AHEAD Energy


AHEAD Energy assists schools and medical facilities in Africa to gain access to life-enhancing energy in an economically-sustainable, environmentally-conscientious manner.
We envision a world in which universal access to energy as well as its wise stewardship enables all people to attain a high quality of life on a thriving planet.
AHEAD Energy is a US-based not-for-profit that identifies appropriate technologies to harness local energy resources in Africa. Focused on building capacity to deploy practical, sustainable, appropriate solutions, AHEAD has helped to enhance lives and livelihoods in Africa for over 20 years.
Lives are saved when medical facilities have access to high-end energy. Lives are enhanced when schools have access to high-end energy. People who are healthy and educated can assist their communities embrace sustainable development and to move up the energy ladder.

Organization Type Non-Governmental Organization

Contact Information

Primary Contact
Dr. Mary Jeanette Ebenhack
Secondary Contact
Mr. Ben W. Ebenhack

Address McDonough Center, Marietta College
215 Fifth Street
Marietta, OH
United States
Website www.aheadenergy.org
Phone +1 740-376-4943
Fax +1 740-376-4763
Calling/Fax Instructions Dial country code, area code and phone number.

Our Focus

Primary Initiatives, Target Populations, and Scope of Work:

Circle of Peace School, Makindye, Uganda

AHEAD began work with Circle of Peace School in 2009. Located in a suburb of Uganda’s capital city, Kampala, the School serves orphans and students of limited resources. During a site visit, AHEAD staff determined that efficient cook stoves, solar energy and biogas were viable technologies for the the school’s needs and locale. AHEAD Staff arranged for the construction of a new kitchen and two twin-burner "Rocket Stoves" with water-heating chimneys. A solar photovoltaic electricity system was installed in April 2009 and incandescent lights were replaced with CFLs. A rainwater harvesting system was installed in 2010.
Kagando Rural Development Center, Kasese, Uganda

AHEAD has partnered with Kagando Rural Development Center (KARUDEC) to install efficient cook stoves, set up water heating systems, produce biogas for cooking, and generate electricity using multiple technologies. KARUDEC has been serving people in the Kasese District of Uganda for 44 years. Begun in 1965 as a leprosarium, the Center has steadily expanded so that it now encompasses a 250-bed hospital, a Nursing and Midwifery School with close to 200 students, a primary school with over 600 students, a Mother Care Home, a Vocational School, and a micro-finance bank. KARUDEC is the staging area for significant development projects in the Kasese District; projects aimed at economic development, health, sustainable agriculture, clean water and sanitation. AHEAD is assessing multiple resource and technology options and anticipates using hybrid systems to meet various end uses. The partnership is envisioned to span a number of years as it will entail obtaining significant amounts of funding from multiple sources.
Chazon Children's Center, Molo, Kenya
Chazon Children's Center is situated in Molo, Kenya, a town 220 kilometers northwest of Nairobi. The Center provides quality education and meals to about one hundred orphans and vulnerable children. Before AHEAD began working with the school, there was no electricity or running water. AHEAD has helped the school obtain a Kickstart pump to help with irrigation and to provide drinking water. Six wind turbines manufactured and donated by Jetpro Technology were installed along with classroom lighting. Efficient cook stoves and water heating mechanisms are also needed at the school.

Fuels/Technologies: Biogas
Sectors of Experience: Energy
Countries of Operation: Kenya

Our Experience And Interest In The Four PCIA Central Focus Areas

Social/Cultural barriers to using traditional fuels and stoves:

AHEAD Energy was founded at the Frederick Douglass Institute for African and African-American Studies at the University of Rochester. An academic home was specifically sought so that people with expertise in cultural and social issues could interact with those with a more technical focus. Trust and respect are at the heart of AHEAD's work. We develop solutions to needs defined by clients to ensure both contextually-appropriate solutions and effective transfer of technology. AHEAD has continuously been committed to developing human resource capacity in Africa's energy sector.

Market development for improved cooking technologies:

We recognize the need for local entrepreneurs to market improved cooking technologies. By focusing on schools, our projects serve as a demonstration site for the community. We have developed an energy curriculum for primary schools to enable students to understand improved cooking technologies and other life-enhancing energy systems. When possible, we work to set up vocational training for energy businesses. We are investigating a program to support local entrepreneurs through the Center for Leadership and Business at Marietta College.

Technology standardization for cooking, heating and ventilation:

Standardization of technology for cooking, heating and ventilation is of interest to us. We have done some comparison of efficient cook stoves and are continuing to evaluate cook stoves that are available in Africa.

Indoor air pollution exposure and health monitoring:

We are not equipped to scientifically monitor pollution levels. The monitoring that we do is limited to sight and smell.

Relevant Publications or Studies

None noted

Our Contribution to the Partnership

AHEAD Energy would like to participate by sharing our experience and expertise. We would assist in the development of standards for efficient cook stoves and help to disseminate this information in Sub-Saharan Africa. We would assist in raising awareness of the health and environmental consequences of raw biomass cooking. We would share the energy curriculum that we have developed for grade schools.