Focus: Clean Energy
Location: Darfur, Sudan
For people living in extreme poverty, fuel for cooking is prohibitively expensive. For this reason, over 76% of the population in Sub-Saharan Africa cooks over open fires. However, cooking smoke is harmful to both people and the planet. Not only does it cause three deaths per minute in homes with inadequate ventilation, but it also releases black carbon into the atmosphere, contributing to climate change. What’s more, in conflict zones like Darfur, a task as simple as collecting firewood poses a life-threatening risk for women in addition to destroying forests.
In 2007, Potential Energy partnered with Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Engineers without Borders to develop fuel-efficient cookstoves specifically designed to meet the needs and cooking habits of its users. After production in Mumbai, the first 20,000 stoves were distributed in Darfur for free. According to Potential Energy, saving the poorest segments of the population around one dollar per day in firewood expenses allows the stoves to pay for themselves within a month. Additionally, the stoves have reduced harmful emissions by half and have saved women $58 million in firewood expenses.
In 2013, the initiative was awarded a grant by the UN initiative Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves. Formerly known as the Darfur Stoves Project, Potential Energy is now looking to adapt and scale other technologies to improve human life and protect the environment.
Environmental impact: Avoided deforestation & avoided use of fossil fuels, including avoided emission of GHGs and harmful substances
Measurement: Potential Energy
Source: Potential Energy