EEP study addresses the role of women and girls in renewable energy

Women and girls are important consumers of energy, and they benefit the most from the availability of sustainable and affordable energy sources. Women’s participation in the value chain of renewable energy solutions has been recognised as indispensable to realising the sustainable development goals.

Gender equality is a cross-cutting theme in EEP and the new EEP In-Depth Gender Study essentially seeks to understand the role of women and girls in renewable and energy-efficiency projects of the EEP portfolio. The study is based on a survey of EEP projects, and interviews with a sample of project developers. It presents a variety of gender-differentiated approaches the projects have adopted as well as the gender-related challenges and outcomes they have identified. The aim of the report is to share lessons learned from gender-related activities within the projects, and to provide recommendations to project developers on how they can maximise the benefits to their business and the development impact from a gender-differentiated approach.

Based on the survey, 12% of project developers considered their projects to be particularly ‘gender targeted’ while 48% considered their projects to significantly contribute to gender equality and/or women’s empowerment, but as a secondary objective. These projects are well positioned to generate substantial development outcomes and real impact on the daily lives of African women and girls. Additionally, in many of these projects the gender-differentiated approach was also considered an important factor in improving financial results.

The report highlights, for example, that women have had particular success in the sales and distribution of solar products and cookstoves, and in many projects female sales agents have been outperforming male counterparts. However, there are still challenges and constraints to women’s involvement in the renewable energy projects more broadly. Safety issues, burden of household chores as well as cultural and societal norms were mentioned as causes that prevent women’s full participation in the workforce.

The report indicates that nearly half of projects were actively following the progress and results of gender related activities and outputs. However, there is still potential to further strengthen the project design process and improve the monitoring in order to ensure prospective benefits to women both as employees and end-users of renewable energy, and to the organization itself.

Read more results of the EEP In-Depth Gender Study (Full Report and Summary) and feel free to share these results to your network.

EEP would like to thank all the project developers who participated in the gender survey and contributed to the results of the study by sharing experiences and interesting insights from the field.  Special thanks to the following organizations who were interviewed for the study: LivelyHoods Kenya, Improved Cook Stoves for East Africa/Ugastove, Envirofit International, GCS Tanzania, Greenlight Planet Kenya, Nuru Energy East Africa, Norges Vel, BioLite, Renen Energy Solutions, Emerging Cooking Solutions and NewLight Africa.



EEP IBM: SimGas turns manure into energy and fertilizer

The fresh EEP S&EA Innovative Business Model publication features a rapidly growing biogas company SimGas. Currently operating in Kenya and Tanzania, SimGas manufactures, sells and installs domestic off-the-shelf biogas digester systems for rural farming households. Fed with water and manure from livestock, the digester produces both biogas for daily cooking, and fertilizer slurry which can be used to improve crop yields. A full GesiShamba package includes the digester, stove and other accessories as well as installation, piping, end-user training, 5 year service agreement and a warranty.

The benefits of SimGas digesters are reduced energy expenditures, increased farm revenues from improved yields and shift to clean energy from fossil fuels that cause health hazards, CO2 emissions and deforestation. The tailor-made financial solutions are based on an upfront payment combined with set monthly payments for a specified duration. Another innovation in the business model is the carbon credit programme, which enables customers to get a 200 USD discount through SimGas’ carbon credit sales.

SimGas’ growth has been supported by EEP S&EA at two different stages of project development. To date SimGas has sold more than 1,000 biogas systems and the expansion plans include establishing new SimGas hubs in Rwanda, Ethiopia and Uganda.

Read the SimGas Innovative Business Model and take a look at the other four previously published EEP IBMs.

Investors and projects highlighted the value of EEP Investor Forum

EEP organised the second Investor Forum in Nairobi, Kenya on 30 May

The EEP Investor Forum was again highly successful in bringing EEP project developers who are looking for post-EEP investment in contact with potential investors. The event grew slightly from the first EEP Investor Forum as there was growing interest from projects and need for additional investments in the EEP portfolio that is moving forward. The event in Nairobi was attended by 18 investors ranging from impact investors to development financing institutions and 26 EEP projects that have demonstrated potential for scaling-up.

The interest from project developers was clear as the first participants arrived well before the start of the registration. All projects had the opportunity to pitch their project, future plans and investment need to the investors in the beginning of the event to entice the investors present for further discussion. Similarly, the investors presented their organisations and funding appetite to the Forum.

The focus of the Investor Forum was on the one-on-one meetings between the projects and investors, which started after the networking lunch. The one-on-one matchmaking was facilitated by the EEP team prior to the Forum based on the input from the project developers and the investors to ensure valuable meetings and interactions.

In addition to the organised meetings countless informal meetings took place during the day. The opportunity to meet several investors and projects in just one event has proved to be the added value of the EEP Investor Forum. The day was rounded off with drinks and networking that continued the active discussions of the day.

The feedback received from both the EEP project developers and the investors has been very positive and highlights the demand for the EEP Investor Forum. The Forum was thanked for the diverse range of investors, the quality of projects and opening doors for more detailed discussions.

“It would be impossible to meet these people all in one place without the event – this is a huge benefit.”
-Project Developer

The Investor Forum has demonstrated to be a successful concept and will surely be continued. Please ensure to follow us through our newsletter and social media to stay informed on future Investor Forums.

“The event was highly informative and a great way to connect with many potential (and existing) partners in one room!”

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