Udaipur Woodstoves Project

Seva Mandir, Udaipur

After serious consideration and assessing the needs of local women in Udaipur district of Rajasthan, Seva Mandir, one of the founding members of FCN, decided to register a fuel-efficient Woodstoves CDM Project in 2009. It took us 4 years to thoroughly understand carbon finance, CDM procedures, and make a demographic and energy usage survey of 25,000 families. The project finally got registered with UNFCCC and Gold Standard in 2013. Click here here to see project details.

In 2014, Seva Mandir decided to transfer the project to Udaipur Urja Initiatives, a Producer Company that we helped set up, in order to give ownership, management and control to End User women. The process was full of hindrances, as Host Country Approval was not given to the producer company citing their being a new entity with no prior experience. Finally, we decided to transitioned from CDM to Gold Standard as a GS VER project after deregistering with the UNFCCC in 2016. Click here to see details on Markit.

90% of families in the tribal regions of Udaipur district depend on wood for cooking, water and space heating, and making animal feeds. Women collect an average of 3,200 kg of biomass from forests, pastures and revenue wastelands; one of the causes of deforestation. They use traditional three-stone cook stoves that use a lot of wood and give out a lot of smoke. Collecting wood gives them chronic back and neck pain, and cooking results in respiratory, eye, and other health problems. Access to LPG is expensive and logistically difficult due to the hilly terrain and a lack of established supply system.

After extensive field testing of several models, women chose Greenway Grameen in two sizes, with 30% thermal efficiency and fuel saving of 65%. These stoves are portable, and women can carry them to any location — cook inside their homes in winter, and outside during the blazing summer months. But in spite of investing a staggering amount of Rs 4,000 over the year in lost labour, tribal families don’t have ready money to purchase 2 Greenways fuel efficient Woodstoves.

Following the FCN business model, we arranged for the forward sale of 151,328 tCO2-e over a period of 5 years, to two carbon investors — BfdW, Germany, and Infosys, Bangalore. This is amount of GHG that 18,500 End User women would reduce by the use of improved stoves.

Implementation started in January 2016 and 37,000 Woodstoves have been installed in 18,500 homes. Each End User woman will use these Woodstoves for the next 5 years, generate Carbon Offsets, aggregate them under the aegis of their Producer Company, verify with a GS accredited carbon auditor, and repay the Carbon Investors. Daily usage monitoring is done by 130 local women who visit each End User family once a month to check usage and help solve problems. Monitoring data is maintained digitally for the calculation of emission reductions.