GLPGP December 2017 Newsletter
Message from Alex Evans, Chairman, Operating Committee
We end 2017 marking important advances among our partner countries, with our partner organizations, in our team, and most important of all, in communities using LPG for clean cooking for the first time.
In 2017, Ghana revived and revitalized its LPG market transformation planning, starting the work to implement the new national LPG policy developed with GLPGP. Cameroon prepared innovative ideas for reducing the cost to consumers and LPG marketers of a planned 7 million new LPG cylinders GLPGP will help to procure, finance and deploy. Cameroon also successfully undertook its first community level LPG equipment microfinancing scheme guided by GLPGP and supported by partner microfinance networks, research institutions and key donors. We look forward to reporting on the expansion of this community microfinance scheme in the year to come.
LPG also gained prominence in the global development arena: in the first global LPG for development summit organized by GLPGP and the World LPG Association, in new partners undertaking innovative initiatives with GLPGP, and in expanded financial support for GLPGP's vital work.
Our sincere thanks to all our partners, supporters and friends for a tremendously rewarding 2017, and our best wishes for a safe, healthy and prosperous New Year for all.
Please read on — and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter @globalLPG.
International Day of the Rural Woman Event in Limbe, Cameroon
On October 15, 2017, GLPGP joined 450 women from various associations under the Ministry of Women Empowerment and Family to celebrate the 2017 International Day of the Rural Woman in Limbe, Cameroon. GLPGP held an educational event to share the health benefits of LPG with women from local communities.
Women who attended the event were inspired and supported to take active roles in conserving the environment, improving their families’ health and livelihoods, and enhancing clean cooking access with LPG use within their communities. They were also encouraged to participate more directly in the LPG supply chain as community business owners, helping to extend LPG distribution in underserved areas. The message was well received. Following the event, the President of a women’s association in Limbe placed a request for 30 of her members to be included in the next phase of GLPGP’s ongoing LPG microfinance program.
Expert Voices: Interview with Richenda Van Leeuwen
The Energy Access Ecosystem
The energy access sector has changed enormously over the past 10 years.
Ms. Richenda Van Leeuwen, Chair, International Institutions at GLPGP, has been a leading light in this revolution. Her work as an early investor in off-grid renewable energy and clean cooking solutions has given her a front row view in this transition. As a policy maker she has focused on the development of the UN Sustainable Energy for All initiative and SDG7. Today, she serves as an energy access advocate and U.S. women's Clean Energy Ambassador, mentoring women to make their careers in sustainable energy, in addition to her work with GLPGP.
Challenges in Clean Cooking Fuels
Having previously been a sustainable energy venture capital impact investor in emerging markets, Ms. Van Leeuwen has evaluated many clean cooking solutions providers in different parts of the developing world. In India and parts of Africa, she observes, while there was a lot of focus and investment in technological improvements, cookstoves companies faced many challenges around economic viability and robustness of supply chains. These were quite apart from scientifically recognized issues of limited emissions reductions not being favorable to a full suite of positive health outcomes, even with the most advanced biomass stoves.
Renewably generated electricity can be a good solution since no emissions are associated with its use, and Ms. Van Leeuwen sees it as highly complementary to LPG. However, she sees several challenges for clean cooking in unreliable grid and off-grid contexts, based in part on her own experience. In the time she lived in Kosovo from 1999 to 2000 working on post-conflict reconstruction, most communities, even in the capital Pristina were often without power. Since her home had an electric stove, this meant that she frequently had to use a camping gas stove (or two) for cooking purposes. "I remember cooking Christmas dinner for 25 people on a camping stove," she said. "What had started out as roast turkey, quickly became turkey chili, since without electricity, I could no longer roast the bird. The gas stoves saved the day." Unreliability of electrical supply may lead to frequent power outages, requiring a backup source of power or other fuels for cooking.
Cooking appliances also require a certain level of power. While mini-grid solutions are wonderful for lighting and for powering other appliances like televisions, they require a certain size and functionality to be able to accommodate cooking appliances like rice cookers or induction stoves. Cost is a related factor, since designing a mini-grid to accommodate such cooking appliances can increase the size requirements and capital costs significantly, pushing tariffs beyond the reach of low-income consumers.
Opportunities to Expand LPG Use
LPG, says Ms. Van Leeuwen, is a highly scalable clean burning solution that can drive health benefits at household level, along with other clean burning fuels and solutions such as renewably generated electricity, natural gas, ethanol and biogas. LPG can help address deforestation and forest degradation, since when used exclusively it avoids environmental harm caused by chopping trees for unsustainably harvested firewood and charcoal.
One question frequently posed to Ms. Van Leeuwen is, “As a renewable energy expert and advocate, why would you support deployment of a fossil fuel?”
Ms. Van Leeuwen answers that from the standpoint of equity and the development imperative, saying, “As Rachel Kyte, CEO of Sustainable Energy for All has recently stated, clean cooking access is primarily a fuels issue.” Recent International Energy Agency projections show that LPG continues to have a valuable key role to play, as part of a suite of low carbon solutions in bringing clean cooking access to over a billion people across the developing world.
At the same time as the world needs to undertake massive decarbonization to tackle climate change, nearly 3 billion people today don’t have access to the clean cooking solutions that can help improve quality of life, the local environment, and health outcomes for their families. While she hopes that eventually a fully renewable solution will be found, Ms. Van Leeuwen says, "It is important in our advocacy and urgent action towards a low carbon future, that advocates do not lose sight of the fact that there is today no "silver bullet" zero-pollution clean cooking solution."
She continued, "If we were to remove LPG from the picture, we would not only harm the 2.5 billion people using LPG for some or all of their cooking needs today in developing countries, but we would keep another billion plus more trapped in the use of largely unsustainable fuels whose emissions are harmful both to their environment and to their families' health. Our overall decarbonization pathways and projections need to accommodate the challenges faced by those families living in energy poverty, and not deny them the solutions that can help them enormously in the near term."
LPG For Development Summit in Marrakech, Morocco
On October 3, 2017, GLPGP and the World LPG Association (WLPGA) co-hosted the first LPG For Development Summit in Marrakech, Morocco. The Summit was a special event, which GLPGP also sponsored and organized in association with the 30th World LPG Forum. Policy and industry leaders joined lively discussions on LPG as a critically important low carbon fuel for household clean cooking in developing countries, and its role in the achievement of UN Sustainable Development Goal 7 (SDG7) on energy access and other goals.
The half-day Summit saw several hundred thought leaders, industry leaders and other stakeholders from across the LPG sector, representing industry, government and civil society gathered together for the first time. Issues explored ranged from setting and delivering national LPG targets, to large scale financing of LPG for development. Speakers also highlighted success stories of countries such as Morocco that have already successfully implemented nationwide household clean cooking programs using LPG, and the steps required for such a successful national transition.
Mr. Kimball Chen, Chairman of GLPGP, delivered welcome remarks, along with other dignitaries from the WLPGA and the Government of Morocco. A keynote speech was made by Rachel Kyte, the UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General and CEO of Sustainable Energy For All (SEforALL). In her keynote, Ms. Kyte called for more attention to be focused internationally on investment in clean cooking. She addressed the important role of the private sector, where a “big problem” could also be seen as a “big market”. She outlined the need for significantly more development and private sector funding to be invested into the clean cooking sector, given her organization's analysis that the sector is severely underfunded and cannot reach the 2030 goal of universal access to energy without a significant step up in funding from the international development finance system. Ms. Kyte also highlighted the important role that clean fuel solutions - including LPG - must play in contributing to universal cooking energy access, a key part of SDG7. She also touched upon how that supports impact in other areas including health, women's empowerment, addressing climate change and protecting the environment.
Two panel discussions followed. In the first, Delivering on National LPG Targets, representatives from Indonesia, Kenya, Morocco and Cameroon offered insights on the roles governments play in creating and expanding national LPG markets. They provided successful national case studies from the perspective of different developing countries. In the second panel discussion, Financing LPG for Development, speakers shared solutions from multilateral banks including the African Development Bank, the private sector and non-governmental organizations, in addressing the gap in clean cooking financing.
While in Morocco, GLPGP accompanied Mr. Martin Mesumbe, Director of Petroleum Products and Gas at Cameroon’s Ministry of Energy and Water Resources, on site visits to Moroccan LPG companies. Mr. Renzo Bee, Chair, Policy, Regulatory & Development Advisory at GLPGP, said, "In line with our ongoing work with the Government of Cameroon to implement the country’s national LPG Master Plan, this was an excellent opportunity to illustrate to the Cameroonian delegation how a country like Morocco has been able to develop their LPG consumption." He added, "The key to this was their implementing, decades ago, the cylinder "re-circulation model" under the sole responsibility of the Marketers (LPG companies), and by getting from the Marketers huge investment in cylinders and in a vast distribution network, making refills available to consumers 5 minutes walk from home." He further emphasized that the same Model was able to ensure safety for end users.
GLPGP at Clean Cooking Forum in New Delhi, October 2017
On October 25, 2017, Mr. John Hauge, CFO, and Ms. Richenda Van Leeuwen, Chair, International Institutions both spoke about the work of GLPGP on panels at the Clean Cooking Forum 2017, hosted by the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves in New Delhi, India. The Forum hosted more than 600 attendees drawn from 57 countries.
Mr. Hauge joined the panel discussion on "Addressing the Affordability Gap: Innovation in Consumer Financing for Clean Cooking Solution," and highlighted GLPGP’s 2017 LPG microfinance pilot in Cameroon as a case study in showing the affordability and adaptability of LPG microfinance. In particular, he outlined its advantages for initial equipment purchase, to help low income consumers overcome initial barriers to affordability when offered through a well-designed and managed project. He shared the latest results of the initial pilot: Some 82% of the beneficiary households had fully repaid the microloans, and 92% of total loaned capital was repaid by the end of October, 2017. GLPGP is using the information gained from this pilot to tailor and roll out a much larger second phase of this work in partnership with several Cameroonian microfinance institutions, to an initial 800 households across Cameroon.
Ms. Van Leeuwen gave a broader perspective on GLPGP’s work, emphasizing the importance of national planning, taking into account the robust existing demand from developing country governments, and the full supply chain needs and investment required for a country to deploy LPG at scale. She spoke about the importance of right-sizing the opportunity and including carefully analyzed projections in future modeling and scenario planning efforts. These should take into account LPG's equivalent affordability in many locations to firewood and charcoal, but with the benefit of significant health and emissions reductions and environmental safeguards.
Rather than focusing exclusively on community-level clean cooking projects, she explained how in the context of LPG for clean cooking, GLPGP’s work has necessarily focused on national level planning and policy strengthening as well as the investments needed to ensure a robust national sustainable supply chain is in place. This benefits end consumers, since a safely and well run supply chain enhances consumer safety and avoids issues such as stock-outs.
Ms. Van Leeuwen outlined how GLPGP also does focus on community level affordability and targeted support specifically for women consumers to access LPG, but if supply issues are not adequately addressed, consumer facing initiatives alone will not be sustainable over the longer term.
Meeting of OPEC Fund for International Development’s Energy Access Platform, December 2017
Mr. Renzo Bee, Chairman, Policy, Regulation & Development Advisory Group of GLPGP, attended a meeting of the OPEC Fund for International Development’s Energy Access Platform (OFID-EAP) on December 5th, 2017, in Vienna, Austria.
As coordinators of the Clean Cooking Task Force, GLPGP shared with other EAP members its recent country-level activities and progress made in helping various country governments advance the deployment of LPG for clean cooking on a national scale.
OFID is also supporting the ongoing work of GLPGP in Cameroon to scale up microfinance for LPG, addressing initial equipment affordability, as well as regional LPG for Clean Cooking Policy Framework development underway in partnership with the Economic Community for West African States (ECOWAS), through its renewable energy and energy efficiency Center, ECREEE.
Bottled Gas For Better Life – Second Phase of Cameroon LPG Microfinance Project Kicks Off
Phase I of the Bottled Gas For Better Life microfinance program has produced encouraging results regarding the ability of microloan provision to drive LPG adoption, including word-of-mouth endorsements resulting in neighboring villages expressing keen interest in acquiring LPG through the loan. GLPGP is preparing to launch Phase II in December 2017, with an additional 800 families across six regions of Cameroon receiving loans and LPG start-up kits by January 2018.
Cameroonian implementing partners including existing and new microfinance and equipment providers will play an enhanced role in this second phase, managing more aspects of the program rollout, with an eventual objective of country-wide expansion, supported by a national network of Cameroonian microfinance institutions.
GLPGP Invited by Ghana Government to Assist in Implementation of "Cylinder Re-circulation" Model
GLPGP has been invited by Ghana’s National Petroleum Authority to assist in its plans to switch to a country-wide LPG cylinder re-circulation model, to improve safe use and distribution of LPG. The President of the Republic of Ghana announced this plan on October 12, 2017. Under this model, LPG bottling plants will be sited away from congested commercial and population centers. Marketers will procure, brand, maintain and fill empty cylinders to be distributed to consumers and households through retail outlets.
GLPGP senior management are facilitating the tour of a Ghanaian delegation to study successful LPG national models in other countries including Morocco and Senegal in December 2017.
Strengthening Partnerships within the International Development Community
Support from international development institutions remains key in GLPGP’s ability to engage effectively to facilitate scaling up of LPG use for clean cooking.
GLPGP has worked closely with a range of development partners in 2017, to identify areas and countries in which to collaborate for immediate impact.
These have included the World Bank, where GLPGP co-hosted a technical meeting with ESMAP staff to evaluate opportunities for LPG in its suite of clean cooking programming, following on from a World Bank and GLPGP co-authored article on the development benefits of LPG, published in May 2017. Following an exchange of letters in early 2017, GLPGP and the African Development Bank (AfDB) are also in advanced discussion about mobilizing AfDB support for new initiatives in Cameroon in 2018, including a specific focus on increased support for women entrepreneurs within the LPG sector in that country.
In addition, GLPGP has renewed its formal collaboration with Sustainable Energy For All (SEforALL) as an SEforALL Delivery Partner, through a signing ceremony in Marrakech, Morocco. GLPGP has also formally joined a the People-Centered Accelerator, launched by SEforALL at COP23 in Bonn, Germany. The focus of this Accelerator is to unlock finance for advancing social inclusion, gender equality and women’s empowerment in sustainable energy.
Grant Support from Friedrich Scharr KG
GLPGP is very grateful for the continued support of Friedrich Scharr KG, with the receipt of the second tranche of a €200,000 donation received in November, 2017. The general operating grant supports the ongoing work of GLPGP in assisting developing countries to plan, finance and implement national-scale availability and the use of LPG for cooking purposes.
The grant is designated to finance aspects of GLPGP’s Secretariat operations, as well as country operations and communication, research and fundraising events.
GLPGP is grateful to Friedrich Scharr KG for its continued support, which plays a crucial role to support our ongoing work to support developing countries expand the use of LPG in clean cooking. To find out more about how to support the work of GLPGP, please write to email@example.com.
GLPGP Welcomes New Development Director and Country Managers on Board
GLPGP continues to expand its core team and country offices to support its field work and impact in developing countries.
Charles Kinyanjui, Country Manager, Ghana
Charles Kinyanjui holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Nairobi, Kenya. He has 26 years of work experience in oil and gas supply chain management, starting as an employee of Exxon and Shell affiliates in Kenya and the National Oil Corporation of Kenya, before venturing into private consulting practice in 2006. He is an ardent supporter of the UN Sustainable Energy for All Initiative.
Elizabeth Muchiri, Country Manager, Kenya
Ms Muchiri has over 25 years’ experience in the gas sector. She started her career in BOC Kenya Ltd, and joined the National Oil Corporation of Kenya in 2008 as the first ever LPG Manager, where she was instrumental in the launch of Supa Gas brand. Since 2013, she has been engaged by several LPG start-up companies to advise on cylinder requirements, management and distribution strategies. She holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of South Africa (UNISA) and an MBA from Strathmore University in Kenya.
Diana Torres, Development Director
Diana Torres joined GLPGP as Development Director in November, 2017. Ms. Torres is based at the GLPGP Secretariat in New York City. Ms. Torres is an international development professional with over 15 years of international experience working with the United Nations and non-profits in international development programs, donor relations, prospecting, external relationship management, and program coordination.
She holds a Masters degree in International Affairs from Columbia University, a BA from Columbia University's Barnard College in Latin American and French Studies, and undertook PhD studies at the Sorbonne in Paris, France.
Thank You for Supporting Us on #GivingTuesday
Thanks to all of you who have generously donated as part of GLPGP’s #GivingTuesday campaign. A generous donor has agreed to match all donations received before December 31st, so there is still time for you to make double the impact on clean cooking this holiday season!
You can give here using your credit or debit card, or find us on Venmo (U.S. only): @GlobalLPG
Or simply do your holiday gift shopping on Amazon Smile and Amazon will donate a portion of the proceeds to GLPGP.
Any amount helps! A little goes a long way towards achieving clean cooking for all.
News: IEA’s New Report Reveals Energy Access Deficit in Clean Cooking Sector
· In October, The International Energy Agency (IEA) released its latest Energy Access Outlook 2017.
· The report examines the progress and remaining financial deficit in energy access, particularly in clean cooking, to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 7 of universal access to modern energy services by 2030.
· Backed by the targeted policies focusing on the use of LPG, progress has already been made in clean cooking in parts of Asia.
· In the rest of the developing world, however, population growth outstripped the progress in clean cooking. Some 80% of Sub-Saharan Africa still cooks with solid biomass, and 60 million people in that region use kerosene.
· IEA predicts that to achieve universal clean cooking access to an additional 2.3 billion people by 2030, LPG, natural gas and electricity are the main required solutions, with an additional $42 billion investment needed.