Focus area: Mitigation
Location: Latin America (Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Brazil, Mexico, Bolivia, Argentina, Nicaragua, Honduras)
Activity established: February 2010 (Phase 1)
Latin America is one of the regions that is most affected by climate change, although the region still has one of the lowest levels of CO2 emissions compared with other regions. Artisanal brick makers in the region use fuel that has a high environmental impact, in kilns with low energy efficiency. Wood, tires and plastics, among other fuels are used to fire bricks, making a significant contribution to air pollution, deforestation and water quality. This affects the air quality in nearby cities and health of residents. Enter the Energy efficiency in artisanal brick kilns in Latin America to mitigate climate change (EELA).
The activity started from 2010, which aims to reduce the carbon footprint of traditional brick making, while at the same time improving the businesses of local artisans. The activity is financed by SDC and implemented by Swisscontact. myclimate is currently evaluating and designing the EELA to participate in the voluntary carbon market to have it generate additional income.
EELA teaches brick makers how to use energy efficient brick kilns, and how to use better, cleaner fuels to fire bricks, helping to create a better product for their market. The activity also works with the brick makers on business skills, training them in product improvement as well as better enterprise management.
The EELA Program is currently being piloted in nine cities in Latin America: Cusco (Peru), Cuenca (Ecuador), Cochabamba (Bolivia), Nemocón (Colombia), Seridó (Brazil), San Juan (Argentina), León (México), Nicaragua and Honduras.
Perú, EELA aims to install efficient kilns in the artisanal brick-producing sector, starting with a pilot in San Jerónimo, Cusco and replicating it to other regions in Peru. Installing new improved kilns will generate CO2 emission reductions, because the brick producers will use less fuel wood to generate the same amount of energy.
One objective of this project is to focus on relevant organizations for policies that would help promote comprehensive energy efficiency models within the traditional brick sector, policies that would be in line with national conditions. Thanks to this, the environmental impact of this project could be much larger than the actual impact of the new kilns.
The program is currently in the process of selecting the first five to seven brick producers in San Jeronimo interested in the technology in order to support them in the financing and implementation of the new kiln.
Moving forward, EELA will support the rest of the brick producers by assisting them in the design and implementation of a business and financial Plan. As many of the brick producers plan to seek credits from micro-finance institutions (MFIs) in order to finance the new kilns, but face barriers in getting such credit due to their informality, the activity will create alliances with the MFIs jointly develop programs, strategies and products that can help the brick makers gain greater access to financial credit and contribute to their sustainable development. It is expected that by the end of 2012, approximately 4 to 5 per cent of the brick producers will have acquired and implemented the new kilns.
Mitigation / Adaptation
With the installation of the new kilns, brick producers have been able to reduce their fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by almost 50 per cent.
The consumption of fuel in traditional kilns is equal to 6 to 17 mega joules (MJ) per kilogram of ceramic produced while the fuel consumption of the improved kiln is on average 3 MJ per kg of ceramic produced and can be lowered even more if the brick producers incorporate good and sustainable practices in their production processes. The testing and validation of the improved kiln has also proven that the new technology can help each brick producer reduce approximately 100 tCO2e per year.
Social and environmental benefits
The activity will generate multiple sustainable development benefits for the brick producers and surrounding communities. This includes improvement and strengthening of the business model of the brick producers and implement internal accounting systems.
The technological and organizational improvements will also impact the quality of life of the brick producers. They will be more efficient and it will drive the generation of new income sources. Improvements in working conditions and environment are also expected, with better skills training and higher security at work. Thanks to the improved kiln technology and its efficient fan systems, the health of the employees will be directly affected positively as well.
On top of that, the installation of the hundreds of new kilns will generate new jobs and training opportunities. Thanks to this, the general level of working skills will raise as well in various domains.
Potential for scaling-up and replication
There are a total of 1,800 brick producers in the cities of Puno, Cajamarca, La Libertad, Lambayeque, Piura, Ayacucho, Arequipa, San Martin and Cusco in Peru, who are suitable for this activity. The goal of this activity is to replicate the pilot in San Jeronimo to other regions in the country. The brick producers in these other regions have already been evaluated to some extent and they have potential in terms of technological viability, volume of emission reductions, baseline characteristics and other key factors, to participate. Scaling to those regions will have a great many advantages. In particular this process will help mobilize and strengthen the business skills and technology knowledge along the production line of handmade bricks. It will promote learning, articulation, harmonization and alignment of national actions. It will also demonstrate the feasibility of comprehensive models and ownership of processes to generate sustainable reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in the long term.