Gender-responsive climate financing to upscale the production and use of affordable renewable energy

Country: Georgia

Organization: WECF – Women Engage for a Common Future

Representative: Katharina Habersbrunner

Email: katharina.habersbrunner@wecf.org


Description of the project: The Umbrella Cooperative, consisting of WECF and its Georgian partners, facilitate the development of gender-responsive energy cooperatives as a sustainable, inclusive and successful business model to ensure safe provision of renewable energy. Local energy cooperatives offer technical and financial advice, together with the installation of sustainable climate technologies (solar collectors, efficient cookstoves). The Umbrella Cooperative produces energy solutions, develops marketing support material and guaranties high quality products. An adapted financial mechanism, set-up with Georgian banks, enable rural women to access these technologies through affordable loans.

Climate impact: Georgia’s rural households depend on firewood for cooking and heating. Resulting in heavy deforestation: firewood consumption is approx. 3 times higher than the forests’ ability to regenerate. Households spend about 30% of their income on energy, yet they have little access to capital to invest in efficient technologies, even if these would write of rapidly. WECF’s project generates clean, affordable energy supply for rural households; while reducing CO2 emissions by 1t /year/hh and Georgia’s dependence on fossil fuels.

Gender impact: Georgia’s rural households depend on firewood for cooking and heating. Resulting in heavy deforestation: firewood consumption is approx. 3 times higher than the forests’ ability to regenerate. Households spend about 30% of their income on energy, yet they have little access to capital to invest in efficient technologies, even if these would write of rapidly. WECF’s project generates clean, affordable energy supply for rural households; while reducing CO2 emissions by 1t /year/hh and Georgia’s dependence on fossil fuels.

Scalability / replicability: This model enables households with very low revenues in Georgia, who are in great need of making energy savings, to access financing for efficient technologies. Households have three years to pay back the loans, and it has led to an increased local demand of solar solutions. The concept of an umbrella cooperative of local cooperatives can be applied to other technologies, like insulation and efficient stoves. The business model can be replicated in many countries.