Global LEAP Awards Announces Results for the 2020 Electric Pressure Cooker Competition

The 2020 Global LEAP Awards Electric Pressure Cooker Competition presents the first-ever rigorous performance assessment of EPCs designed explicitly for use in underserved areas, filling a major gap in market intelligence.

The competition was supported by UK aid’s Modern Energy Cooking Services (MECS) and Low Energy Inclusive Appliances (LEIA) programmes

The Efficiency for Access Coalition is excited to announce the results of the inaugural Global LEAP Awards for electric pressure cookers (EPCs). The competition identified 13 best-in-class, affordable, energy-efficient EPCs that are appropriate for use in underserved markets, including weak-grid areas where grid connections are intermittent and of inconsistent quality, as well as areas where energy comes from small-scale solar systems or mini-grids.

Approximately 3 billion people globally lack access to modern cooking technology and instead rely on burning biomass. According to the WHO, an estimated 4 million premature deaths resulting from indoor air pollution associated with biomass cooking occur globally per year. EPCs are a new generation of electric cooking technology that offers an alternative to biomass cookstoves while presenting a long-term solution to biomass fuel-driven environmental degradation and a viable path towards total eradication of indoor air pollution. For women, EPCs can reduce the time spent collecting fuel and unlock time for other responsibilities and income-generating or educational opportunities.

“We are excited to support the EPC Competition and fund innovative solutions to scale the global e-cooking market across Africa and Asia,” said Professor Ed Brown, MECS Research Director. “By promoting early innovators, we are encouraging manufacturers to enter the largely untapped market for efficient electric cooking appliances and accelerate the transition from harmful biomass cooking to modern, clean, and energy-efficient alternative cooking devices.”

The 2020 Global LEAP Awards Electric Pressure Cooker Competition presents the first-ever rigorous performance assessment of EPCs designed explicitly for use in underserved areas, filling a major gap in market intelligence. The competition, supported by UK aid’s Modern Energy Cooking Services (MECS) and Low Energy Inclusive Appliances (LEIA) programmes, received 40 product nominations from 15 companies in 8 countries and Hong Kong.

Detailed information about the 3 Winners and 10 Finalists—including product performance data and sales contact information—is available in the newly published 2020 Global LEAP Awards Electric Pressure Cooker Buyer’s Guide. The Buyer’s Guide presents a selection of laboratory test results that will help market stakeholders better understand the drivers of EPC performance, as well as compare the performance of different EPCs across three size categories. The Global LEAP Awards identifies one Winner within each category as the best overall product, with other high-quality products within the same category identified as Finalists. The following products were identified as Winners in their respective categories:

  • Small AC Power: Solageo SOL-EPC-25L
  • Medium AC Power: SESCOM MY-CJ6001W
  • Large AC Power: Instant Pot DUO 80

“As minigrid developers seeking to support our customers’ transition to clean cooking, PowerGen is all too familiar with the challenges of sourcing efficient, high-quality cooking appliances for frontier markets,” states Kevin Schreiber, Senior Customer Success Associate at PowerGen Renewable Energy. “We are excited for the release of Global LEAP Awards resources to support the sector and to enable us to better understand the landscape of suppliers and technical specifications for EPCs. This will help all of us in the industry provide better quality cooking services to minigrid customers.”

In addition to the three category Winners, two products stood out based on their design and performance in critical areas that represent risks to market adoption: affordability and energy performance. To reward and support continued innovation in these critical areas, the 2020 EPC Competition also included two $50,000 innovation prizes:

  • The Affordability Prize was awarded to BURN MY-8001 model from BURN Manufacturing Co. for providing the best overall value to end-users based on the unit price, estimated operating costs, overall performance, and cooking capacity.
  • The Energy Performance Prize was awarded to Aufla 5L model from Atvantic Electronics Pvt Ltd. for best energy performance, which reflects low total energy consumption and high energy efficiency.

The Competition is also conducting usability testing in Nairobi, Kenya to provide further insights into the compatibility of each model with the needs and aspirations of everyday cooks. Innovation prizes totaling $100,000 will be awarded to models that offer particularly innovative design features and an exceptional user experience following the conclusion of the usability testing in mid-2021.

 

Modern Energy Cooking Services (MECS) is a five-year programme funded by UK Aid (FCDO) which aims to spark a revolution through rapidly accelerating the transition from biomass to clean cooking on a global scale. By integrating modern energy cooking services into energy planning, MECS looks to leverage investment in renewable energies (particularly regarding electricity access, both grid and off-grid) to address the clean cooking challenge. Modern energy cooking is Tier 5 clean cooking, and therefore MECS also supports new innovations in other relevant cooking fuels such as biogas, LPG (bio) and ethanol. The intended outcome is a market-ready range of innovations (technology and business models) that lead to improved choice of affordable, reliable and sustainable modern energy cooking services for consumers. We seek to have the MECS principles adopted in the SDG 7.1 global tracking framework and hope that participating countries will incorporate modern energy cooking services in energy policies and planning.

For more information, visit www.mecs.org.uk or follow us @UKMECS on Twitter.

The Global LEAP Awards is an international competition to identify and promote the world’s best off-grid appliances, accelerating market development and innovation. This unique program has evolved into a trusted global brand that serves as the de facto source of accurate, actionable information about the quality and energy performance of off-grid appliances, with support from UK aid and MECS, in partnership with the Efficiency for Access Coalition.

For more information, visit www.globalleapawards.org or follow @LEAP_Awards on Twitter.

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