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Solar cookers sent to islands to cut kerosene

City News - May 23, 2007

Adianto P. Simamora, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

The Jakarta administration has stepped up its campaign to reduce kerosene consumption by distributing solar-powered cookers to households in Kepulauan Seribu (Thousand Islands) regency.

The City Environmental Management Board (BPLHD) said the office would distribute 30,000 parabolic solar cookers in the first phase of the plan. The cookers will be used for cooking meals and supporting small-scale fisheries in the area.

"The municipality is now conducting a study to determine eligible recipients. The solar cooker yields no greenhouse gas emissions," Daniel Abbas, the head of BPLHD's environmental damage control unit, told The Jakarta Post.

The solar cookers have reflector parabolas of around 140 cm in diameter which retain heat for cooking.

"We preferred Kepulauan Seribu for the pilot project because the area has a high concentration of sunlight," Daniel said.

The solar cookers will be provided for free by German company EnerXi GMbh to support the city's attempts to take part in the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) project.

The market price for a solar cooker is Rp 2 million, Daniel said.

The CDM solar cooker project is currently being developed in the cities of Sabang and Badar in Aceh province.

Daniel said the greenhouse gas reduction achieved by the use of the solar cookers would be calculated against the amount of kerosene used before the project.

He said the solar cooker project was expected to accompany the launch this year of eco-friendly stoves that use coconut shell charcoal.

"The pilot for the stove project will be carried out in South Jakarta. We are still waiting for the names of the 30,000 recipients from the municipality," he said.

Jakarta consumes about 2.7 million liters of kerosene a day.

A family using one liter of kerosene per day emits two tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) each year. CO2 is the main cause of human-induced climate change.

Daniel said the recipients of solar cookers and stoves were only required to pay Rp 50,000 to cover transportation and monitoring fees for the seven-year project.

The CDM is a mechanism under the Kyoto Protocol that allows developing countries to take part in greenhouse gas house mitigation projects.

The hosts of the project receive Certificates of Emission Reduction (CERs) from the UN based on the tonnage of their reduced emissions, which can then be traded with rich nations.

A ton of reduced CO2 is currently valued at between US$5 and $10.

The central government has also begun projects to substitute the use of kerosene with the Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG).

In Jakarta, the pilot project will see over 300,000 gas stoves and three-and-a-half-kilogram LPG tanks distributed throughout the city.

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