What do I know about energy? I know it’s needed to bring warmth in our home when it’s cold out, powers the lights when it’s dark, and allows me to attempt the recipes, that look so tempting and delicious, from my Jamie Oliver cookbook. Needless to say, the short answer is, I don’t know much.
Inyenyeri is a Rwandan energy company founded by Eric Reynolds, a serial entrepreneur from the US, who recently sold nearly all his assets and moved to Rwanda to scale up an existing business model developed by WorldStove, the maker of LuciaStove. Inyenyeri’s goal is to “deliver renewable biomass cooking fuel pellets to millions of rural and urban households throughout east and central Africa… and to solve persistent social and environmental problems caused by the lack of affordable, clean-burning, and sustainable cooking energy.”
With their “stove and fuel pellet” business model, the LuciaStoves are given away while Inyenyeri generates revenue from the biomass pellets they sell. Inyenyeri also leverages the existing behaviour of rural Rwandans, who collect twigs, leaves and other biomass for cooking, to supply the company with the raw materials for Inyenyeri fuel pellets, made with wood pieces smaller in diameter than 1cm. In return, the households receive pellets as compensation. With the end customer participating in this trading process, the cost of fuel pellet production is minimized creating a cheaper more efficient burning fuel than charcoal and saving urban customers around $80 on cooking fuel in the first year.
One more advantage, the pellets are converted by the LuciaStove into “biochar” while it cooks, which creates a carbon-negative effect as it isolates atmospheric carbon dioxide and can increase crop yields once Inyenyeri teaches their rural customers to use the biochar as a soil amendment for their farmland.
In the short-term, Inyenyeri hopes to start paying households to use the LuciaStove and fuel pellets. Through tracking usage by weighing biochar collected by each household, the company will introduce a rewards points system where the points earned can be redeemed to purchase income-producing tools such as solar lights, sewing machines, water purifiers, and more.
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Thank you Inyenyeri for making our world wonderful!
LET ME KNOW, REPLY BELOW: How much energy do you use each day?