Three billion people worldwide still cooks on open fire and kills more than 4 millions people per year, it is more than HIV and malaria combined. The problem is the inhalation of smoke from open fire. From an environmental perspective, carbon emissions are a disaster. Finally, lots of people don’t have access to electricity and it costs a lot for solutions that are neither safe nor sustainable.
We met Daniel and Judith from African Clean Energy (ACE) in Phnom Penh, during a workshop they organised for their staff. They were doing a demonstration of their ACE solar biomass energy system: an advanced cookstove. No words needed to understand that the ACE’ solution is safer and cleaner comparing to the traditional method: the open fire.
ACE cookstove works with organic waste as coconut shell, wood, bamboo, pallets…. A fan blows oxygen into a burning chamber. The very high temperature is turning organic waste into biomass. The gasification provides a clean flame without smoke that allowed to cook in a safe way.
With the solar energy which is stored in the cooker, ACE provides enough electricity to charge a smartphone or run LED lighting! That sounds crazy but in African remote areas, lots of people who owns a smartphone doesn’t have access to electricity, so they cannot recharge their phone everyday. ACE offers both a safe and eco-friendly cookstove and a power access. In Cambodia, people have access to electricity. Khmer people use fuel that is an expensive way to get energy. Using ACE make them save money. ACE’ solution is cheaper than the biomass stove that are available on local markets.
Let’s talk about the company itself. ACE is a family business. Daniel and Judith’s parents established the company years ago in Lesotho. They have identified that the issues are the same in Africa and in South-East Asia and have decided to launch the product in Cambodia. After a few hours spent with Daniel and Judith, we can easily say that the involvement and the passion they give make ACE an incredible and unique business. Their mission is to offer clean and sustainable energy for all but they give much more. They are employing more that 100 people in 3 different countries, combatting poverty and developing local economy by offering electricity and services.
Their next step is to go further by monitoring their cookstoves. They want to pay their customers for the impact they generate. It is also a way of creating a link between ACE and their customers and provide them services that they really need as banking, insurance or telecommunication solutions. They also plan to set up a factory in Cambodia and propose to the customers local services as maintenance. The demand is high enough to expand the business in Cambodia and in neighbouring countries as Myanmar, Laos, Bangladesh….
If you read this article until the end, you understand that the ACE's team is just amazing. If you want to give meaning to your professional life and join this team / family, we have only one advise for you: go for it! They are looking for new talents ;)
We would like to thank Judith, Daniel and all the African Energy Clean team for the warm welcome we have received. The moments we shared with them were inspiring and fun!
If you are interested in this project, feel free to contact us!
It would be a pleasure for us to introduce you to the ACE team.