Tuesday, August 23, 2016


Stakeholders – Nexleaf Analytics, TERI, Qualcomm

Technology - Smartphones connected to a thermal sensor, a temperature sensing mobile application and wireless connectivity for uploading temperature data from the mobile phone to a remote server

Traditional cookstoves, which many families in underserved communities use, can have both adverse health and environmental effects. However, most users of these cooking stoves find it expensive to replace them with clean cookstoves. The Wireless Reach StoveTrace program features a smartphone connected to a thermal sensor that is pre-loaded with a mobile application, providing an affordable, reliable, monitoring device to measure a family’s clean cookstove usage. This enables families to obtain credits from a voluntary carbon exchange when they use clean cookstoves, and provides them a financial incentive for using clean cookstoves, while also reducing carbon emissions and improving the health of their families.

Nexleaf Analytics, the implementation partner, has deployed a robust Android application which enables tracking of the usage of the clean cookstove.  Nexleaf Analytics has received a US patent[1] for this method of tracking the usage of cookstoves. Currently, over 700 sensors have been deployed among users in Orissa and Uttar Pradesh states of India. For 2015, the sensors have tracked that participants have used clean cookstoves for a total of 103,000 hours, enabling savings of 250 tons of CO2 thereby earning US $1500. Direct remittance of climate credits to clean cookstove users has increased clean cookstove usage and has motivated families to follow-up and service their stoves in case of break downs. The next phase will increase financial inclusion for 1,000 women by connecting stove users with Vodafone mPesa mobile money to get the climate credits directly into their hands.

Nexleaf Analytics has been invited to speak at several international conferences, including the UN’s Sustainable Energy for all[2] conference in May 2015 and the USAID and Global Alliance of Clean Cookstove conference in Lima, Peru[3]. Additionally, results of the StoveTrace program have been published in notable peer-reviewed journals[4]. Vodafone has cited Nexleaf as a customer reference for its M2M (machine to machine) telecom solutions[5] The StoveTrace program has won the Aegis Alexander Graham Bell Award in the category of innovation in M2M category in 2015. In 2016 they were finalists in the Harnessing the Data Revolution for Resilience Recognition Award organized by USAID Asia.  In July 2016 they also received the Juror’s mention prize in the mBillionth awards 2016 in the category of Agriculture and Environment.

Nexleaf is now collaborating with the World Bank to add particulate monitoring to the StoveTrace platform, extend StoveTrace to monitor both improved and traditional stoves, enable the StoveTrace dashboard to quantify health and climate impacts, and enable all stakeholders access to the data.

Nexleaf presented their results of the Wireless Reach program on March 14th at a meeting convened by the World Bank and thereafter on March 15th, both times to stakeholders comprised of clean cookstove manufacturers, climate and cookstove experts, department heads from the Government of India overseeing the clean cookstove program, community based organizations implementing the clean cookstove programs and financial institutions funding clean cookstoves, and received broad agreement for scaling the monitoring platform.

Nexleaf has engaged with various mobile money companies like Vodafone mPesa, Airtel Money and PayTM to enable remittance of the carbon credits directly to mobile phones of the families instead of using traditional bank accounts. Use of mobile money will motivate the families to increase usage of clean cookstoves.

StoveTrace supports the Indian Government’s programs to drive adoption of clean cookstoves, the UN Environment Program and similar international initiatives, including the Global Alliance of Clean Cookstoves, which works to drive adoption through innovative financing means such as carbon finance[6],[7].  Currently, the Government of India provides a subsidy of between Rs 400 to Rs 800 (US$ 7 – US$ 14) for using clean cookstoves (based on type).  The innovative technology developed by Nexleaf may influence the Government to switch to usage-based subsidy payments which may be more effective in driving behavioral change.

A case study of the StoveTrace project can be downloaded from https://www.qualcomm.com/company/wireless-reach/projects/india-StoveTrace.

A project video is available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JIsHOaTv_LQ