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Work Update

[Work Update]: Fuel Timor - Week 1 - July 2018

by
Tia Brullo
Tia Brullo | 9 months ago | in Sustainable Fuel Consulting

With almost two weeks down, our Fuel Assessment team is focusing energy on understanding and investigating the current market in Timor Lesté. 

Initial assessment of the rocket stove has revealed a well established market of differentiated stoves for us to investigate. The cook-stoves currently for sale offer a range of efficiency in heat retention and smoke reduction, supported by research conducted in labs and within the community. Furthermore, research from the local university reveals there is a potential lack of incentive for locals to adopt a more expensive and technical new technology. 

With this in mind, we have continued to empathise with the local communities and meet with stakeholders, looking for insights on how these cook stoves have been received by the market. At this point, we believe price to be the most influencing factor when households decide between electrical appliances, wood cook-stoves, gas and oil stoves or the traditional 3 stone fire method.  

From here we have learnt three key lessons;

- There is undoubtedly a market and need for alternative fuel/cook-stoves here in Timor Lesté; which is yet to be successfully encapsulated 

- We need to provide a somewhat differentiated product, at a competitive price 

- If all else fails, we will continue to empathise and understand the communities pain points; a never ending process for us as outsiders to the community where our market lies

 Furthermore, we continue to explore alternative fuel solutions, including Briquettes made from sawdust, bamboo or agricultural waste. At a competitive price, briquettes would offer a source of fuel which burns more efficiently and cleaner than firewood without requiring too much behaviour change from the consumer. As we move forward we will assess how successful current briquette sales are, and how extensive their social impact could be. Other possibilities we are keeping in mind include small scale anaerobic digestion and a basic chimney design for smoke ventilation.

In the coming week we hope to design and run a workshop with interns and community members where we can gain their insights on the ideas we have been investigating. 

edited on 6th September 2018, 00:09 by Justin Hakeem

Alexander Teicher 9 months ago

Hey Tia,
Sounds like you guys are smashing it in Timor! Regarding the viability of a rocket stove in Timor, how saturated is the market already and what sort of price points are the competitors at? In Fiji there are very limited competitors at similar prices to the Buka stove whereas in Cambodia there is a super cheap and widespread competitor with a monopoly on the market, interested to see what it is like in Timor.

Very interested in the briquettes as I know over summer that was looked into in Fiji a bit and there is some potential there. Working together with FarmEd team would be able to provide access to information around agricultural waste I would think.

Keen to see what you guys find out in the next two weeks!

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Amber Johnston 9 months ago

Status label added: Work Update

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Amber Johnston 9 months ago

Sounds like an awesome week. Your findings seem to be shaping into your customer segment analysis, it would be awesome to see your full customer segment analysis up.

It would also be awesome to see an experiment and results around the workshops you mentioned, and your experiment around alternative fuel solutions. These will be able to be labeled as experiments and will help with validating your findings.

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