Women for Results

Harvesting Geothermal Energy

Traditional agricultural practices have low production rates in rural areas of El Salvador. As a result, female farmers’ incomes are very low. In addition, the traditional agricultural practices in El Salvador’s rural areas are carbon intensive. Wood and other fossil fuels are typically burnt to dehydrate fruit and pump water, which releases greenhouse gas emissions and causes climate change.

Women from rural communities in El Salvador are increasing their incomes and tackling climate change through a unique project called Harvesting Geothermal Energy that uses waste heat and steam condensates from nearby geothermal plants. Women living in communities near the geothermal plants use waste heat from the geothermal steam to dehydrate fruit for themselves and for commercial sale.

They also grow and sell plants watered with geothermal condensates. Four women are permanently employed as rangers in a wildlife protection park, which has been established in the geothermal field. Through this project, women are able to run a productive business while earning a sustainable income.

Generating income with geothermal waste-heat in El Salvador


How it works

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Paris Agreement

While national governments may set emission reduction targets, regional governments and cities often have more influence on how policies are implemented. These sub-national projects and commitments are listed under the NAZCA portal.

Harvesting Geothermal Energy shows how non-state actors working together can help meet international climate goals under the Paris Agreement by ensuring that 1.8 tonnes of CO2 are avoided per year due to the use of geothermal waste heat instead of traditional fossil fuels.

The initiative takes place in El Salvador, which has a number of contributions in the NAZCA portal to establish a legislative and institutional framework that can guide economic and social development towards low emissions and adaptation to climate change. Additionally, it presents some targets by 2025 and 2030, which will be quantified, agreed upon and presented before COP22 or COP23.