With funding support from Australian government and ASTAE, the 2nd EAP Clean Stove Initiative (CSI) Forum and South-South Knowledge Exchange Event was held in China, April 26-29, 2014. The objectives of the event are (1) to share and discuss the progresses, challenges and findings of implementing the second phase of CSI, and (2) to promote south-south collaboration, learning and knowledge-sharing, with focus on China's experiences. More than 50 delegates from Indonesia, Mongolia, Lao PDR, Honduras, Guatemala, Nepal, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Africa, as well as international experts participated in the event, which is co-organized by China Alliance for Clean Stoves and Rural Energy and Environment Agency, Ministry of Agriculture. The event handbook is attached in the e-Forum with detailed agenda and list of participants. The four-day event includes the following activities.
- Pre-Forum Event: participation in the 8th China Clean Stove Expo, April 26-27, Lang Fang, Hebei Province
China Clean Stoves Expo is an annual event that brings hundreds of stove manufacturers to exhibit their products and technologies. About 150 manufacturers participated in this year’s Expo with more than 1,000 products. A small meeting was also organized between the Mongolia delegation and five Chinese enterprises on April 26 to discuss the coal heating stoves and the Mongolia stoves market.
- 2nd EAP CSI Forum, co-hosted with Ministry of Agriculture, April 28, Beijing
More than 80 participants attended the forum. The forum agenda is included in the attached event handbook.
- Post-Forum Parallel S-S knowledge exchange Activities, April 29
1) Meeting with China government officials on south-south collaboration at Rural Energy and Environment Agency of Ministry of Agriculture.
2) Field trip to a local stove manufacturer in Gaobeidian, Hebei province
3) Tour to the stove testing center in China Agriculture University, Beijing.
The event was successful. The scale of the China Clean Stove Expo and level of industrialization of the stove sector have impressed most delegations. Some delegations were able to find some potentially applicable products from the Expo for their countries. The discussions and knowledge exchange among the participants were dynamic and
fascinating. It is clear that China has a lot to offer in terms of experiences, technologies, and sector development, but it also can learn from other country programs. We got positive feedback from participants that they found the event very useful and appreciated that the World Bank provided such a platform and wished the World Bank continued to do so.
A feature story about the event including a short video is now available on the WB internet.
Here are a few highlights of the key findings of the CSI forum and the S-S knowledge exchange event.
- A national program with the high level support is the way to scale up clean cooking and heating. All participants endorsed a national program approach. While such programs need to involve stakeholders from a wide variety of positions, roles and levels (i.e., local, provincial, national and international; public, civil society and private
sector), there is no substitute for high level political, technical and financial support from national leaders and agencies. This high level support is a key success factor that has sometimes been lacking in scale-up efforts.
A public-private partnership approach has emerged as the favored implementation modality Subsidies will be needed to achieve universal access to clean cooking and heating. Affordability remains a very significant challenge and, while opinions vary on the role of subsidies and their sustainability, they are accepted as a necessary "evil" to enhance market penetration, acceptance, and scale-up and achievement of production/distribution economies of scale. To succeed, subsidies need to be well targeted and with low leakage potential (e.g. Mongolia presented a case of 32% missing stoves from its highly subsidized stove program); and be calibrated so as to avoid destruction of commercial incentive and discipline. Thus, government policies are needed to establish and maintain adequate levels of subsidies and (ii) design and
implement effective subsidy allocation mechanisms to mobilize and sustain private-sector participation in scaling up access to clean stoves.
- Results-based financing (RBF) is a promising approach to use public resources to incentivize the market. RBF mechanisms, linking financial incentives to the defined results, show high promise. It helps to clarify the roles of government and the private sector in delivering the results; that is, the government plays a facilitating role, providing policy support and financial incentives to motivate market development, while the private sector responds to the incentives and delivers the results. However, there are
operational challenges of balancing verification costs with level of precision, pre-financing for small, cash poor enterprises in a low-margin business environment, and existing government regulations regarding subsidies, procurement and accounting that may be not suitable for RBF applications. In countries where government subsidies already exist (e.g. China and Mongolia), special considerations are needed on sustainability and adjustment of subsidy levels. In countries where private sector capacity is low, special efforts are needed on technical assistance and capacity building to the private sector.
- The dissemination of clean stoves must be viewed as a social marketing problem. Consumer preferences must be extensively studied and evaluated; the challenge is no less than behavioral change, and the determinants of behavior are not necessarily a desire for improved fuel efficiency or health outcomes, but rather rest on deeply
ingrained convenience, comfort, status, and cooking style factors.
The measurement of stoves performance is required to convince users for adoption and use and to motivate the decision making of donors to support cookstove programs. Without systematic measurement and reporting of cookstoves performance, claims on health, environment protection and climate change co-benefits cannot be substantiated.
- Setting stove standards and testing protocols should be developed within the local context where the stove is being used. The examples of China and Mongolia presented have indicated that without this contextual consideration, performance metrics might not be meaningful. Measurement of cookstove performance should include the reality of multiple fuels used, cooking practices, and user behavior. The example of Ulanbaatar field testing and consideration of the full burn cycle has illustrated convincingly this point. The update provided on the ISO process indicated positive development in the area of broad participation of many country delegations and attempts to design
performance metrics. However, it appears that the process needs to be more transparent and inclusive. The idea of an international standards for cookstoves was questioned on the basis of the significant variety of cooking practices and climate conditions and strongly on the flaws of the water boiling test. It was recommended for developers of cookstoves standards and testing protocols to have formal reviews and due diligence conducted on their work.
- The platform that the CSI provided for S-S collaboration, knowledge exchange, and learning is very much appreciated by all participants and requested to be continued. Overall, the experience of China in the development and dissemination of clean biomass and coal cooking/heating chains is impressive and can provide valuable lessons. Participation in the Stove Expo, interaction with stove enterprises, and visit to a stove manufacturer have generated more interest for collaboration. Participants believe that the next step of this south-south exchange should be to create opportunities for Chinese engineers to interact with their counterparts in interested countries to help design clean cookstoves that would retain local appearances but with modifications of the combustion chamber based on technology developed for Chinese stoves. As an
extension of the platform, CSI e-Forum was launched during the Forum https://collaboration.worldbank.org/groups/clean-cooking-and-heating-solutions.
- The event has already generated some immediate results and a few concrete follow-up activities
(1). The Indonesia delegation found the a stove potentially applicable in Indonesia from the China Clean Stove Expo and invited the stove manufacturer to submit the stove for the Indonesia RBF pilot program. The stove manufacturer has submitted the application and sample stoves have been delivered to the Indonesia stove testing center and ready to be tested for eligibility of the pilot program.
(2). Following the workshops with the Chinese enterprises and the China government, Mongolia delegation invited Chinese enterprises to visit Mongolia to learn about Mongolian market. China Alliance for Clean Stoves plans to organize a Chinese delegation to visit Mongolia in June.
(3). Following the meeting with the China government on April 29 regarding S-S collaboration opportunities including the program funded by Ministry of Science and Technology (MoST), both Indonesia delegation and Lao PDR delegation showed great interest in the MoST funded stove collaboration programs. Application on China-Indonesia clean stove collaboration program including an official letter from Director of Bioenergy from MEMR of Indonesia has been submitted. Application on China-Lao PDR clean stove collaboration program has also been prepared and submitted. If applications for funding support from China MoST are approved, more collaborative activities would be organized, such as exchanges on stove testing and standards, exchanges between government officials, research institutes, and NGOs, and promotion of technology transfer and business
Last but not the least, I would like to thank management support (Chas has participated in the whole event, gave an opening speech at the forum, moderated one panel session,
and facilitated the dialogue between delegations and the China government on S-S collaboration), our CSI team's hard work (Dejan's advice on program design and moderation of one panel session, Gailius' leading on Mongolia delegation, Natsuko's leading on Lao PDR delegation, Yun and Kun's diligence for logistics arrangement and coordination, and Xuege's support for setting up the e-forum), Koffi Ekouevi for leading a large delegation from Central America, Sandeep Kohli and Gunjan Gautam for identifying and supporting a delegation from Nepal, Franz and Ky for identifying a delegation from Vietnam, and Jan Kappen for representing ACCES program from Africa, country ACS staff for travel arrangements for delegations (Kaysone Vongthavilay, Zolzaya Tuguldur, Sri Oktorini, Fernanda Dassum, Huong Thu Vu), and Li Li and Li Lou for preparing the feature story, to make this event a success.