Energy & Project Development
In sub-Saharan Africa low carbon and renewable energy technologies are a catalyst and accelerator for development.
Enso Impact is a project development company. We work with partners to develop a concept, find the right technology and knowledge to implement, secure finance and manage investors to bring the project to life.
Solar-Maji - "Pay as you grow" solar Irrigation business in Northern Malawi
Malawi’s economy is predominantly agricultural by labour force (almost 90%), and it contributes over two thirds of GDP. It generates around 90% of Malawi's foreign exchange earnings from cash crop exports. The main export crops are tobacco, sugar, tea, and cotton. Maize is the principal subsistence crop. Legumes are now being widely encouraged by the Malawi Government and paprika is a target crop with year on year global growth in the market projected to be 9%. The project would be contributing around 10% of Malawi’s supply of paprika. Currently agricultural production is largely dependent on rainfall, as capital intensive irrigation is
out of reach for most farmers. There is very little mechanization; the hand hoe remains the smallholder's main farm tool, meaning that productivity per worker and by hectare is low. High productivity gains are achievable by providing farmers with access to water and agricultural training.
The business model centers on providing smallholders with the means of increasing their income through exported crop sales. Income will be increased by approximately 50% through double cropping land, higher paprika yields and a better quality crop. Quality is mainly determined by colour density measured in ASTA units; a higher price is obtained for a higher colour density and is fed into the quality grade system used to buy smallholder paprika. These agricultural benefits will be achieved through the provision of solar-powered irrigation and mechanization (agri-services), and crucially training on general crop husbandry and on how
water can be used to maximize crop yields
Sustainable tea - SUPPLYING GREEN ENERGY TO THE TEA SECTOR IN WESTERN KENYA
Tea is an important part of the Kenyan economy, generating over $1billion in export earnings in 2014. The majority (60%) of tea production comes from 66 factories managed by the Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA) that provides management on behalf of the 600,000 farmer owners. Other important shareholders within KTDA include Unilever, Finlays, Williamson and Eastern Produce who together own 38 tea-processing factories and produce about 40% of the tea produced in Kenya. The UK is a major market for Kenyan tea and many retailers and tea companies including M&S and Taylors of Harrogate have significant supply chain relationships.
Tea is an energy intensive business, according to UNEP more energy is required to produce a kilo of tea than a kilo of steel. In the case of Kenya most of this energy is used in the withering and drying production process, whereby boilers are fed large volumes of firewood. Some parts of the Kenyan tea sector have invested heavily in sustainability and estates such as Finlays demonstrate excellent energy practices; KTDA factories are now working to address the energy issue driven by price and environmental impact. Much of the firewood comes from commercial timber plantations but scarcity forces tea factories to transport fuel across long distances. In addition demand forces many factories to purchase firewood directly from other non-sustainable sources, it is common to see hardwood species being used at KTDA factories.