Summary

Launched
2006
Estimated duration
3 Years
Estimated total value
$150,000
Regions
Africa
Locations
KENYA; MALAWI; Tanzania; ZAMBIA
Partners
SolarAid

SolarAid Carbon Offset Scheme

Approach

SolarAid will establish a carbon partnership scheme that enables individuals, companies and organizations to offset their own carbon emissions with payments that fund the installation of solar energy systems in Africa. This model will result in significant benefit by:
? Encouraging the development of renewable energy for sustainable growth;
? Assisting poor communities in their energy needs; and
? Providing renewable and affordable energy for health, education, agriculture and other basic infrastructure
The carbon partnership scheme will be carried out through two methods. First, it will be operated via an online carbon calculator. This will allow people to calculate the CO2 pollution created by their travel and domestic/company usage of fossil fuels. A monetary evaluation tool will allow site-users to elect to pay this amount for the construction of solar energy systems in developing countries through SolarAid. Solar energy is one of the cleanest forms of energy production.
Second, SolarAid will develop relationships with solar companies and other organizations to encourage them to set up long-term partnerships with SolarAid to offset their carbon through SolarAid projects as part of a comprehensive approach to reducing their carbon emissions.
People from anywhere in the world will be able to use the online carbon offsetting scheme, but the solar energy systems will be for poor communities in Africa. We plan to expand the carbon offsetting scheme to Malawi, Zambia, Tanzania, Kenya and other neighboring countries.
Indicators of this commitment will include the amount of money paid into the scheme, the numbers of people using it, tons of CO2 offset, number of solar systems and devices installed, number of poor communities helped, levels on nutrition, education, food production, and income gained because of the installation of solar-powered devices.

Background

SolarAid is a not-for-profit organization that works with poor communities in developing countries to help them use solar power to meet their needs. It does this through DIY solar projects – training local communities how to build small-scale solar devices such as solar powered radios and lanterns – and through the installation of small solar systems for community centers, medical clinics, schools and other such communal infrastructure. SolarAid volunteers identified the need for a carbon partnership scheme as a result of rising demand among public, private, and other organizations for a clean offsetting option. The SolarAid strategy is optimal for combating climate change while also helping poor communities in the developing world.
SolarAid was set up by Solarcentury, the UK’s largest solar company, which provides 5% of its net profit to SolarAid. Solarcentury staff are volunteering to help build this carbon partnership scheme.

Progress Update

June 2009
– Completed objective of commitment to set up a carbon offsetting scheme in East Africa
– Gold Standard (www.cdmgoldstandard.org) approved SolarAid’s carbon offset scheme in Malawi and Zambia
– Program rolling out in Malawi and Zambia
– Finished a project design document for the carbon offsetting scheme, including calculations of CO2 savings, with the assistance of MIT and of Affine Capital Markets. This involved researching data into kerosene usage in Malawi and calculating how much CO2 a converted kerosene lamp would offset. Our model, known as micro solar, involves teaching local communities in Africa how to convert kerosene lamps into solar lanterns, which they can then sell to earn a profit as well as reduce carbon emissions.
– Put into place a verification process and received formal approval from specialist consultancy.
– Secured agreement with Affine Capital Markets to manage our Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) process for a very reduced cost.
– Negotiating with customers who want to purchase carbon credits and raising funds for carbon offset projects in Malawi and Tanzania. Visited project site in Tanzania, where SolarAid is training a deaf and disabled community to convert kerosene lamps into solar lanterns. This has led to a rise in the community’s aggregate income with demand for solar products now outstripping supply.
June 2007
– Project design document for carbon offset model is nearly complete.
– Promoted carbon offsetting scheme at the Hay Festival, the United Kingdom’s largest literary festival, with 80,000 participants.
– Raising funds for carbon offset projects in Malawi and Tanzania.
– Visited project site in Tanzania, where SolarAid is training a deaf and disabled community to convert kerosene lamps into solar lanterns. This has led to a rise in the community’s aggregate income with demand for solar products now outstripping supply.
September – December 2006
– Finished a project design document for the carbon offsetting scheme, including calculations of CO2 savings.
– Put into place a verification process and received formal approval from specialist consultancy.
– Negotiating with customers who want to purchase carbon credits.
November 2006
By May 2007, we will have designed our first carbon offsetting project using DIY solar training, ready for the public launch by 18 June 2007. We will work with poor communities in Africa to help them build small-scale solar devices such as solar lanterns that will replace kerosene lamps, which create large volumes of carbon. Replacing kerosene lamps with solar lanterns therefore leads to a reduction in carbon emissions and is an effective means of offsetting carbon.

Partnership Opportunities

NOTE: This Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Commitment to Action is made, implemented, and tracked by the partners listed. CGI is a program dedicated forging new partnerships, providing technical support, and elevating compelling models with potential to scale. CGI does not directly fund or implement these projects.