Carbon credits and the Maasai Stoves & Solar Project
We are well on our way to completing the requirements for carbon credit certification. Part of the process includes baseline surveys and measurement of the wood savings of our stove directly and by efficiency studies, performed by an outside authority.
Dr. Hassan Rajabu, Professor of Engineering from the University of Dar es Salaam conducted these studies at our request. His measurements are the basis for calculating carbon dioxide emission reductions required for carbon credit certification. Over several days, he compared the use of our stoves versus the traditional three-stone fire.
Dr. Rajabu’s measurements and our own studies confirm that there is a reduction of carbon dioxide emissions of 3.6 metric tons per stove per year!
These tests provide important data on key elements in addition to health that motivate us:
- Forest conservation
- Women’s labor reduction
- Climate change mitigation
Maasai Stoves & Solar and the carbon credit certification process
Our stove is efficient and each cuts down on weekly wood use by 60 kilograms per stove. Because the wood the Maasai women burn is dead, did not grow recently, and is not being replaced, it is classified as non-renewable. When nonrenewable fuel is saved from being burned, less carbon dioxide is emitted into the atmosphere.
Such reductions can be certified either through the Clean Development Mechanism of the United Nations or by managers of “voluntary carbon credit markets.” These reductions have value since others can buy them to offset their own carbon dioxide emissions, or just to support good work that mitigates climate change.
The value of the emission reductions we produce is likely to maintain its stability, even as the carbon credit market fluctuates, since some buyers are looking for credits associated with other goals. These goals, such as better health and decreased women’s labor, are central to our mission.
Beginning in 2012, to start the certification process, we needed a Coordinating Managing Entity (CME) to work with the certified emission reduction. To that end, we are pleased to announce a partnership with Ms. Nicola Steen, a carbon credit specialist, with the aim of helping the Project benefit from the carbon credit potential. View details of the partnership at For Stoves.
We created a sister for-profit company, Nyumbani Innovations, registered with the Tanzanian government, to work with For Stoves and manage the carbon credits. As the carbon credit funding stream matures, we anticipate a significant increase in the potential for sponsorship of the work of the Maasai Stoves & Solar Project.
Maasai Stoves & Solar carbon credits results
To document the proof that the stoves in fact reduce carbon dioxide emissions, a complex process is required. There are presumed levels of emissions from the open fires of three-stone cooking based on ten percent efficiency for that form of cooking. The efficiency of our stove is measured to be 24% using standard internationally accepted protocols, meaning that percentage of the energy in the wood makes it into the cooking process.
On that basis, and on the assumption that In Tanzania, 95% of the wood gathered is non-renewable, the carbon dioxide emission reductions were calculated. These calculations complete the conditions for United Nations certification under the Clean Development Mechanism protocols.
We find direct measurement of wood gathered and used by women is what is important. We are pleased to find that the results of our direct weighing of gathered wood in dozens of homes, using the international protocols of the “kitchen performance test” confirm our own studies showing significant emission reductions.