Caitlyn Hughes had the pleasure of speaking at the Success Stories session at the ReEnergy Africa E-Summit which was held virtually on October 23rd, 2020. Caitlyn discussed the impact of solar cooking around the world and shared success stories from Kakuma Refugee Camp, Kenya.

  • November 2020:
Virtual_Café_Sci-_DARE_to_Solar_Cook_-_The_Physics_of_Cooking_with_Sunshine

Virtual Café Sci- DARE to Solar Cook - The Physics of Cooking with Sunshine

On Nov. 2, Carnegie Science Center Virtual Café Sci featured a conversation with three advocates for solar cooking, a clean cooking technology that creates no emissions, is free to use, and is readily abundant in most parts of the world. Dr. Alan Bigelow, Science Director and Main Representative of Solar Cookers International to the United Nations, discussed the technical details of solar cooking and incorporating the science of materials and light optics. Solar Education Project Co-founders Mary Buchenic and Jennifer Gasser shared their experiences promoting solar cooking STEM curricula and the collaborations they enjoy with colleagues in Haiti and around the world.

  • October 2020:
SCI_shares_solar_cooking_techniques_for_the_American_Solar_Energy_Society's_Solar_Tour

SCI shares solar cooking techniques for the American Solar Energy Society's Solar Tour

  • July 2020: 
United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
Solar Cookers International at COP25: Building Solar Cooking Capacity Worldwide (Listen On-Demand)

Additional audio and video

Donating to SCI

See also

External links

Contact

Solar Cookers International (Map)
2400 22nd Street, Ste 210
Sacramento, CA 95818-2540
USA

Tel: +(1) 916-455-4499 or 916-455-4498

Email: info@solarcookers.org

Organizational website: http://solarcookers.org
Twitter: http://twitter.com/SolarCookersInt
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SolarCookers
Newsfeed: http://solarcooking.wikia.com/News
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/solar-cookers-international

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