India-based VayuGrid and Zambia-based BetterWorld Energy are partnering on VayuSap biofuel development zones in Zambia. The development zones, based on Elite VayuSap trees, will produce sustainable energy, local jobs, and reforest and rehabilitate degraded lands which will, in turn, according to VayuGrid, raise living standards for the local communities and replace imports of petroleum fuels across the country.
The Energy and Environment Partnership in Southern and Eastern Africa (EEP-SEA), funded by the governments of Finland, Austria, UK, and hosted by the Development Bank of Southern Africa, selected the VayuSap project for a phase 1 grant that award the project up to $1 million in funds over the next five years. According to VayuGrid, the VayuSap project is based on a sustainable networked model to enable rural communities to plant VayuSap trees on degraded and deforested land, and to link these plantations to central commercial plantations and processing hubs.
“Over 70 percent of Zambia’s energy needs currently come from forest biomass,” said Dr. Benjamin Warr, Founder and Managing Director of BetterWorld Energy. ”The VayuSap tree together with our development zone business model are excellent solutions to drastically turn-around the environmental degradation while reducing poverty and increasing energy access.”
Doug Peterson, CEO of VayuGrid, added, “Zambia is going through a dramatic transformation as the country looks at economic diversification. Our partnership with BetterWorld Energy will address the needs of sustainable energy in an ROI based model to benefit all players in the value chain, including the rural communities, the energy consumers, and the government.”