GTZ HERA Lessons Learnt: GTZ’s experiences in the field of household energy

Lessons Learnt GTZ’s experiences in the field of household energy (pdf)
See GZ Hera GTZ Approach March 2006

Lessons Learnt
GTZ’s experiences in the field of household energy

The following findings gained in many years of developing, producing and disseminating improved stoves have helped us to continuously improve our approach.

  • For technologies to be accepted, it is essential that products are of high quality, are affordable, reliable and attractive, and deliver appreciable benefits.
  • Supportive conditions, such as facilitated access to loans for producers, tax reductions for the purchasing of raw materials etc., foster dissemination.
  • Only a commercial approach is sustainable in the long run, although under particularly difficult circumstances (for example natural disasters) a self-help approach may be chosen temporarily.
  • A functioning networking system optimises knowledge transfer and South-South exchange. The learning effect of visiting each other’s projects is often greater than that achieved in a course situation.
  • Integrated household energy projects that complement other development themes generate synergies and are thus more cost-efficient and deliver results more quickly.
  • A participatory approach that also takes gender equity issues into account improves the prospects of technology acceptance.
  • It is essential to perform economic analyses; their clear findings help to mainstream the issue within development policy.
  • Integrated strategies are important for sustainable use of biomass. Such strategies usually involve interplay among the following components:
    • deployment of technologies providing enhanced energy efficiency (improved stoves)
    • profitable manufacture and marketing of these stoves
    • more efficient fuelwood management (drying, wood chopping, etc.)
    • improved household management (shortened cooking times, better ventilation at the hearth).