Partner Spotlight: Microsol
Building results-based financing programs for clean cookstove diffusion in Latin America
Who we are?
Microsol is a social business that supports initiatives that fight poverty and climate change. We work in collaboration with national and local entities to support improved cookstoves producers in certifying the results achieved by their technology and to receive subsequent funding. Such proof of results can open access to opportunities for financing used for installing the technology and making it sustainable overtime.
What have we achieved?
In 2006, we did a multi-disciplinary feasibility study in Peru and initiated a nation-wide collective initiative based on carbon finance to bring support to local stove producers, for which we were awarded the special Achievement Award at the 2011 Partnership for Clean Indoor Air (PCIA) Forum in Lima. Over the years ours partners have reached over 100,000 families, reducing an average of 39% wood consumption and thus avoiding over 400,000 tons of C02 equivalent. Most importantly, 99% of stove users say they are happy or very happy with their stove, and the vast majority of stoves are still in use after 7 years. With such results, we collected enough in carbon revenues to reward our partners with over USD$5 million. This approach is now being replicated in Mexico, El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala and we are interested in collaborating to extend it to other countries.
What do we believe in?
Since the beginning, we have adopted a collective approach that goes beyond carbon and considers results-based financing as the general mechanism we are taking part in. Adequately managed, this mechanism can ensure that users get the best long-lasting technology in an affordable manner, stove producers get rewarded for their success, and funders achieve the measurable results they are looking for. Such a mechanism requires a good dose of local knowledge, significant country-wide experience, a long term vision, and lots of sectorial commitment.
What have we learned?
Benefits can increase year after year if the stove is well-built and if it is adequately used and maintained. This can happen only when adequate follow up is done based on data gathered through monitoring activities. It requires providing a long term incentive for the entire value chain and combining subsidies and commercial strategies to prioritize maintenance as compared to device replacement strategies.
Why take part in Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves?
From our perspective, the Alliance was created at a time when significant pilot projects were implemented in Latin America and major initiatives were about to take place. In this context, the Alliance has served as a place for sharing experiences, showing results, identifying new opportunities, accessing innovation and constantly improving our practices in a collective manner. We have been involved in several working groups since its beginning and are enthusiastic about continuing to share and learn in the years to come.
You can find more information on us at www.microsol-int.com. We would love to hear from you and what you think of our approach. If you are interested in projects with proven results and want to support us by buying carbon credits or participating in our programs, please contact us as at firstname.lastname@example.org or Arthur Laurent at email@example.com.