A Ugandan social enterprise specialising in agricultural waste to energy project for off-grid applications, Pamoja Cleantech, has joined the Business Call to Action (BCtA) with a commitment to reduce CO2 emissions by 150,000 tonnes each year and increase access to energy for more than 30,000 rural households by 2020.
BCtA is a global initiative that encourages companies to fight poverty through inclusive business models.
Pamoja explained that it builds and operates micro-grids for direct electricity distribution. These micro-grids are powered by biomass fuels that are mainly derived from agricultural residue (corn cobs, ground nut shells, rice husks and coffee husks), or solar energy.
The waste products are converted into high-energy dense fuel pellets for industrial and domestic use. To meet its goals, the company said that it will scale up its operations to 100 micro-grids (from two), sourcing the additional biomass fuels from 15,000 small scale-farmers in East Africa beginning in Uganda.
According to Pamoja, producing energy through agricultural waste enables its business to align its bottom-line demands with the new global development agenda. Smallholder farmers and agricultural processors will be able to generate energy from their waste residues, optimising efficiency in the supply chain and improving their bottom lines while making positive climate impacts.
By 2020 the company aims for a 150,000 tonne reduction in CO2 emissions per year by replacing diesel generators with a clean-energy alternative and by avoiding methane emissions caused by the decay of raw biomass.
In domestic homes Pamoja said that its pellets work with pyrolytic cooking stoves that are highly efficient, smokeless, simple and cheap, addressing one of the largest causes of deforestation by replacing charcoal for cooking while improving health.
In addition, Pamoja will assess the technical, social and economic feasibility of converting organic waste into a soil building bio-fertiliser to be used in agroforestry systems. Local farmer cooperatives will provide communities with hands-on tools for sustainable agriculture using agroforestry, as well as educate them about the importance of value addition.
“By reusing waste to create affordable and accessible energy, we are helping to create socially and economically thriving communities, and ensuring sustainable development. We are pleased to become a member of the Business Call to Action and look forward to working with their team and our fellow members,” commented Peik Stenlund, the company’s CEO and co-founder
BCtA wasLaunched in 2008 it is a unique multilateral alliance between key donor governments including the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), UK Department for International Development, US Agency for International Development, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Government of Finland, and the United Nations Development Programme.
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