Tombolo Energy - Impact Assessment

TheRockGroup provided Tombolo Energy with an impact assessment for their newly developed innovative waste-to-energy home cooking stove compared to charcoal as an energy source for cooking. Tombolo Energy used the results of the project for acquiring crowdfunding for pilot projects they aim to implement in South Africa.


Tombolo Energy is a South African company that is driven by a passion to offer affordable alternative energy to communities as an ongoing service. The solutions they provide deliver a dignified modern offering to fulfil the complete energy needs of rural and peri-urban communities. Tombolo Energy aims to implement a pilot project for the use of biomass in rural communities in Limpopo, South Africa and asked TheRockGroup to provide an overview of the benefits of biomass in comparison to charcoal, which is the commonly used energy source for cooking in Africa. The impact assessment aims to provide a quantitative analysis between Tombolo Energy’s waste-to-energy home cooking stoves and charcoal as an energy source for cooking, which would be beneficial for attaining crowd funding for the project.


Our work 

TheRockGroup was requested to provide an impact assessment for the use of biomass in comparison to traditionally used charcoal in Africa. The assessment required researching and gathering quantitative data of charcoal in terms of carbon emission factor, number of trees used on an annual basis, human health risks, monetary value, the average quantity of charcoal used in Africa (and South Africa), number of trees needed to produce charcoal, and the average quantity of charcoal used per family etc. Information was also gathered and interpreted from Tombolo Energy to efficiently conduct the comparison with charcoal, including the quantity of biomass required for manufacturing the pellets, the quantity of pellets required per household, the quantity of waste reduced in the environment, and the price of the pellets monthly etc. The collection and interpretation of the data allowed the opportunity for TheRockGroup to provide an overview of the use of biomass in comparison to charcoal in a quantitative approach, which was critical information for funders for new innovative technologies.

The outcome of the assessment provides a coherent indication of the benefits of Tombolo Energy’s innovative technology in relation to charcoal. The assessment provided clear and comparable figures with charcoal, which can be used as a benchmark for requesting funding for the pilot project.