the market-based approach to end poverty and climate change
Transform Energy (TE) will transform extreme rural poverty and global climate change at the same time by turning chips of invasive hardwood like mesquite into a low-carbon-emitting substitute for coal. This process takes 1 hour instead of the 300 million years Mother Nature takes to make the coal that is currently responsible for producing 80% of India’s electricity.
Climate change has fast become the planet’s greatest challenge, caused primarily by burning fossil fuels that took 300 million years to create. Transform Energy is working to turn bio-waste into “green coal” produced in radically-dispersed, and affordable kilns. This creates a virtuous cycle where plants pull carbon dioxide from the air to grow and burn torrefied biomass which releases carbon dioxide from this era.
Torrefaction is a process that is exactly the same as roasting coffee. It reduces the mass of the input material while keeping most of the available energy, thus creating a highly energy dense fuel. Torrefied mesquite has a thermal density of 4.6 to 5.4 Kilocalories per kilo which is competitive with coal currently imported to India from Australia and Indonesia.
Transform Energy produces a marketable substitute for coal by transforming mesquite and other invasive hardwoods through a village-based process of torrefaction. Mesquite (Prosipis Juliflora) is readily available for use in the torrefaction process. Mesquite produces a 165 foot tap root, and plentiful above ground, harvestable wood. We will start 200-hectare mesquite plantations in semi-arid village locations in which can reproduce in three years after the seedlings are planted.
In the third year, each plantation can produce ten tons of mesquite chips which can be turned into seven tons of blackened coal substitute. In India alone, the resulting 700,000 tons of coal per year significantly reduces the contribution to climate change from India’s current burning of coal to produce electricity. We will fulfill the energy needs of vast, underserved populations, and raise millions of people out of poverty.