UpEnergy Closes New Debt Investment from the Global Hearthworks Foundation

UpEnergy today announced a debt investment from the Global Hearthworks Foundation (GHWF), a non-profit organization that supports market-based enterprises involved in bringing improved cookstoves and sustainable fuels to consumers in the poorest parts of the developing world.

GHWF’s support of UpEnergy will offer working capital for inventory purchases and strengthen UpEnergy’s Ugandan distribution channel by allowing the company to invest in stronger partnerships and a sub-regional presence. This will result in lower distribution costs, thus improving sales margins and supporting long term growth and profitability. Read our press release here and coverage by VC4Africa here.

Clinton Global Initiative Commitment – 1 million served by 2016

Photo credit: Barbara Kinney/ Clinton Global Initiative Caption: Former US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, presenting the CGI Commitment with UpEnergy CEO, Erik Wurster

At the 2014 Clinton Global Initiative, UpEnergy committed to radical scale up of its activities in Uganda, with the aim to serve 1 million people by 2016. This translates into the sale of 125,000 improved cookstoves to Ugandan households. Importantly, the expansion will save nearly 2 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions, employ some 150 people and avoid the destruction of 65,000 acres of forest. UpEnergy is targeting $1.5 million in grants and debt financing in order to accomplish these goals. Please contact UpEnergy CEO, Erik Wurster (erik (at) upenergygroup.com), for investment opportunity details.

 

UpEnergy approved as KIVA partner: first loan issued to Aaron Okello

UpEnergy was recently approved by KIVA to administer micro loans to high potential partners to buy cook stoves and solar lamps. UpEnergy partners will now be able to leverage consumer finance through micro loans, making our products more accessible than ever.

Aaron, a former motorcyclist taxi driver turned energy-efficient stove distributor, was just issued a $375 loan funded by Kiva to buy energy-efficient cookstoves on credit. Despite only completing seven years of schooling, Aaron has consistently been our highest performing entrepreneur in Uganda. Now, thanks to Kiva lenders, he is looking to grow his business further to help him support his family, wife, three children and the ten orphans for whom he provides shelter and school fees.

For more on the story, visit: Kiva blog on UpEnergy.

UpEnergy awarded Pilot Innovation Grant

Out of a total of 75 applications from across the globe, UpEnergy is proud to announce that it was among 6 orgarnizations selected to receive a pilot innovation grant from the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves. The grant is from a fund designed by the Alliance to jumpstart innovative approaches to strengthen supply and enhance demand in the clean cookstove sector along the value chain.
The funding received by UpEnergy will be used to leverage decentralized MFIs to boost the affordability and the accessibility of energy-efficient stoves in Uganda.

UpEnergy selected as 2013 Unreasonable Institute Fellow

UpEnergy is proud to announce that it was selected as a 2013 Unreasonable Institute Fellow out of a pool of 227 ventures from 47 countries. The Unreasonable Institute offers entrepreneurs mentorship and unparalleled access to funders in order to scale their organizations.Thanks to the generosity of several donors who raised a total of $12,000, we will be sending two team members to the Unreasonable Institute in Colorado this summer!

Clink on the link and follow their story below:

Edward and Nicole

 

Landmark study confirms the urgency of UpEnergy’s work

The Global Burden of Disease Study 2010, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and executed by 7 leading research institutions including Harvard University and the World Health Organization, confirmed the dire impact of air pollution produced by traditional cooking methods in the developing world. The study concluded that air pollution from traditional cooking methods is responsible for 3.5 million premature deaths a year, double the annual deaths attributed to either AIDS or Malaria.

UpEnergy’s mission – to provide clean energy technologies, including clean cookstoves, to the developing world at affordable prices – will mitigate the devastating effects of pollution produced by three-stone fires and inefficient cookstoves.

To read more on the study’s conclusion regarding the health impacts of cooking, please visit this website: http://www.greatenergychallengeblog.com/2012/12/13/cookstove-smoke-is-largest-environmental-threat-global-health-study-finds/

To read the The Global Burden of Disease Study 2010 in its entirety, please visit here:

http://www.thelancet.com/themed/global-burden-of-disease

UpEnergy takes Uganda’s leading media outlets by storm

SmartHome, UpEnergy’s Uganda brand,  has experienced significant coverage in Uganda’s leading media outlets in 2012.

In March, SmartHome was featured on Ugandan public television’s Saturday afternoon programing.  On a lively talk show, SmartHome awarded 20 energy efficient cookstoves to the program’s most enthusiastic viewers.

This month, SmartHome’s participation in Uganda’s annual Energy Week exhibition received coverage in Uganda’s leading daily newspaper, The Daily Monitor.  To view the article on The Daily Monitor’s website, click here.

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

UpEnergy Selected as Featured Social Enterprise at SOCAP 12

UpEnergy has been selected as a featured social enterprise for the upcoming SOCAP 12 event in San Francisco, Oct. 1-4 2012.

SOCAP  is a world-renowned conference series dedicated to increasing the flow of capital towards social good.

To read more about SOCAP 12 and UpEnergy as a featured SOCAP 12 social enterprise click here.

The Nicaragua Cookstove Stakeholder Feedback Round has Started!

The PDDs for this program are available at the CDM project cycle website:http://cdm.unfccc.int/ProgrammeOfActivities/Validation/DB/Y7Z6QD9N3MTM65OI7QZIFDWGINQT8P/view.html

Please send all feedback to:  egomez@impactcarbon.org

Attachments Click on a file to download it as a PDF

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Voluntary Carbon Markets Funneled $42 Million Into Clean Cookstoves in 2011: Report – Ecosystem Marketplace

COLOGNE | Germany | 8 June | Indoor pollution from coal-, dung- and wood-burning stoves and fire pits kills nearly two million people each year – including half of all children under the age of five who die from pneumonia – according to the World Bank.

Stoves and fire pits also generate hundreds of millions of tons of carbon emissions every year, which contributes to climate change and, ironically, has provided a vital role for funding the technology, according to the most recent State of the Voluntary Carbon Markets Report, which was released here last week and will be launched in the US on June 14 (See “Attend the US Launch”, right).

According to the report, carbon funding for clean cookstoves soared at least 40% in 2011, with voluntary carbon markets providing at least $42 million for clean cookstove projects, in part because credits from projects that distribute clean cookstoves commanded an average price of $13.20 per ton of carbon dioxide equivalent reduced (tCO2e). That’s more than $3/tCO2e higher than the market average, the report says.

“You could potentially see billions of dollars flowing into this space over the coming years,” says Simon Bishop of the Global Alliance for Clean Cook Stoves, a two-year-old consortium of more than 350 entities that aims to distribute more than 100 million clean cookstoves by the year 2020. The report shows that scores of alliance members have used carbon finance to underwrite their activities, and Bishop says scores of others are looking to follow suit.

“Carbon finance can be used to tackle a whole variety of barriers that currently prevent the adoption of clean-cook stoves,” he says. “It can be used to improve the design of stoves, to run awareness-raising campaigns, and to support a whole variety of activities that bring down cost so that millions of more homes could potentially afford them.”

How They Work

Most clean cookstoves use the same inputs that people are used to – coal in cities and wood in the countryside – and they deliver efficiencies by concentrating the fire, as we saw when we visited the World Bank’s clean cookstove demonstration in Cologne:

The Economics

Locally-produced ceramic stoves that burn 40% less fuel cost anywhere from $20 to $60, and higher-end stoves can run to $100 – a pittance for most people in the developed world, but a month’s salary for people across the developing world.

That’s where carbon markets come in. An improved cookstove can last up to five years and reduce carbon emissions by up to three tons per year, says Bishop. That means carbon finance can more than cover the cost of individual stoves.

“You’re talking about up to 15 tons of revenue for a cook stove that can cost $30 – $100,” he says. “If you can get 15 tons of carbon revenue from a $30 cookstove, even at $4 per ton, that’s still double the cost of the actual stove in terms of carbon finance returns, and clearly if markets recover, the returns could be much higher.”

The Challenges

But carbon projects aren’t easy to launch. Just getting one off the ground costs anywhere from $150,000 to $200,000 and requires tedious validation and verification. What’s more, the newer stoves often require training and education – two key reasons it’s taken so long for this sector to ratchet up.

The report attributes the surge to new accounting methods that make it easier to aggregate lots of small actions, and to controversial rules that recognize avoided emissions from new cookerstoves.

Beyond the challenges of carbon accounting, cookstoves face what Bishop calls the “the four As”: accountability, awareness, availability, and affordability.

On the accountability front, he points out there are no globally recognized standards for clean cookstoves. On the affordability front, the best-performing stoves are still the most expensive. On the awareness front, most people still don’t realize how much pollution cookstoves generate. And on the availability front, stoves are heavy, fragile things that are difficult to transport a challenge made even worse by the fact that one size does not fit all.

“You need a wide range of stoves to meet local fuel available, different family sizes, and differing food tastes,” says Bishop. “This means entrepreneurs need portfolio of products, and that’s hard to do, especially for an infant industry with low capacity.”

The Role Of Carbon Finance

This is the first year that the State of the Voluntary Carbon Markets report tracks credits from clean cookstove projects as a unique category, and the report shows clean cookstoves 4% of global market share. In previous years, cookstoves were classified by survey respondents according to their underlying technology – as biomass or energy efficiency projects. As cookstoves attracted broad international attention in 2011, however, authors felt it was fitting to analyze these projects in their own right.

Clean cook stove technologies transacted 3.2 MtCO2e in 2011, primarily from Africa-based projects utilizing Gold Standard guidance. While a comparison with 2010 data is not possible, this volume is 40% greater than transacted volumes tracked for energy efficiency and biomass combined in 2010 and so represents significant progress made in Africa’s traditionally project-challenged environment.

Projects that have been up and running for years are for the first time seeing large-scale credit issuance. Suppliers report that in the last year, supply of issued cook stove tonnes has begun to catch up with demand. They suspect that demand will continue to keep pace, too, as corporate offsetters increasingly consider cook stove credits to be a “catch all” CSR strategy – that unites humanitarian, environmental, and in some cases investment opportunities under one offset purchase.

Nevertheless, cook stove projects continue to face their own set of barriers to implementation, which include setting the right user price for the right stove – thus enabling continual and frequent use of the technology – and establishing sustained distribution channels through partners and programs that can deliver the stoves and provide proper monitoring services and training for end users.

“[The] distribution channel is the biggest missing link for post-2012 market actors,” says Erik Wurster of UpEnergy Group, one of a few cook stove pioneers that also include E+Carbon (which Wurster co-founded) and Impact Carbon. “Proper distribution channels are the critical ingredient for geographically disbursed projects such as cookstoves.”

As cook stove projects shifted from marginal to mainstream, they maintained a premium against the average market price. It remains to be seen, however, if they can retain this price as potentially large credit volumes come online. Suppliers of these offsets believe so, explaining that – much like forestry – the high price not only reflects the cost to implement and maintain the projects, but also corporates’ desire to support projects with community health and other social benefits.

“Even more than the emissions reduction element,” says ClimateCare CEO Edward Hanrahan, “buyers of [credits from] some of our projects are interested in supporting the reduced incidence of pneumonia from the use of cookstoves, or the purification of water and eradication of waterborne disease from the use of the LifeStraw. Projects like these are where we expect to see undersupply come through again next year.”

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Article from http://www.ecosystemmarketplace.com

Author: Steve Zwick

UpEnergy: cool for-profit social enterprise – Beneblog

Sunday, May 27, 2012 
 

The rise of for-profit social enterprises has been quite exciting. Although I’m firmly on the nonprofit side with Benetech (because we focus on big issues where the market is failing), it’s definitely easier to get funded sustainably if you have an exciting and invest-able business plan.Evan Haigler is a social entrepreneur I’ve known for years. He’s made a big difference in the area of clean cook stoves and carbon credits, spinning his nonprofit group ImpactCarbon out of UC Berkeley years ago. Lately Evan’s been talking about how to expand their impact even more. He’s joined forces with other social entrepreneurs in the field to found UpEnergy, a new for-profit social enterprise that wants to scale the impact of their successful pilot projects. The founding team includes leaders from each of the first three Gold Standard clean cookstove projects (and these projects delivered more than half a million stoves). They are already active in Africa and Latin America, in countries like Uganda, Rwanda, Liberia, El Salvador, Mexico, Guatemala and Nicaragua.The economics are compelling. A clean stove that costs $42 delivered throws off $20 a year in carbon credits! That means that UpEnergy can sell the stoves at a discount to consumers and create income for distributors, encouraging more adoption. The carbon income stream makes this a good target for impact investing: a chance to make good financial returns while ensuring great social outcomes like reduced fuel use, less CO2 and better health outcomes.

Looking forward to hearing more about their first round of financing to get this launched. I love to see projects like this going to scale, that’s true innovation!

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Article from Beneblog: http://benetech.blogspot.com/2012/05/upenergy-cool-for-profit-social.html

Author: Jim Fruchterman

The El Salvador Cookstove Stakeholder Feedback Round has Started!

The PDDs for this program are available at the CDM project cycle website: http://cdm.unfccc.int/ProgrammeOfActivities/Validation/DB/Y7Z6QD9N3MTM65OI7QZIFDWGINQT8P/view.html

Please send all feedback to:  egomez@impactcarbon.org

Attachments Click on a file to download it as a PDF

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Press release (3/19/2012): UpEnergy and myclimate Strike Deal to Fund the Manufacture and Sale of Efficient Household Cookstoves in El Salvador

San Francisco, USA and Zürich, Switzerland – Up Energy Group, Inc. (UpEnergy), a social enterprise that distributes and sells efficient household energy products in the developing world at affordable prices by leveraging carbon finance, and the myclimate Foundation (myclimate), a leading provider of high-quality carbon offsetting products and services, have partnered to sell efficient household cookstoves to underserved, poor communities in El Salvador. The stoves being sold decrease wood consumption by about 50% and significantly reduce indoor air pollution, a leading cause of death and disease in El Salvador.

The deal, which governs carbon credit sales from the El Salvador project through 2018, is estimated to be worth approximately $2.5 million. The initiative is being registered as a Programme of Activities (PoA) under the Kyoto Protocol’s Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) and the Gold Standard (GS) Foundation, and is part of a larger multi-country PoA being developed by UpEnergy with the support of myclimate. The PoA spans four Central American countries, including El Salvador.  Registration of the PoA is expected later this year.

The partnership aims to bolster the improved cookstove sector in Central America for decades to come. “myclimate’s knowledge of the carbon markets and access to buyers demanding high-quality offsets combined with UpEnergy’s extensive experience in developing carbon cookstove projects will enable the creation of an open access crediting platform in Central America. The platform is designed to offer local cookstove manufacturers and project developers alike an opportunity to benefit from carbon finance beyond the upcoming 2012 cut-off for middle income countries,” said Nicole Ballin of UpEnergy.

“We are very glad to be part of this large initiative in Central America. Billions of people worldwide are still cooking on open fires, a very inefficient way of cooking. By promoting very simple technologies that improve energy efficiency, such a project can make a big difference. It reduces climate impacting emissions but also substantially improves the living conditions of the people involved,” expressed René Estermann, CEO of myclimate.

About Up Energy Group, Inc.:

UpEnergy fights poverty, improves health, and protects forests by selling clean energy technologies in the developing world by leveraging carbon finance (www.upenergygroup.com). UpEnergy is led by managers or former managers from Impact Carbon, E+Co, and Climate Wedge, three industry-leading organizations. UpEnergy is a for-profit company that attracts commercial capital and leverages commercial practices for socially beneficial projects.  With experience with >20 projects around the world, UpEnergy’s founding team registered and led to profitability each of the first three Gold Standard cookstove projects.

About the foundation myclimate – The Climate Protection Partnership:

myclimate (http://www.myclimate.org/) is among the world leaders in voluntary carbon offsetting measures. Science-based and market-oriented, myclimate offers a comprehensive package of services for offsetting in high-quality carbon offset projects. To implement climate protection measures as effectively and efficiently as possible, myclimate has established an international network of project partners and representatives who act on behalf of myclimate in their countries. Furthermore, myclimate offers services in the field of CO2 calculations as well as awareness raising projects for climate protection.

Offset seller myclimate inks $2.5m cookstove CDM deal – Point Carbon

Swiss-based carbon offset seller myclimate has signed a $2.5 million deal to buy U.N.-backed carbon credits until 2018
from a programme that distributes fuel efficient cookstoves in El Salvador, the company said in a joint statement.
Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed, but according to a Thomson Reuters Point Carbon database, the El Salvador
programme has the potential to deliver 250,000 credits through the Kyoto Protocol’s Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) by 2018, implying a price per credit of $10 (7.60 euros).  That price is more than double the current level for exchange-traded secondary CERs, which changed hands at 3.75 euros Tuesday morning on ICE Futures Europe.

The cookstove programme, which is being developed by California-headquartered UpEnergy and is expected to be widened to other central American countries, hasn’t yet been registered by the CDM Executive Board.
But in the joint statement the companies said they expected the scheme to be approved by the end of the year.
“The platform is designed to offer local cookstove manufacturers and project developers alike an opportunity to benefit from carbon finance beyond the upcoming 2012 cut-off for middle income countries,” said Nicole Ballin of UpEnergy.  CDM projects and programmes that are registered after 2012 will only be eligible to supply the EU Emissions Trading Scheme if they are located in least developed countries, a list which doesn’t include El Salvador.
The programme aims to reduce emissions by handing out fuel efficient cookstoves.

These stoves are said by developers to decrease wood consumption by about 50 percent and reduce indoor air pollution, a leading cause of death and disease in the Latin American country. The programme’s participants will also seek certification by the Switzerland-based Gold Standard, which gives its stamp of approval to CDM and voluntary market cleaner energy schemes judged to make a major contribution to sustainable development.  So far 55 cookstove schemes have been audited by third party verifiers, of which 11 have been registered by the CDM Executive Board.  Three of the U.N. approvals apply to CDM programmes, a newer form of the mechanism that groups together multiple  emission reduction measures across large areas.  El Salvador is home to one of the three CDM cookstove programmes approved so far.  Last month, the Executive Board for the first time rejected an application by a cookstove programme to be included in the  CDM after it blocked a scheme based in Zambia.

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Article from Point Carbon: www.pointcarbon.com

Author: John McGarrity

Eneco to buy 1.5 million CERs from cookstove project – Carbon Finance

14 February, 2012 : The trading arm of Dutch utility Eneco has launched a joint initiative with project developer UpEnergy to distribute half a million cookstoves in Uganda, from which Eneco will buy all of the credits.  The Programme of Activities (PoA) is expected to generate up to 1.5 million certified emissions reductions (CERs) by the end of 2020, a spokesman for Eneco said.  Eneco will also provide San Fransisco-based UpEnergy with some upfront financing for the project, but did not disclose the amount.

The estimated total economic value of the project for the developer, including both the value of CERs generated and the revenues from the cookstoves sales, is €15 million ($19.7 million) and will provide lowincome communities in Uganda with energy-saving cookstoves, replacing the open fires and stoves running on wood and charcoal that 95% of the country uses, said Eneco.

UpEnergy has a pipeline of additional cookstove and water treatment projects under development in Africa, Asia and Latin America.  The developer registered the first three Gold Standard energy-saving cookstove projects, led each of those programmes to profitability and has managed 20 additional cookstove projects.

“From our experience in the carbon markets, we know how difficult it is to implement PoAs successfully,” said Mark Meyrick, head of carbon at Eneco, which in 2009 agreed to buy CERs from the first PoA registered, in Mexico.  “Therefore, we are confident that bringing our respective experiences to bear will make this a successful programme and partnership.”  The project is in an “advanced stage of validation” and should be registered before the end of this year, said Eneco.

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Article from Carbon Finance:  www.carbon-financeonline.com

Eneco signs PoA deal for Ugandan cookstoves – Argus Media

Amsterdam, 13 February  — Dutch utility Eneco’s trading arm, Eneco Energy Trade, and San
Francisco and Kampala-based social enterprise UpEnergy today announced a joint initiative to develop a
programme of activities (PoA) in Uganda that will provide low-income communities with access to
energy-saving household cookstoves.

The investment, estimated at €15mn ($19.9mn), represents one of the largest carbon finance
commitments made to clean cookstoves in the sector’s history, Eneco said. PoAs group smaller projects
together to reduce greenhouse gas emissions under the umbrella of one clean development mechanism
(CDM) project.

It is planned that there will be nine project activities under the PoA and each of them will run for at least
seven years. In total, the PoA is expected to generate around 1.5mn certified emission reduction (CER)
units up to 2020, Eneco said.

The companies will target over 95pc of the Ugandan population that currently cook with wood and
charcoal over open fires. UpEnergy’s biomass stoves decrease biomass consumption by over 50pc and
reduce indoor air pollution. The biomass stove thereby saves fuel and reduces greenhouse gas emissions,
which generates CERs. The project will also curb deforestation and alleviate poverty by reducing cooking
costs.

“After carefully evaluating UpEnergy’s project we are confident that they have the ability, vision and
wherewithal to make this venture a success in a part of the world where the pressure on biomass for
cooking purposes, as well as the health challenges, are considerable,” Eneco’s head of carbon Mark
Meyrick said.

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Article from Argus Media: www.argusmedia.com

Author: Bill Peters

Dutch utility agrees to buy 1.2mln post-2012 CERs – Point Carbon

13 Feb 2012  - Dutch power company Eneco and U.S.-headquartered project developer UpEnergy have agreed to distribute 500,000 biomass-burning cookstoves in Uganda, a tie-up that could deliver around 1.2 million credits by the end of the decade.  In a joint press release published on Monday, the companies said the deal is one of the largest so far related to the use of energy-saving household stoves, a sector that is a mainstay of investment in the Kyoto Protocol’s Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) after 2012.

Under the terms of the deal, Eneco has agreed to buy CERs from a programme expected to yield 167,000 offsets a year from the distribution of 156,000 cookstoves over seven years.  UpEnergy plans to hand out 500,000 efficient cookstoves over the 28-year lifetime of the scheme, in a deal that could eventually be worth 15 million euros, the joint press release said.  The two companies will cooperate through a CDM programme that will target more than 95 percent of the Ugandan population that currently cooks with wood and charcoal, a practice said to be harmful to human health and a major source of greenhouse gas emissions in non-industrialised countries.

Programmatic CDM projects, also called Programmes of Activities, group together multiple emission reduction
measures, for example switching incandescent light bulbs for more efficient alternatives, implemented across large
areas. The burning of wood and charcoal for cooking releases carbon that had been stored in trees and is a major contributor of deforestation in African countries, according to the U.N.  The use of more efficient household stoves is estimated by other project developers to cut emissions by around 1-3 tonnes of CO2 equivalent per stove a year. Several large banks, trading houses and energy companies have invested in cookstove projects so far, including Standard Bank, JP Morgan, Caisse des Depots, Vitol, and a charity part-funded by oil major Royal Dutch Shell. Updates with detail on binding offtake contract

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Article from Point Carbon: www.pointcarbon.com

Author:  John McGarrity

Eneco Signs $20 Million CO2 Offset Deal for Ugandan Stoves – Bloomberg New Energy Finance

Feb. 13 — Eneco Energy Trading BV, the trading arm of Eneco Holding NV, signed a 15
million-euro ($20 million) agreement with UpEnergy Group to buy United Nations carbon credits from a
project to distribute cooking stoves across Uganda.

UpEnergy, a San Francisco company that develops initiatives including water purification and solar light
projects, is selling the cook stoves in Uganda at a rate of about 1,000 units a month, Erik Wurster, a
managing director at the company, said by telephone from San Francisco. The project may sell about
500,000 stoves throughout Uganda, he said. The emissions saved from using the stoves will be verified by
risk management company DNV, he said.

Replacing traditional wood-burning fires with cleaner, faster cooking stoves may help fight climate
change, reduce poverty by lowering cooking costs and curb deforestation. About 2.7 billion people, or 40
percent of the world’s population, do not have access to clean cooking facilities, according to the
International Energy Agency’s annual report.

“We have looked at many cookstove projects up to now, and they have their own particular
implementation and economic challenges,” Mark Meyrick, head of carbon for Rotterdam-based Eneco
Energy Trade, said in an e-mailed statement. The deal is for 1.5 million UN Certified Emission Reduction
credits in the eight years through 2020, Meyrick said by telephone.

The initiative will create UN carbon credits that can be used to comply with targets under the Kyoto
Protocol and the European Union’s emissions trading system. UN credits for delivery in December lost 2.1
percent to 3.75 euros a metric ton as of 9:46 a.m. on London’s ICE Futures Europe exchange. The offsets
have fallen 67 percent in the last year as a struggling European economy has sapped demand while
emissions-cutting projects increased supplies.

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Article from Bloomberg New Energy Finance: http://www.newenergyfinance.com/

Author: Catherine Airlie

Press release (2/12/2012): UpEnergy and Eneco Launch Partnership to Distribute Nearly a Half Million Efficient Household Cookstoves in Uganda

Up Energy Group, Inc (UpEnergy), a San Francisco and Kampala-based social enterprise, and Eneco Energy Trade BV, the energy trading arm of A- rated Dutch utility Eneco Holding NV, today announced a joint initiative to develop a Programme of Activities (PoA) in Uganda that will provide low income communities in Uganda with access to energy-saving household cookstoves. The transaction, which is estimated to be worth €15 million, represents one of the largest carbon finance commitments made to clean cookstoves in the sector’s history.

Eneco Energy Trade BV (www.eneCO2.com) has been active in the European carbon markets for the past 6 years, and has built a reputation for innovative sourcing of environmentally sound carbon credits to meet its own compliance position in the European Union Trading System (EU ETS).

UpEnergy (www.upenergygroup.com) builds distribution channels backed by carbon finance that sell vital clean energy technologies in the developing world, with the aim of alleviating poverty, improving health, and protecting forests. The UpEnergy team registered each of the world’s first three Gold Standard energy-saving cookstove projects, led each of those programs to profitability and has managed 20 additional cookstoves projects on a principal or advisory basis. UpEnergy has a pipeline of additional cookstove and water treatment projects under development in Africa Asia and Latin America.

In this collaboration, the two companies will target more than 95% of the Ugandan population that currently cook with wood and charcoal over dangerous open fires and dirty stoves. UpEnergy sells high quality, efficient biomass stoves that decrease biomass consumption by more than 50% and significantly reduce indoor air pollution, a leading cause of death and disease in Uganda. Saving fuel means reduced greenhouse gas emissions, which Eneco Energy Trade BV buys in the form of UN-compliant certified emission reductions, or CERs. The project also has the ancillary benefits of reduced deforestation pressure on Uganda’s fragile forests, as well as a positive financial impact on Ugandan household budgets.

Mark Meyrick, Head of Carbon for Eneco, said, “We have looked at many cookstove projects up to now, and they have their own particular implementation and economic challenges. After carefully evaluating UpEnergy’s project we are confident that they have the ability, vision and wherewithal to make this venture a success in a part of the world where the pressure on biomass for cooking purposes, as well as the health challenges, are considerable. From our experience in the carbon markets, we know how difficult it is to implement Programmes of Activities successfully. Therefore we are confident that bringing our respective experiences to bear will make this a successful programme and partnership.”

“As a pioneer in CDM PoAs, ENECO’s market knowledge and financial resources will be pivotal in UpEnergy’s ability to serve hundreds of thousands of Ugandan households with cleaner, more efficient cooking technology,” said Erik Wurster, Managing Director of UpEnergy.