Assessing electric cooking potential in micro hydropower microgrids in Nepal
There are over 3,300 rural communities in rural Nepal that have micro hydropower (MHP) systems providing them with electricity with an average power consumption of only 100 Watts per consumer. During the wet season, MHP plants offer relatively constant power output throughout the day and night (unlike variable solar photovoltaics or wind) making it an ideal candidate to explore electric cooking. A small-scale e-cooking pilot study in 2018 identified that this highly constrained supply struggled to support the increased load during peak times. A multi-disciplinary consortium made up of local non-government organisations (PEEDA and KAPEG) and academic institutions (Bristol and Coventry) proposes this project to address the challenge of enabling widespread adoption of electric cooking in Nepali MHP microgrids through 1) refining qualitative methods to assess Nepali cooking practices using a localised version of the MECS e-cooking diary and a survey to understand communities willingness to adopt behavioural change approaches (e.g. acceptance of new technology, time shifting, varying tariff business models), 2) collecting high quality quantitative data through existing meters and sensors, 3) establishing an electric cooking laboratory in Nepal to simulate and test storage scenarios on MHP microgrids through battery storage and behaviour change solutions and 4) translating these findings to inform policies and scale up of electric cooking through partnerships with an international funding agency (UNDP) and a government body (AEPC). These project outcomes will be applicable to the wider Nepali national power grid and other grids and microgrids in countries with similar cooking practices and grid infrastructure.