March 27

Press Release: UpEnergy Issues World’s First Carbon Credits Linked to Electric Clean Cooking Devices Deployed in Sub-Saharan Africa

UpEnergy, a leading social enterprise based in Kampala, Uganda, announced it has issued the world’s first ever carbon credits linked to emissions savings from the use of electric clean cooking devices. The emissions reductions were created in a new UpEnergy-led project aimed at replacing traditional, biomass burning stoves with an innovative electric stove created by climate tech startup PowerUP. The PowerUP electric pressure cooker (EPC) is designed for low-income households in several countries across sub-Saharan Africa. The credits, which are verified by The Gold Standard, represent the opportunity for African consumers with access to electricity to abandon the toxic burning of unsustainable, wood-based fuels and breathe cleaner air with healthier, zero-emissions electric cooking.

UpEnergy’s EPC project has already seen more than 1,800 stoves deployed, and the company plans to reach 6,000 families with emissions-reducing EPCs over the course of 2023. Devices are currently being distributed in Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia, and Ghana.

“Between 2014 and 2019, more than 115 million people in sub-Saharan Africa gained access to electricity, and that number continues to grow. In Uganda, 92% of electricity comes from clean, renewable sources. Yet 80% of urban households in Africa still depend on toxic biomass for daily cooking. We now have an incredibly timely opportunity to build on the rapid energy transition taking place across the continent and deliver the additional health and economic benefits that can come along with it,” said Pantaleon Anani, Group Commercial Director of UpEnergy Group. “Zero-emissions electric pressure cookers are seemingly simple, low-cost devices that offer one of the best interventions for decarbonization while also addressing health and economic challenges. We’re incredibly excited to bring this new category of high-quality carbon credits to the market and give voluntary buyers an option to fight energy poverty in a way that also helps bring us closer to net-zero emissions goals.”

PowerUP’s EPCs include a redesigned interface created for local cooking habits to help ensure easy adoption and high usage rates. The EPCs are safe, lightweight, and easy to transport. Each EPC also contains an in-built metered device for continuous monitoring that provides usage data, which promotes accurate, transparent reporting of emissions reductions.

When compared to traditional, biomass-dependent cooking methods such as three-stone cookstoves or biomass stoves, EPCs provide several important advantages:

  • Time savings: Cooking with an EPC takes up to 60% less time than cooking the same dish with traditional biomass stoves.
  • Cost savings: Families can save 50% of their household fuel costs per year by switching to an EPC from a traditional biomass stove.
  • Avoided emissions: Electric cooking removes all direct emissions related to traditional cooking methods.
  • Decreased air pollution: Avoiding direct burning of dirty fuels means lower levels of indoor air pollution and can be particularly impactful for women and children, who often bear the burden of household cooking responsibilities.

EPCs are a much needed answer to a variety of long-standing challenges related to cooking with biomass fuels — a method which is currently the only option for approximately 2.4 billion people worldwide. According to the World Health Organization, 4 million people per year die as a result of indoor air pollution. On a larger scale, residential solid fuel burning is responsible for up to 58% of black carbon emissions worldwide and a gigaton of CO2 emissions per year. Buyers of carbon credits tied to EPC deployment are directly removing the need for biomass fuels for cooking, thereby delivering health benefits to some of the lowest-income, most climate-vulnerable people on the planet and supporting the greater energy transition in these regions.

The UpEnergy project has been supported by urban strategy and design company Gehl — a global leader in developing climate-friendly, healthy, and inclusive neighborhoods which is in the process of setting a net-zero target to align with global 1.5°C goals.

“Gehl is committed to reducing the carbon footprint of cities through our global work, using a human-centered approach to urban design and planning,” said Blaine Merker, Partner and Head of Climate Action at Gehl. “We’ve partnered with UpEnergy to help address our operating emissions because, like us, they start by meeting people where they are, and work to improve daily life. The EPC project improves life at the human scale even while it makes an impact for the planet.”

“We have worked in diverse countries and contexts, but our reach so far has been limited in sub-Saharan Africa,” noted Gehl’s founder and CEO, Helle Søholt. “Partnering with UpEnergy has allowed us to connect our work throughout the developed world to the benefit of low-income countries that are leapfrogging to climate-positive technology.”

UpEnergy continues to look for new corporate partners to help scale up its EPC projects. In addition to its heavy focus on projects that benefit African nations, the company is also expanding its geographical reach into Asia and South America, as well as piloting afforestation and biochar removal projects.

Photo courtesy of Rod Waddington.

Source: PRWeb (link opens in a new window)

Environment, Social Enterprise, Technology
clean cooking, decarbonization, energy access, ESG, innovation, startups