6th Solar Cookers International World Conference Successes

Release Date: 
Mar 21, 2017
Press Contact: 
Caitlyn Hughes

The 6th Solar Cookers International (SCI) World Conference 2017 in India broke new ground as it advanced solar cooking globally through new connections, information-sharing, and feedback on new projects advancing the solar cooking community.  Solar cooking is an appropriate technology that improves human health, reduces poverty, protects the environment, and reduces gender inequalities.  SCI led the sector gathering experts from NGOs, businesses, universities, and the United Nations at this conference to advance solar cooking to help the world.

 Conference presentation topics ranged from solar restaurants, to carbon credit financing, to solar drying, to education and marketing. “To say it was merely a learning experience is an understatement; it was an inspiration,” said ChihWei Hsu of the Buddhist Tsu Chi Foundation. “We are all in this uphill global climate battle together, no matter who one is and where one is from.”

Participants took a pledge to share, plan, and commit to collaborative action at the systems level to “move the needle” with solar cooking around the world. Strong participation and quality presentations at the 6th SCI World Conference 2017 showed how the global solar cooking sector has matured since the last SCI conference, held three years ago in Sacramento, CA, USA.

Several important commitments grew from the 6th SCI World Conference 2017 for solar cooking in camps for refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs). After SCI led discussions with experts and those implementing solar cooker projects in Bhutan, Nepal, Chad, Uganda, and many other locations, several plans and commitments occurred:

  • SCI formed a refugee working group to strategize for more solar cooker project implementation in camps and informal settlements;
  • A new partnership formed, leveraging the skills of a crowdfunder with on-the-ground experience in refugee settlements in Uganda;
  • A strategy to educate humanitarian aid donors who choose solar cooking for camps;
  • A data-driven target for solar cooker interventions to decrease wood fuel use by 10% (data indicate that solar cookers can save 40-50% of the wood fuel supplied to camp residents).
  • SCI nominated a team of solar cooking experts for the UNHCR Energy Expert Roster to provide solar cooking consultancy to refugee camps.

SCI’s Performance Evaluation Process for solar cookers, or PEP, was unveiled at the conference and enthusiastically received by an audience asking for standard protocols for years. Feedback was unanimous: SCI is on the right track. People will be able to choose the best-quality solar cooker for the location and types of foods they will cook. SCI’s team is now fine-tuning the PEP, evaluating solar cookers according to the ASABE (American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers) protocol. Several people volunteered to offer testing locations for a pilot project to validate PEP for solar cookers.

In addition to the conference, a four-day solar technology tour and a Social Entrepreneurship Workshop (offered in partnership with the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves) were provided.  The tour demonstrated large scale institutional solar cookers and solar food processing. 

 All of the conference papers, presentations, and posters are available on the Solar Cooking Wiki at http://solarcooking.wikia.com/wiki/6th_SCI_World_Conference_2017

If you would like to learn more about solar cooking and how it advances humanitarian goals, please visit www.solarcookers.org and/or sign up for our email newsletter, the SCI Digest at http://www.solarcookers.org/about/publications/.  


Caption: Participants at the 6th Solar Cookers International World Conference 2017 eating solar cooked food. 

Caption: 6th Solar Cookers International World Conference participants getting a tour of solar concentrators at the Muni Seva Ashram in Gujarat, India. 

Caption: 6th Solar Cookers International World Conference participants. 

All photo credit: Charley Cross, 2017