Zero Emission Generators launched at COP27

Carbon Trust
A solar mini-grid in Kiwa Island, Lake Victoria, Kenya. Photo credits: Energy 4 Impact

Our partner the Carbon Trust has unveiled a new programme today at COP27, which aims to replace fossil fuel  generators across Africa and Asia Pacific with renewable energy-based alternatives.

Zero Emission Generators (ZE-Gen) is an initiative by the Carbon Trust and Innovate UK, with funding from the IKEA Foundation and the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office.

Dirty and expensive

For many people, dirty, noisy and polluting diesel and petrol generators are their only reliable source of power. These generators are expensive to run, with fuel costing up to US$100 billion each year.

According to the IFC, an estimated 25 million generators were deployed across developing countries in 2016 alone, producing the equivalent power of 700-1,000 coal fired power stations and resulting in significant emissions and pollution[1].

Renewable energy alternatives

Renewable energy-based solutions are emerging, but support is needed to accelerate their development and uptake. In Africa alone, replacing fossil fuel gensets could create a financing opportunity worth more than US$134 billion by 2030.

ZE-Gen will tackle market failures, accelerate innovation and fund activities to build a thriving, competitive market.  

Tom Delay, Carbon Trust CEO, said: “We aim to drive a transition from fossil fuel generators faster, reducing emissions and creating healthier, cleaner and wealthier communities.”

Good for people and planet

Per Heggenes, IKEA Foundation CEO, said: “Zero emission generators are good for the environment and contribute to better health and economic empowerment for the many people. We’re supporting the Carbon Trust because we believe that ZE-Gen will enable people to power their livelihoods with renewable energy and help meet net-zero greenhouse gas emissions.”

[1] The Dirty Footprint of the Broken Grid, 2019, International Finance Corporation