Inyenyeri Signs Landmark Deal with World Bank to Scale Renewable Energy Company in Rwanda

Published by Jean d'Amour Mugabo
On 9 June 2017 saa 07:58
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On June 8th, 2017 the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development ("IBRD"), acting as the trustee of the Carbon Initiative for Development Fund (“Ci-Dev”) announced its commitment to buy 600,000 "carbon credits" from Inyenyeri, a Rwandan Social Benefit Company, resulting from the Inyenyeri Improved Cookstove Project.

The Emission Reductions Purchase Agreement ("ERPA") commits the World Bank to purchase 600,000 carbon credits between now and December 2023 and provides an option for the World Bank to purchase another 400,000 carbon credits.

Ci-Dev provides performance based payments against delivery of Certified Emission Reductions (CERs) to support projects that improve and increase energy access in low income countries using clean and efficient technologies. Along the way, it will generate valuable lessons in how reducing greenhouse gas emissions, such as CO2, can generate tangible development benefits for local communities, like cleaner air, improved safety, and financial and time savings.

Yasser El-Gammal, Rwandan Country Manager at World Bank, commented that: “Like in many other sectors, Rwanda is again innovating in finding unconventional solutions to development problems. This new cooking system promises to significantly reduce health hazards amongst rural populations as well as help save the forests wealth in Rwanda. This experiment promises to be a model that can be replicated across much of sub-Saharan Africa”.

Inyenyeri, a Rwandan fuel-utility company, has developed an innovative model that provides even the poorest households access to a clean cooking solution. Inyenyeri produces sustainable wood pellets, that, when paired with the cleanest biomass cookstove, reduces wood required for cooking by 80-90% compared to traditional cooking methods.

This combination allows the company to crowdsource wood from rural families, who in exchange receive the Fuel+Stove system for no cash, and sell the system to urban households at a lower cost than cooking with charcoal. This Fuel+Stove system will significantly contribute to preventing death and disease, deforestation, and climate change caused by household air pollution.

Based out of Gisenyi, Inyenyeri is eager to scale quickly, leveraging future Ci-Dev revenues to provide 150,000 households with a clean cooking solution by 2020.

Eric Reynolds, CEO of Inyenyeri, informs that: “The monetary value of this contract has already catalyzed a series of significant developments for Inyenyeri and Rwanda. Three years of due diligence by the Ci-Dev team has given many current and new stakeholders a great measure of confidence in our innovative business model.”

Inyenyeri has already used the future revenue stream from the ERPA as collateral to secure an €8,000,000 loan facility from Althelia Climate Fund and FMO, the Dutch development bank which intends to share the facility with ACF. Inyenyeri aims to serve 2+ million households in Rwanda.

Reynolds adds that “the revenue from carbon finance can bring many tens of millions of dollars back to Rwanda to be invested in modern pellet plant infrastructure and ultra-clean gasification stoves. This can also create thousands of Green Jobs.”

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Yasser El-Gammal Country Manager for Rwandan Country Office, World Bank Group (centre) poses for a group photo with Inyenyeri staff
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Inyenyeri’s CEO, Reynolds signs as World Bank Group’s El-Gammal looks on

By Jean d’Amour Mugabo