How can waste provide access to modern energy services?

Mozambique Renewables is addressing a number of important development issues in Africa by turning bio waste into a sustainable non-woody biomass fuel to make energy.

Waste to energy

The company purchases agricultural waste and by-products from farmers in Nampula Province in Northern Mozambique, which it converts to energy pellets. The “waste” includes crop residues and giant grasses which would otherwise be burned, releasing harmful CO2 emissions. It has an agreement with a cotton cooperative to collect waste cotton stems, too. These arrangements provide much needed additional income to some of the poorest citizens of Mozambique.

Clever chemistry

A process known as “torrefaction” converts the waste to useful energy pellets. During this chemical process, the waste is converted under precise conditions to a solid, dry, blackened material known as torrefied biomass or bio-coal. The new product has desirable properties which make it a great renewable and sustainable fuel source.

Growing grass

As well as collecting waste material, the company has been awarded a land lease to grow its own elephant grass plantation. This will provide 60,000 tonnes of non-woody biomass, affording opportunity for more than 600 families. The site offers further environmental benefits. It is hoped that erosion will be halted and soil will be filled with nitrogen, meaning that after 10-15 years, the land may be used for food production.

Mini-grid

Many of the families in Mozambique do not have access to electricity, where the average household income is less than $1 per day. In Micolene Village, Mozambique Renewables is establishing a biomass powered electricity mini-grid to turn this situation around. The pellets can be used as a replacement for charcoal for cooking, providing a cleaner and more reliable source of energy.  

This story shows how Mozambique Renewables supports Goal 7: Affordable and Clean Energy, specifically Target 7.1: “By 2030, ensure universal access to affordable, reliable and modern energy services.”

About Mozambique Renewables

Mozambique Renewables is a renewable energy company based in the UK and Mozambique. It specialises in growing and pelletising agricultural by-products sourced locally and from wild grasses and sorghum grown on its own plot near the deep water port of Nacala.

Commitments, Actions and Progress from Mozambique Renewables.