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World Bioenergy Award Winner (2012) Harry Stokes Inspires Future Global Energy Work

The World Bioenergy team interviewed PGI Executive Director Harry Stokes in January 2014 to follow up on his 2012 win of the Award for his decades of global household energy work. The dedicated work of Harry Stokes and PGI serve today as a model for future World Bioenergy Award nominees.

Read about Project Gaia’s recent projects and mission for increasing global access to clean cooking energy below!


World Bioenergy 31 January, 2014

The World Bioenergy Award – the greatest acknowledgement for great work in the field of bioenergy

Every World Bioenergy has a certain important winner – the winner of the World Bioenergy Award. The acknowledgment is given to someone who has made a difference in the world of bioenergy and the last day for submission of nominations is 7 March. The winner of the World Bioenergy Award 2012 was Mr. Harry Stokes, USA, for his revolutionary global work in developing and promoting clean ethanol stoves and fuels for people who are still constrained to cook with dirty, smoky fuel.

The award meant a lot for Harry Stokes and for his team.

“The award has provided us with a boost, or moral support, for what we do. It is nice to be recognized for what we do. But the work continues unabated and only hard work can change the way in which the world uses energy”, says Harry Stokes.

Harry Stokes has been working on bioenergy solutions for many years and, with others, developed, funded and managed Project Gaia to improve the health, economic status and quality of life of a significant number of families in the developing world. It’s a global initiative that promotes alcohol fuel and appropriate technologies for production and end use, for cooking and other household appliances, with the vision of clean, efficient, affordable and safe cooking for homes in Africa and around the world. It gives the opportunity to move away from dependence on perennially scarce firewood, charcoal, dung, twigs, grass and similar fuels.

Further development

Project Gaia has developed further since the award. During the 2012-2013 years the project has strengthened the ties with experts in micro distillation and the equipment for micro distilleries and continued to explore the potential for global trade in ethanol not only for fuel blending in gasoline for motor fuel, but also for cooking fuel.

“Since the prevailing cost of ethanol for fuel blending is similar to or less than the cost of cooking fuels in most developing world markets, particularly urban markets, we think the time is here when Brazilian or U.S. or Indian ethanol can actually be sold for cooking fuel cheaper than the cost of purchased fuel wood, charcoal or kerosene, which are all very dirty fuels. Imagine what this could mean for the global trade of biofuels; this trade could literally double in size. The demand for cooking fuels in developing markets is larger than the demand for gasoline”, says Harry Stokes.

Program in refugee camp

Project Gaia has also been working to start commercial stove businesses with both local and international partners in various countries – Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, Nigeria, Senegal, the ECOWAS countries, Haiti, etc.

“We continue to operate our award-winning ethanol cookstove program in refugee camps in Ethiopia, which enables refugees to cook their meals without having to leave the safety of the camp to go and gather wood. In Addis Ababa, we are building an advanced micro distillery with the help of the Nordic Climate Fund, Stockholm Environment and the World Bank, and we are fostering the construction of six micro distilleries in Nigeria to make ethanol from cassava”, says Harry Stokes.

In Nigeria Project Gaia works to promote the manufacture of methanol from natural gas and in Haiti they work with a local partner to build a micro distillery to produce stove fuel. The 5 000 liter per day plant will displace the use of 15 000 to 20 000 kilograms of charcoal per day and save 40 000 tons of CO2-equivalent per year.

“We have also been working with our Swedish stove partner, Dometic AB, in their effort to build even better, cheaper models of the CleanCook stove. And we continue our outreach to teach about the opportunities that clean-burning alcohol fuels offer the world. For example, we conducted a seminar in Madagascar with the country’s leading environmental NGO, Tany Meva, in December 2012 to help teach local farmers and business people about the opportunities created by alcohol fuels”, says Harry Stokes.

Perfect technology for other liquid fuels

And even more new fuel projects are ahead for Project Gaia.

“We have been exploring stove technologies that can burn other liquid fuels very cleanly, for example biooils and biodiesel, as well as used cooking oils and used motor oils. We have found the perfect technology to burn these fuels, and to burn them very cleanly”, says Harry Stokes.

Harry Stokes thinks the world soon will be aware of the need for more bioenergy solutions.

“One day the world is all of a sudden going to wake up to the harsh reality of climate change, and then the work of the World Bioenergy Association and the work we do as advocates for particular bioenergy solutions is going to become important and compelling. Nations will seize upon the solutions we have been arduously and assiduously preparing for them. The trouble is, they will want the solutions to be ready all at once. It would be very nice to get more commitment from governments and investors now, so that we have a bit more time to bring the bioenergy solutions to scale. The world is going to be desperately looking for low carbon energy solutions — and we have them. We must have faith that the world will finally move in our direction”, says Harry Stokes.

Individual award for good future

Many good deeds are being done in the field of bioenergy around the world and many of them deserve to be appreciated and showcased as good examples, like Harry Stokes and his Gaia Project. The World Bioenergy Award is intended to serve as an inspiration to professionals in that field. Now we are looking forward to see a lot of nominees, individuals like Harry Stokes who can work in winning ways for bioenergy and a good future for the world.

Individuals in the field of science, business or politic, regardless of where in the world they are active, are welcome as nominees, and anyone can nominate a  candidate. The final winner will be announced on 1 June 2014 at the opening session of the World Bioenergy conference and exhibition at Elmia in Jönköping, Sweden. Last day for submission of nomination for The World Bioenergy Award is 7 March.

The World Bioenergy Award 2014 is a collaboration between Elmia ( and World Bioenergy Assosiation (

Read more about The World Bioenergy Award and the submission of nominations here:

New CleanCook Stove Demonstration Videos on YouTube

Gaia demonstrates how to use the alcohol-fueled Dometic CleanCook stove in two new videos now available on YouTube. The videos are filmed in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and are available in English and Amharic.

Please view the video’s on Project Gaia’s YouTube site:

English demonstration video.

Amharic demonstration video.

Tany Meva Foundation, Eco Energy (e2) and Project Gaia to Convene Micro Distillery Workshop in Antananarivo November 12 to 14, 2012

Tany Meva Foundation, in partnership with the World Bank, Project GAIA, Inc., EcoEnergy Business Group (e2), and Green Development AS will convene a three-day workshop in Antananarivo, Madagascar, on small or micro scale ethanol production for fuel use.  The workshop builds on the results of the 2011 World Bank-published study, Ethanol as a household Fuel in Madagascar – Health Benefits, Economic Assessment and Review of African Lessons for Scaling Up. The study was commissioned by the Government of Madagascar and conducted by a team led by Practical Action Consulting that included University of Liverpool, Berkeley Air Monitoring Group, Eco Consulting Group, Tany Meva and Project Gaia, Inc.

Project Details: The 3-day workshop will engage multiple stakeholders in capacity building and knowledge transfer to help encourage small-scale production of ethanol for local markets, especially for cooking.  “Farm-scale” production fits the local context, whether single operations or cooperatives, and might be sized to produce anywhere from 100 to 5,000 liters per day of ethanol. Project Gaia will provide the micro-economic analysis and business case for small scale fuel ethanol and stoves. Ecoenergy (e2) will provide technical training for building and operating a small fuel distillery.  Ecoenergy will also discuss the production of bioethanol from crop residues, wastes, by-products and other feedstocks.  Green Development will discuss the opportunity for carbon finance.

Workshop Presenters: Tany Meva is a Malagasy funding and nonprofit organization working to promote sustainable management of community resources, including the promotion of renewable energy kits for cooking and lighting.  EcoEnergy Business Group (e2) is a Colombian company that has pioneered the use of farm-scale distilleries in Central America and teaches about small scale distillation.  Green Development AS is a carbon finance expert specializing in clean renewable fuels.  Project Gaia, Inc. is a non-profit organization that promotes the use of alcohol fuels for cooking and other appliance use.  The World Bank has provided funding assistance for the workshop.

Registration, Location & Contact: The workshop will be held at the Madagascar Development Learning Center (DLC) in Ampefiloha, Antananarivo on November 12-14, 2012. Registration fees are $50 (USD) for Malagasy private sector participants and $100 for international participants.  Participant fees cover handout materials and meals during the workshop.  Attendees are required to make their own arrangements for accommodation.

The deadline for registration is Monday, the 5th of November, 2012.  To register, please contact Ravaka Ranaivoson at Tany Meva at or call +261 20 22 403 99 or +261 34 07 083 76.

For additional information, please contact Project Gaia at or Gulce Askin,, or call +1 (717) 334-5594.


New Gaia Annoucements: Ethiopia, Haiti, Madagascar

Project Gaia September 2012 News

Gaia Association and SEI Team with Spectrum Technologies of Canada for Efficient MicroDistillery

Gaia Association, Stockholm Environmental Institute (SEI) and the World Bank Biomass Energy Initiative for Africa (BEIA) have finalized an official agreement with Canadian engineering and technology firm Spectrum Technologies Ltd for the small-scale ethanol for cooking project supported by the Nordic Climate Facility in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Spectrum is an innovator in the field of energy efficient, cost-effective distillery design running on a variety of sugar, starch and cellulose-based feedstocks.  Spectrum brings to the project several years of experience in the Ethiopian distillery and ethanol industry. The commissioned plant is designed to produce ethanol from sugar cane, molasses and fruit waste. The production of the 1,000 lpd distillery unit is currently in progress and the plant is expected to be installed in Ethiopia in early 2013. A detailed household energy survey and socioeconomic impact analysis with selected low-income households begins this month and will be led by Gaia Association and SEI. The project will create income for a women-led Ethiopian cooperative and support the Ethiopian Government’s efforts to mitigate climate change and deforestation by replacing traditional biomass and kerosene fuel with clean‐burning, locally-produced ethanol used in modern stoves.

For more information on the microdistillery project, please contact Ms. Frehiwot Hailu at Continue reading

What is the life of a CleanCook stove?

Our earliest CleanCook stoves were distributed to families in 2001. We estimate conservatively that the life of the stainless steel stove is 10 years. We estimate that the life of the aluminum-body stove is 6 years. In reality, the stoves will probably last much longer. When properly loved and cared for, CleanCook stoves can provide families decades of clean cooking.

We believe that quality matters and we know that when families receive high-quality, efficient and modern cookstoves they take care of their stoves, which translates into many more years of clean cooking.

Here’s a great example from Joe and Henrietta in Nigeria-11 years with their CleanCook stove and counting:

PGI Executive Director Harry Stokes Selected as 2012 World Bioenergy Award Winner

Harry Stokes accepts World Bioenergy Award 2012 in Jonkoping, Sweden

May 29, 2012

Harry Stokes of Project Gaia was announced the winner of 2012 World Bioenergy Award on May 29 in Jönköping, Sweden. Harry was selected by the World Bioenergy Association jury out of six finalists including entrepreneurs, government officials and researchers from India, Russia, Spain, UK and USA, all who have made important contributions to the global bioenergy sector.

The purpose of the award is to recognize an individual with great achievements within the international bioenergy sector.The award honors Harry’s work in developing, funding and managing Project Gaia to improve the health, economic status and quality of life of households in the developing world, particularly in Africa. Harry received the award from Swedish Minister for Information Technology and Energy, Anna-Karin Hatt.

Kent Nyström, President of World Bioenergy Association and member of the jury commented,“Harry Stokes was one of the finalists also in 2010. The scope of his achievements is vast, and there are several dimensions to the benefits of helping developing communities rely more on clean, renewable and domestic fuels.”

Find out more about Harry Stokes and the World Bionenergy Award finalists.

Gaia Association- Ethiopia Offers Request to Join General Assembly

Gaia Association- Ethiopia Offers Request to Join General Assembly

April 4, 2012

The General Assembly is a group of individuals committed to supporting Gaia Association’s mission to improve lives, the environment and the well-being of families with clean and safe ethanol cookstoves and fuel.

The General Assembly meets once per year in Addis Ababa and members would be available for additional meetings on an as-needed basis.

Members must be able to be physically present at the meetings in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

If interested, please see the Membership Request Form below and return to the Gaia Association.

Thank you!



Gaia Association – Addis Ababa, Ethiopia


Name: ________________________________________________________________________

Nationality: ___________________________________________________________________

Current Address: _______________________________________________________________

Email Address: _________________________________________________________________

Phone Number: ________________________________________________________________





Membership in Any Resident Charity:_______________________________________________

Nature of the Organization: _______________________________________________________


For how long: __________________________________________________________________



I authorize the verification of the information provided on this form as to my recognition. I have received a copy of this application.

Signature of applicant:                                               Date:

Note: Membership is activated only when membership application is approved by the General Assembly members.

For more information, contact the Gaia Association at

Gaia Association
Bole Sub city, Wereda 17, Kebele 23
House No 2003, P.O. Box 1460 code 1250
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Telephone + (251) 11 6 183540
Fax +251 11 662 74 02

To download a PDF of this form please visit:

Announcement: Request for Expressions of Interest to Install a Microdistillery in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia: Due March 23


Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Promotion of Ethanol Microdistillery for Cooking Fuel in Ethiopia

Loan No. /Credit No./ Grant No.: TF096664

DATE : 03/01/12

Activity Title: Demonstrating the Feasibility of Ethanol for Household Cooking

The Gaia Association, an Ethiopian non-governmental and non-profit organization established in 2005 has received financing from the World Bank to demonstrate the feasibility of producing bioethanol on a small-scale to be used as cooking fuel. The project will install an efficient ethanol microdistillery (EMD) in the outskirts of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Gaia Association intends to apply part of the grant towards the procurement of one Ethanol Microdistillery to be installed in the outskirts of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The goods to be supplied include:

One ethanol microdistillery able to produce 1,000 liters per day of hydrous and/or industrial grade ethanol at 92 – 95 % v/v based on molasses feedstock. The microdistillery should also be able to handle other feedstocks as deemed feasible, including sugarcane juice and fruit waste from local markets. The final bioethanol produced will be used in the local community as fuel for stoves, small engines, and other utility purposes. The EMD will ultimately be owned by a women’s association, whose members are among the poorest in the city, with an average income of below $12 USD per month.

The Gaia Association now invites eligible suppliers to indicate their interest in providing the goods and services required. Interested suppliers should provide information demonstrating that they have the required qualifications and relevant experience to supply the goods.

A Supplier will be selected in accordance with the Shopping method set out in the World Bank’s Procurement Guidelines under IBRD Loans and IDA Credit.

Further information can be obtained at the addresses below:

Gaia Association, Bole Sub-city

P.O. Box 1460/1250, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Tel: +251 (11)-618 35 40

Fax: +251 (11)-662 74 02

Email: gaiaassociation@ethionet.te


-   or   -

Project Gaia, Inc.

Number 1 Lincoln Square Box 4190

Gettysburg, PA 17325 USA

Tel: + 1 (717) 334-5594

Fax: + 1 (717) 334-7313



Expressions of interest must be delivered in a written form (sent via airmail or printed and scanned) to the address below by Friday March 23, 2012.

Gaia Association

Attn: Wubshet Tadele, Managing Director

P.O. Box 1460/1250, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Tel: +251 (19) – 42 76 05

Fax: +251 (11) – 662 74 02

Email: |

-          or  -

Project Gaia, Inc.

Attn: Harry C. Stokes, Executive Director

1 Lincoln Square Box 4190

Gettysburg, PA 17325 USA

Tel: + 1 (717) 334-5594

Fax: +1 (717) 334-7313

Email: |

Nigerian Government Agency Launches Microdistillery and Stoves to Provide Sustainable Ethanol Fuel for Household Cooking, Lighting and Small-Scale Power Generation

Press Release

February 28, 2012 – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Nigerian Government Agency Launches Microdistillery and Stoves to Provide Sustainable Ethanol Fuel for Household Cooking, Lighting and Small-Scale Power Generation

The National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA), a parastatal under the Nigerian Federal Ministry of Science and Technology, has commissioned the installation of an efficient microdistillery (EMD) with a capacity to produce 1,000 liters of ethanol per day from local crops and crop wastes. The EMD will be located in NABDA’s Ogbomosho Bioresource Center. The Center is located on a prime cassava and cashew belt in Ogbomosho Community, Oyo State, Nigeria.

The project will pilot the production of advanced bioethanol from waste and non-food-grade crops for use as cooking fuel in rural households in the surrounding communities of Ogbomosho. Bioethanol fuel for cooking has been shown to mitigate the effects of indoor air pollution caused by the use of firewood and kerosene. Reliance on dirty and poorly combusting fuels creates a major risk for women and children in Nigeria and sub-Saharan Africa.

NABDA is working in collaboration with private sector organizations Premium Ranch Farm Limited and Primera Agricultura Limited. It is being assisted by Project Gaia, a non-profit organization long active in Nigeria, dedicated to promoting the use of alcohol fuels. The project is the first of its kind in Nigeria and one of the first in Africa. It is designed to support the Federal Government of Nigeria Transformation Agenda, which aims at socio-economic development of the rural areas. Small-scale fuel ethanol production will provide new and stable markets to Nigeria’s eight million cassava farmers who produce annually some 38 million tons of cassava, more than any other nation.

The EMD is provided by Green Social Bioethanol (GREEN), a Brazilian family-owned company specializing in small-scale bioethanol technologies for social projects. GREEN distilleries produce between 500 and 3,000 liters of ethanol per day; they may be operated in continuous mode and use a unihydrolyzing process with cool-temperature enzymes. The NABDA distillery will rely on non-food grade cassava and cassava pieces, as well as the cashew apple, which is discarded when cashew nuts are harvested. Both cassava and cashew apples have a short life after harvest and must be processed quickly. The EMD will be located adjacent to the cassava fields and cashew tree plantations.

Top: Green Social Bioethanol distillery in Esmeralda, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. Photo by Project Gaia.
Bottom: Discarded cashew apples at Ogmobosho. Photo by Project Gaia.

The NABDA project brings the distillery together with an initial 1,000 CleanCook ethanol stoves, a safe, efficient stove developed by the Dometic Group and selected by Project Gaia for use in Africa. These stoves create a reliable market for ethanol fuel, while ethanol from the EMD satisfies the need of nearby communities for modern cooking fuel.

The CleanCook stove is used in rural and urban Ethiopian households and has been widely pilot tested in several countries, including Nigeria, Madagascar, Malawi, Kenya and Brazil. The CleanCook has proved popular with consumers and has achieved an exemplary safety record. Studies conducted by Project Gaia in Delta State, Nigeria, in 2006 and 2007 showed that households preferred cooking with alcohol and the CleanCook stove over LPG, kerosene and firewood. It is the aim of NABDA to provide a cheaper fuel alternative than imported kerosene. A growing fuel supply crisis and Nigeria’s need to move to a market-based approach for fuel pricing has made this an urgent priority.

The NABDA EMD will serve as a model for small-scale, distributed clean energy production in Nigeria. It will be available for widespread replication. A growing reliance on fuel ethanol will help to stabilize cassava prices. New markets for the by-products of ethanol production will be created. The solids from fermentation and distillation, enhanced by yeast and enzymes, will go to livestock feed, fertilizer and compost. The liquids, which have fertilizer value, will be used for irrigation.
NABDA believes that developing Nigeria’s capacity to produce ethanol from waste and non-food-grade crops will achieve energy security as well as social and economic development through the strengthening or creation of rural livelihoods. NABDA is charting a strategy for Nigeria to reduce its dependency on foreign refined petroleum fuels while diversifying its energy supply with the capacity to produce bioethanol fuel on a small scale.


Mr. Joe Obueh – Director, Project Gaia Nigeria

Ms. Gulce Askin – Project Coordinator, Project Gaia, Inc.

Supermodel and UNEP Goodwill Ambassador Gisele Bundchen Participates in CleanCook Ethanol Stove Demonstration and Household Visits in Kisumu, Kenya

For Immediate Release

January 10, 2012 – Kisumu, Kenya

“We don’t hear about this and yet the solutions are so simple,” Gisele noted about extreme energy poverty worldwide. Gisele carries firewood for cooking with Kenyan women in Kisumu. Photo by David Owen.

Supermodel and philanthropist Gisele Bündchen visited several clean cookstove projects including the CleanCook ethanol stove during a five-day “energy access exposure visit” to Kenya in honor of the UN-launched International Year of Sustainable Energy for All.  The event took place in Kisumu, a city that reflects the energy crisis impacting more than three billion people worldwide: lack of access to clean household energy. The visit was hosted by the UK-based charity, Practical Action and facilitated by the Ethiopian non-profit Gaia Association.

The high-profile visit was designed to communicate issues of energy poverty to Goodwill Ambassador Bündchen, who has been named the “greenest celebrity in the world.” Ms. Bündchen carried fuelwood alongside Kenyan women, observed smoky living environments and learned about the dangers of collecting and cooking with polluting fuels. “Energy for all is achievable. Just two per cent of global investment is needed,” stated Ms. Bündchen one week before the official launch of the UN event. Daniel Machado da Fonseca, Head of the Economic and Commercial Section of the Brazilian Embassy in Kenya and bio-fuel expert, brought the Brazilian philanthropist together with Gaia to discuss how Gaia and Brazil could work to improve worldwide access to ethanol for household use. Mahder Alebachew, Project Coordinator of Gaia Association personally demonstrated the CleanCook stove to Ms. Bündchen, and explained the time savings and health benefits for women and girls achieved by cooking with a clean, liquid fuel.  Gisele, who is married to American football star Tom Brady, is expected to be an international champion for energy access for women and girls, joining US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton and actress Julia Roberts in the cause.

Project Gaia is working in partnership with Practical Action to implement a UNDP-funded study that will pilot 120 CleanCook stoves and assess the feasibility and acceptance of ethanol stoves and fuel in Kisumu. The ethanol supply will come from Spectre International Ltd., a large-scale distiller located in Kisumu.  In Dadaab, Kenya, Project Gaia has been involved in providing technical support to UNHCR Dadab refugee camp where 300 cookstoves are in place for pilot testing.

Gaia Association and Project Gaia, Inc. are non-profit, non-governmental organizations working to provide clean-burning stoves and alcohol fuels to families in Africa, Latin America and Haiti.



Mahder Alebachew – Project Coordinator, Gaia Association (Ethiopia)


Gulce Askin – Project Coordinator, Project Gaia Inc (USA)

+1 717-334-5594