|Sustainable Energy News - No. 2 September 1993 |
source ref: in02we.htm
Regional workshop in New Delhi
In India, AFPRO (Action for Food Production) is planning a three days regional event "Workshop to Promote Sustainable Renewable Energy Programs through NGOs" in New Delhi, April/May 1994. The workshop will be organized in cooperation with INforSE and incorporate a regional INforSE meeting.
In 1979 AFPRO decided to promote biogas as one of its main activities, and in the following years it organized a network of 75 grassroots voluntary organizations (NGVOs) and equipped them to construct biogas plants. Today these NGVOs have constructed 75,000 biogas plants and have a capacity of constructing 10,000 new plants/year. In addition AFPRO has been involved in the promotion of other renewable energy technologies such as energy plantations.
AFPRO in partnership with its network of 75 NGVOs would like to promote sustainable development and reduce the atmospheric build up of CO2. However, a lot of spadework would be necessary for this, and a concept for Integrated Sustainable Area Development Approach (INSADA) has been discussed for a year as follow-up to the Rio conferences UNCED and Global Forum, June 1992. In this context AFPRO wishes to organize a three day regional workshop in New Delhi in collaboration with INforSE.
The purpose of the workshop is to prepare a strategy and a plan for promoting sustainable rural development through dissemination of renewable energy technologies with special reference to carbon offset with decentralized grassroots initiatives.
It is planned to make a workshop with 40-60 representatives of NGVOs and other organizations from India and 5-10 representatives from Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Pakistan and maybe other neighboring countries.
Further information: Raymond Myles, AFPRO, 25/lA, Institutional Area, Pankha Road, "D" Block Janakpuri, New Delhi - 110058, India. Ph: +9111-555 541215413/3652, fax: +91-115500343, telex 31-65899 AFRO IN.
Asia Pacific Conference and Exhibition
Benjamin Gertes, Philippine Center of Appropriate Technology and Training (PCATT) in cooperation with INforSE is planning a Conference on Sustainable Energy Development and Exhibition of Renewable Energy Products from the Asia Pacific Region in January or February 1994. The conference is planned as a 4 day event for about 20 people. A proposed venue is Hanoi, Vietnam.
Further information: Benjamin Gertes, PCATT, 224 D Silang Street, Batangas City, Philippines 4200. Ph: +63-43 723 1155, fax: +63-2-815 0276 c/o Daqna).
Human rights campaign on Narmada
Since March '93 when the World Bank funding for the Sardar Sarovar Project stopped, no check has been on the Indian government which has paid scant regard to the rights of the tribals affected by the dam. To ensure that the government does not violate these with impunity, Indian NGOs and human rights groups got together to launch a human rights campaign on Narmada. Several observer teams have visited the Valley to report on the situation.
The observer teams have recorded continuing public resistance against the removal of the villages that will be submerged. The residents are divided roughly in half between those who will not move and continue to resist the project, and those who will move if they are offered appropriate land elsewhere.
For those who will move there are several problems: the new land offered by the government is less fertile, the inhabitants from one village will be scattered over several places, and some people have not been offered new land at all when their villages were submerged.
Excerpt from Development Alternatives, August 1993, New Delhi, India.
Boom of Windfarms in Southern India
In the state Tamil Nadu in Southern India the government have decided to encourage private development of windfarms, which now leads to a boom in windpower installation. The state support includes loans, five year tax-holidays for profits from windfarms, and the possibility for companies that have windturbines to feed their electricity into the grid at the windfarm site and withdraw the electricity from the grid at the site of the company.
Today, Tamil Nadu has 25 MW installed windpower capacity of which 7.5 MW is in windparks run by private firms. The State Government projects an increase to 150 MW windpower. A loan of 200 mill US$ from the World Bank is likely to come through for further development of Tamil Nadu's windpower projects.
The windpower development has pushed the land-prices sky- high in the relatively small areas in Tamil Nadu with especially high winds and good grid-connection. In some areas land-prices have raised 10-20 times within the last 5 years.
From Down to Earth, April 1993.
Large hydro potential difficult to utilize.
Small-scale hydro power has a number of benefits: it is clean, available in rural areas that are difficult to electrify otherwise, can often be installed with little impact on the environment and has in India alone an estimated potential of 5,000 MW. Now it is also supported in some pads of India by rural electrification schemes, that are backed by loans from Global Environmental Facility. In spite of all this the installed micro-hydro capacity in India is only 25 MW, and a plan for construction of additional 255 MW capacity is facing a number of difficulties.
A major problem is that villagers are disenchanted with micro-hydro plants because the supply meets only the lighting needs, and often only parts of the year, because the plants are designed for average water flow giving shortages of electricity in the dry season.
In certain cases villagers have refused to have hydro-power installed. As one villager in the state Uttar Pradesh in Northern India explained: "We see how difficult it is for neighboring villages to get uninterrupted power. Why should we take such a connection."
Other problems in Uttar Pradesh are that villagers expect to get electricity at the same price as from the highly subsidized power system of the Uttar Pradesh State Electricity Board, and it has been difficult to find investors and project developers that could install micro-hydro systems. To this can be added that the electricity authority has promised electricity for cooking and heating, which is not possible with the standard-installation with 150W power/household, and that villagers are requested to pay a connection-fee also in periods where the electricity is absent or unreliable.
In spite of its many problems, hydro-power has given substantial benefits for villages in Uttar Pradesh and other areas of the Himalaya Foothills for use in farming, weaving, studying a.o. And with appropriate use, adequate involving of end-users and not trying to cover all cooking and heating needs, micro-hydropower can improve the life- conditions for many rural people.
From Down to Earth, August 1993.