In the average household in Ethiopia, simple activities like cooking injera and boiling water account for the most part of the energy consumption. The vast majority of the population relies mostly on kerosene, charcoal and firewood for their heating and cooking needs, while more efficient and environmentally friendly fuels remain largely untapped.
In 2009, Addisu Sime saw a great business opportunity in this lack of green energy solutions. Traditional stoves utilize inefficient fuels that are often very expensive, difficult to find, and quite harmful for people and the environment. At the same time, locally abundant biomass materials - such as coffee husk, sawdust, and Khat - go to waste everyday with no alternative use. To take full advantage of this market gap, Addisu founded Gogle Energy Saving Stove, a climate technology venture that commercializes certified green stoves and locally produced agro-waste briquettes. Addisu is aiming his green products particularly at people in and around Ethiopian cities, where high energy costs make millions of citizens rely on pollution-heavy paraffin, kerosene and charcoal for their cooking needs. Furthermore, Gogle’s green stoves and briquettes could also reduce deforestation in rural areas by providing a cheaper and more efficient energy alternative to firewood and dried grass.
In the company’s production site in the outskirts of Addis Ababa, Gogle processes every day tons of locally collected agro waste to produce its energy efficient briquettes. Next door, a dedicated production team assembles the green energy stoves utilizing recycled and eco-friendly materials. The entire production process is perfectly engineered and, thanks to the growing demand from urban areas, Gogle has increased its production volume by over 400% over the last two years. The company currently employs 25 people and can produce up to 200 stoves and 5,000 kilograms of green briquettes per day.
Thanks to its innovative products and the promising market opportunities, Gogle Energy Saving Stove was one of the eight winning companies of the first ECIC’s Proof of Concept Competition - an initiative promoted by the Center to identify and support emerging ventures in the local climate technology sector. Addisu received a grant of USD 12,500, as well as technical assistance and business services from the CIC, to further develop his innovative products. The CIC funding will be used to finance scale-up activities, such as doubling the production capacity with new equipment, hiring 11 additional employees, and improving the company’s financial and marketing operations in order to expand into new markets.