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close this book Sustainable Energy News - No. 2 September 1993
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View the document Acknowledgements
View the document Editorial: Creating Dynamics in Sustainable Development
View the document INforSE Organizing
View the document Regional News - Africa
View the document Regional News - Asia
View the document ISES 2000
View the document Regional News - Europe
View the document Regional News - Northern America

Sustainable Energy News - No. 2 September 1993

ISSN 0908-4134

Newsletter for the International Network for Sustainable Energy - INforSE



Sustainable Energy News

Published by: INforSE

c/o OVE · The Danish Organization for Renewable Energy

Willemoesgade 14

DK-2100 Kobenhavn 0, Denmark Ph: +45-3142 9091

Fax: +45-3142 9095



Ann Vikkelso, OVE

Gunnar Boye Olesen, OVE

Rene Karottki, Forum for Energy and Development

Technical Editor: Lars Yde,

Folkecenter for Renewable Energy P.O.Box 208, DK-7760 Hurup Thy Ph: +45-9795 6600, Fax: +45-9795 6565

Deadline for next issue: 29.11.93 Next issue: December 1993

The newsletter is quarterly. Contributions are welcomed. Feel free to use the information you find in Sustainable Energy News.

Annual subscription rate: US$ 15 Sustainable Energy News will be distributed free of charge to NGOs as long as possible.

Supported by: Forum for Energy and Development.


International Network for Sustainable Energy is a worldwide NGO network formed at Global Forum in Rio, June 1992.


P.O. Box 2059,

DK - 1013 Copenhagen K

Regional Contacts:

Stephen Karekezi, FOOD, Kenya Youba Sokona, ENDA, Senegal Raymond Myles, AFPRO, India Benjamin Gertes, Philippines

Emil Bedi, FAE - SZOPK, Slovakia Gunnar Olesen, OVE, Denmark Martin Prieto, REDES, Uruguay Emilio Rovere, IED, Brazil

Nancy Hirsh, ECC, USA


Join the INforSE Network !

The International Network for Sustainable Energy is open to membership for NGOs interested in sustainable energy development. INforSE is based on the NGO energy strategy "Sustainable Energy Development - towards a world strategy" Membership is free of charge.

If your organization wishes to become member of INforSE and support the NGO energy strategy, please send a request to INforSE, c/o OVE, Willemoesgade 14, 2100 Copenhagen 0, Denmark. Then you will receive a copy of the NGO energy strategy and other INforSE papers including the membership application form and enter the mailing list of this newsletter.



Editorial: Creating Dynamics in Sustainable Development

The period after the UNCED meetings in Rio in 1992 has been dominated by the lack of commitment of industrialized countries for a sustainable development. In USA the Clinton-Gore administration was defeated concerning a modest energy/CO2 tax. The European Community followed the US and is not imposing any energy/CO2 tax.

Strong lobbies of industry, the established energy sector and others succeeded in suppressing proposals of taxation of fossil and nuclear fuels.

The conclusion is, that at the moment other means than taxation must be key measures for imposing a sustainable energy development.

The political measures, which shall be put into action now, must be of "positive nature" in a political sense. Sustainable energy development must be combined with other subjects, which the people (voters) are paying attention to. Then there is a chance of starting a positive political dynamic in the direction of sustainable development. Such a "positive measure" can be job-creation. Job-creation and unemployment has a very high priority in the political discussions in the industrialized countries.

As an example could be mentioned, that if support for unemployed people is used to support sustainable energy measures, this could create many jobs and at the same time give a more sustainable development.

In the developing countries the combination of sustainable energy development and development of the local economy must be stressed. In the development programs must be included strong elements of the combination of local economy and sustainable energy development.

In order to contribute to a global political process of a sustainable energy development, the secretariat of INFORSE is preparing proposals for a campaign in 1994 concerning 'job-creation, local economic development and sustainable energy development." Discussions of this as an INFORSE-campaign will be a major subject of the meeting of INFORSE coordinators and contact persons in October.

Hans Bjerregaard, Chairman

The Danish Organization for Renewable Energy



INforSE Organizing


The new facilities of the INforSE secretariat is now in place, and funding for the secretariat, this newsletter and a number of activities is secured for the coming year.

While the old address is still working, the new, easy INforSE address is:


P.O. Box 2059

1013 Copenhagen K


Ph: +45-3142 9091/3312 1307

Fax: +45-3142 9095/3312 1308



New European Coordinator

At the second European lNforSE meeting in July, Emil Bedi from Slovak Nature Protection Society - Foundation for Alternative Energy (SZOPK - FAE) was elected as new coordinator for INforSE Europe, replacing Adam Gula.

The new coordinators address is:

Att. Emil Bedi


Gorkeho 6 811 01



Ph: +42-7-364665

Fax: +42-7-313968

At the same meeting Gunnar Olesen was re-elected as European coordinator for another year. Adam Gula continues to be active in INforSE as the representative of Polish Ecological Club.


INforSE action plans under preparation

While coordinators and contact persons are preparing INforSE action plans for their region, a general action plan for INforSE is also under preparation for the coming year. The plan will be discussed at the INforSE contact persons meeting in Denmark, October 10-15. Major points for consideration in the plan will be the energy and employment campaign mentioned at page 3, and the development of INforSE.


African regional meeting

The regional meeting for Eastern and Southern Africa will take place in Nairobi, Kenya in January 1994. Mumbua Munywoki, Foundation for Woodstove Dissemination will organize the meeting.


Asian/Pacific Regional Meeting

The regional meeting for Eastern Asia and Pacific is proposed lo be combined with a Conference on Sustainable Energy Development in January or February 1994. The venue could be Vietnam, as the Vietnamese Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment has shown interest for such an event. Benjamin Gertes, Philippines Center for Appropriate Technology and Training will organize the event.


Regional Meeting in India

The regional meeting for Central and Western Asia is proposed to be combined with a 3 day Workshop to Promote Sustainable Renewable Programs through NGOs. The venue will be New Delhi, India and the tentative dates are April/May 1994. Raymond Myles, AFPRO will organize the event.


Regional Meeting in Latin America

The regional meeting for Latin America will take place in Rio de Janeiro at October 19, 1993. It will be organized in conjunction with a Brazilian energy week. Emilio Rovere, IED (Instituto de Ecologia e Desenvolvimente), will organize the event.



Regional News - Africa

Regional Meeting

Foundation for Woodstove Dissemination plans a regional INforSE meeting for Eastern and Southern Africa in Nairobi, January, 1994. This meeting will be the official launching of INforSe in the Eastern and Southern part of Africa: Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Mauritius, Rwanda and Burundi. For the agenda of the meeting the following topics are proposed:

· Discussion of the NGO energy strategy behind INforSE with feedbacks from NGOs in the region. From this discussion it is envisaged that detailed activities will be listed for the coordinators.

· Proposals for national activities including the formation of lists of NGOs working for sustainable energy projects in each country.

· Formation of manufacturers association for renewable energy and efficiency in Eastern Africa.

· Proposals for national sustainable energy workshops.

Further information by Mumbua Munywoki, FOOD, P.O.Box 30979, Nairobi, Kenya. Ph: +254-2-566032, fax: +254-2-561464/740524


African Energy Charter

Foundation for Woodstove Dissemination is preparing an African Energy Charter together with African Energy Policy Research Network (AFRE-PREN). The Charter will be based on the book "Energy Options for Africa, Environmentally Sustainable Alternatives". It will be quite different from the inter-govemmental (European) Energy Charter that hardly recognizes the need for a sustainable development.


West African Renewable Energy Seminar

Youba Sokona from ENDA's energy program proposes a 4 week seminar in Dakar, Senegal for dissemination and follow-up of renewable energy technologies for rural African areas. The seminar will cover African energy problems, socio-economic aspects of renewable energy dissemination, financing, analyzing and evaluating of projects, sizing of renewable energy technologies and planning of renewable energy technology dissemination programs.

Further information by Youba Sokona, ENDA, B.P. 3370, Dakar, Senegal. Ph: +221-22 5983/2496, fax: +221-22 2696.



Regional News - Asia

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 workshop

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.



ISES 2000

International Solar Energy Society (ISES) presented a new, more political strategy named ISES 2000 at its world conference in Budapest in August. Headed by the new ISES Chairman Michael Nicklas, ISES will combine its classical research orientation with more emphasis on political strategies. They will focus on providing national and international decision makers with up-to-date information on renewable energy. They feel that lack of information is currently an important limitation to renewable energy's potential impact.

ISES also plan a new structure with more emphasis on regional offices and a NGO Renewable Energy Summit in March 1994 in New York.

Further information by ISES 2000 Contact, Michael Nicklas, Innovative Design Inc. 850 West Morgan Street, Raleigh, North Carolina 27603, USA. Ph: +1-919-832 6303, fax: +1-919832 3339.



Regional News - Europe

INforSE Europe Meeting

By the end of the European NGO energy seminar at Folkecenter for Renewable Energy in Denmark, the 2nd meeting of the European INforSE region was held at July 17. At this event the basis for an action plan for INforSE Europe was set, there was a call for bylaws for INforSE - Europe and coordinators were elected for the coming year. At the meeting 14 of the 38 European member- organizations were represented. Next INforSE Europe meeting will be in Germany on July 9, 1994.

Action Plan for INforSE Europe

Based on the discussion at the regional meeting the European INforSE coordinators have elaborated an action plan for the coming year. The action plan will be the basis for action of INforSE Europe; but will not limit member-organizations in taking INforSE initiatives when relevant.

Monitor International Financing

INforSE - Europe will evaluate the two Global Environmental Facility (GEE) projects in Europe and evaluate energy projects financed by other financial institutions (as World Bank and European Bank for Reconstruction and Development - EBRD) when requested by INforSE members.

Follow EC policy

INforSE - Europe will monitor and eventually make inputs to energy related EC policy, including, energy/ CO2 tax, Internal Energy Market, ALTENER (renewable energy strategy program), SAVE (energy efficiency strategy program), PHARE (support for projects in Central and Eastern Europe) and TACIS (support for projects in former USSR). Monitoring of EC Policy will be done in cooperation with groups in the European Parliament.

Strategy building

INforSE Europe will cooperate with other parts of lNforSE for the formulation of sustainable energy strategies, that can combine the necessary transition to a sustainable energy system with solving of other urgent problems of the societies, for instance unemployment.

Information and networking

INforSE Europe will examine to improve and manage a clearinghouse activity through the existing newsletter and contact list. (Contact to members, different energy related bodies, research centers etc). For the fulfilment of these activities INforSE Europe seeks funding for its own activities and for small grants to member-organizations in Central and Eastern Europe.

Finally INforSE Europe aims at being a registered, independent organization with own bylaws.

Nuclear threat in Armenia

After two years blockade and a severe energy crisis the Government of Armenia has decided to reopen the Metstamor nuclear power plant that has been shut down for four years, because it is build in an earthquake zone. The plan is to start the reactors quite fast, and not follow a two years start up procedure recommended by IAEA and FRAMATOM (French Nuclear Power Company).

Further information: Samuel Shahinian and Victoria A. Ter- Nikogossian, Armenian Parliament, Marshal Begramian Ave. 19, Yerevan, 375095, Republic of Armenia. Ph: +7-8852588545, fax +7- 8852-270816.

EBRD funds for nuclear power plants ?

European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has approved funding of the large aluminum smelter in Ziar nad Hronum in Slovakia, which will sharply increase the electricity consumption of Slovakia. To meet this demand EBRD is now considering an application from the Slovak government for financing of the 880 MW Mohovce nuclear power plant with two Soviet-type VVER 440 reactors without confinement.

The physical construction of these reactors is almost finished; but with a proposed new control system from Siemens in Germany the final price will roughly be twice the original budget. This leaves half the investment, more than 500,000,000 US$, still to be made.

According to estimates from SZOPK in Bratislava other solutions will be safer and cheaper than finishing Mochovce as nuclear power plant. One solution is a high-efficiency gas-fired power plant.

EBRD is now evaluating the funding - proposal, reports from this will be finished by the end '93. A final decision from EBRD can be expected in Spring 1994. According to Tim Murphy from EBRD they would welcome alternative proposals to solve Slovakia's energy problems.

EBRD also plans to spend 24 million ECU on the dangerous Kosloudy nuclear power plant in Bulgaria in order to keep the oldest of its 6 reactors running for a few years. It will also finance to bring the two most modern reactors back on line by 1997, provided Bulgaria close reactors 1 and 2 in spring 1997 and reactors 3 and 4 by the end of 1998. This plan should allow time to bring on line two pumped storage hydro schemes and three power stations using waste heat from factories, but the finance for these projects are not secured.

Source: Safe Energy, no. 96, August/Scptember 1993.



Regional News - Northern America

Sun Day 1994

In USA the large Sun Day Campaign is planning a coordinated effort for renewable energy with more than 50 local events at April 24, 1994. The local events will be supplemented with campaigns for "pro-solar" legislation at federal level in USA and for elimination of federal subsidies for nuclear power.

Sustainable Energy Budget 1995

About 30 NGOs have drafted their proposal for the budget of US Department of Energy for 1995. In the proposal is a 600 million US dollars increase of the programs for renewable energy and efficiency, and more than 700 million US dollars cuts of nuclear fission and nuclear fusion programs as well as reductions in some of the fossil fuel programs.

Grassroots Media Network

More than 200 NGOs in USA have signed up to participate in a grassroots media network being coordinated by the Communications Consortium to periodically co-release studies on energy efficiency and renewable energy issues.

Further information: Communications Consortium, Washington DC. Ph: +1202-682 1270, fax: +1-202-682 2154.

New York Solar Coalition

New York Solar Coalition will hold its Second Renewable Energy Conference October 15-16. It will give special attention to renewables and environment, energy and architecture, financial and marketing strategies, energy and transportation.

Further information by Jim Hurt, ph: +1-212-861 0100, fax: +1-212-861 0101.

Sustainable Transportation and Solar and Electric Vehicle Symposium

At October 21 -23 in Boston, USA. The event will have sessions on transportation planning, legislation and incentives for electric vehicles, advanced electric vehicle technologies.

Further information: North East Sustainable Energy Association, ph: +1413-774 6051, fax: +1-413-774 6053.