Standard Bank boosts clean development in Africa

Standard Bank boosts clean development in Africa

Published: June 6, 2011

Bank joins project developer to help smaller companies access carbon markets.

Standard Bank has launched an initiative with green asset developer Frontier Carbon that aims to increase clean energy development in Africa.

The two firms have formed CarbonSoft to provide developers of low-carbon projects who are unable to meet the cost of registering their projects with the clean development mechanism’s (CDM) executive board access to carbon market revenues.

“We are working to open up the carbon market,” Fenella Aouane, senior manager of carbon trading at Standard Bank, tells EMEA Finance. “With our partners CarbonSoft, we are making it cheaper and easier to access carbon credits.”

CarbonSoft focuses on solar lamp projects and has started a Programme of Activity (POA), which allows low carbon projects to be replicated, in Tanzania for Illumination, a solar-powered light that charges during the day to be used at night. Standard Bank claims the project will enable families in East Africa to save up to 25% of their annual incomes by using Illumination instead of kerosene-fuelled lighting while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Aouane says CarbonSoft will distribute these and other solar lights across Africa and parts of Asia and that the best way of achieving this is through forming a joint venture with a project management company.

“For the companies to register a CDM project will be very expensive as an individual project,” she says. “CarbonSoft will be a single company which then registers all the POAs across all the regions to distribute these lights. This basically gives distributors of solar lighting cheaper and easier access to CDM credits.”