|GATE - 1/82 - Appropriate Technology - by whom? for whom? and how? (GTZ GATE, 1982, 36 p.)|
Analysis and Conclusions of the Planning Phase
by Hans-Wilhelm von Haugwitz and Eberhard R. Biermann.
A Special Energy Programme (SEP) was launched by the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation (BMZ) in 1979 in fulfilment of a mandate of the Federal Government from the Bonn Economic Summit (July 1978). The planning work for SEP was placed in the hands of GATE in the German Agency for Technical Cooperation (GTZ). GATE has recently completed an analysis of this planning phase. What were the findings and what conclusions were drawn?
In setting up the SEP, the Bonn Ministry felt that only a programmatic approach would be capable of making a really effective contribution towards improving the energy situation in the Third World, especially in the rural areas. Clearly, a programme of this sort should concentrate on the utilisation of locally available, renewable sources of energy.
In close consultation with the BMZ, GATE concentrated its planning work for SEP on nine countries:
- Sudan, Kenya, Tanzania, Mali, Niger and Upper Volta in
- Philippines in Asia,
- Peru, Colombia in Latin America.
In 1980 missions of experts worked out programmes for the respective countries, based on two and a half months' field work. Besides a country survey, which takes into account the available primary energy resources and reviews the possibilities of employing relevant technologies for the utilization of renewable energy, the country programmes also included three or four individual projects which had been reviewed. These projects had been chosen as priority projects in cooperation with the authorities responsible in the countries. An additional project catalogue also contained several preappraised projects which could be carried out as follow-up projects under a possible extension of the SEP.
The results of the different Country Reports were discussed jointly by the decision makers in the countries concerned and the BMZ. In a second phase, the implementation period, the individual projects approved by BMZ will be carried out (see final paragraphes of this article).
In preparation for the country missions, GATE had compiled secondary statistical information about the countries under consideration. This was accompanied by state-of-the-art reviews. As a result, working papers on the most important areas of technology for utilizing renewable energy were developed in the form of "Status Reports" concerning the following primary energy sectors:
- photovoltaic and thermodynamic solar energy,
- thermal solar energy,
- wind energy,
- biogas (anaerobic fermentation),
- biomass (direct and indirect combustion).
With the help of these documents, which will be available in English in 1983, an additional working paper, which is to be updated by periodical supplements, was provided by GATE to all project experts working on problems of the utilization of renewable energy.
The objective of the comparative study was, inter alia, to analyse what essential differences exist among the countries in the SEP study in economic, agricultural, energy-related, social, administrative or institutional contexts. The differences were to be interpreted in the light of a number of resulting effects, for example:
- objective prospects for renewable energies taking into account the global energy potential;
- objective prospects for renewable energies taking into account the energy policy of the government concerned;
- reaching the target group, taking into account its importance as a consumer or producer of energy and its socio-economic situation within the political and social context of the countries;
-assessment of the technical, scientific and institutional infrastructure proposed for the implementation of renewable energies;
- assessment of the prospects for donor institutions and organisations, such as the GTZ, to reach the target group through renewable energy projects and to contribute to improving its quality of life.
The study is based on the individual Country Reports and project evaluations drawn up by the missions in the final version for GATE.
Conclusions of the Planning Period
During the planning period of the SEP, the emphasis was upon how to use the resources available under the programme efficiently, given the various factors of influence. It became obvious that the different SEP activities were not able to bring about extensive changes in the medium term energy use structures of the countries under consideration. However, an analysis of the situation in a country makes it possible to support developments in certain directions and to specify the objectives of the programme in forms of certain forms of energy, technologies and technological research. The SEP is simply a contribution which - within the context of further international efforts - could identify and support a country's own efforts towards self-reliance.
The history of energy technologies shows that it takes between 30 and 50 years for one form of energy to replace another, and for new technologies to achieve large-scale, market-related penetration. (Replacing wood with coal in Germany took about 50 years. From 1870, with 90 % wood, to 1920, with 10% wood).
From a realistic point of view, the SEP activities should be considered as a catalyst in the efforts to solve the diverse problems of replacing scarce energy with renewable forms of energy. Visible short-term succes related to the target group can only be achieved by concentrating on technical change with respect to the conversion and use of biomass. The biomass cycle, an essential condition for rural life even in economically advanced SEP countries, provides by far the largest energy potential; if the overall efficiency of interfering in the ecological circuit is based on suitable technologies which do not disturb the ecological balance.
The SEP is not primarily concerned with changes in the resource
base by replacing traditional forms of energy, but rather concentrates on
conserving and improving this base. Therefore devices and equipment designed to
use solar energy, wind and hydro-potentials - the so-called substitution
technologies - finally aim at the biomass-cycle: wind - and solar pumps as well
as hydraulic rams provide the inputs for expanding agricultural production;
solar dryers, hydro power and stoves improve the efficiency of processing
For the modern sector, the energy basis of which in most countries under consideration is petroleum or electricity, there will be no dominant role to play by reducing conventional energy forms (petroleum, etc.) with the RE technologies. In this area the standard of the respective technologies seems more likely to be the limiting factor rather than the resource potential of renewable energy. In the modern sector the objectives of an energy conservation concept and the SEP are going to be complementary and to overlap.
The conversion of wind into electrical power can be a meaningful contribution to the generation of energy Our picture shows a wind energy converter with two rotors, developed by a German company.
Renewable Energy Technologies
The various resources available contrast with the urgent and increasing demand of the SEP target groups, which cannot be met adequately by the currently applied techniques. The long-term objective of the SEP to establish new connecting links between supply and demand, requires answers to the following questions: What is feasible under the given operational conditions, what can be financed, and what can be integrated into the existing structures of production and society?
The difficulties related to the implementation of RE technologies, partly become clear from past experience: Destroyed wind wheels in Kenya, Tanzania, Mali and Colombia; functionally inefficient solar pumps in Upper Volta, Niger and Sudan; dusty solar cookers in Mali and inactive small hydropower stations in Tanzania or Peru. All these examples shed light on the unsuccessful efforts which have been identified by the SEP country missions and which certainly contributed to the resentment felt by many administrative counterparts in the countries under examination.
The failures in themselves, however, are no reason to conclude that RE technologies are an inappropriate option, since the reason for such poor performances is largely incomplete analysis of that influences determining the functioning of the technical systems.
The basis of assessing the state of development of RE technologies is provided by a survey which covers the devices and equipment available in industrial countries and to a certain extent in developing countries as well. This analysis was necessarily confined to an isolated view of individual installations and an examination of their technical maturity. As a result, the following can be stated: Only the small hydropower station can be regarded as technically mature and fit for commercial distribution in potential markets. With some reservations, windpumps and flat solar collectors, too, prove to be technically mature and ready for commercialization. All the other technologies either are subject to further research or have to be optimized by means of additional development efforts directed at the existing pilot units and O-series.
Toys need not necesarly be imported plastic ware; it can be produced for good educational purposes out of locally available materials. The models shown here were taken from a publication of the Comision Coordinadora de Technologia Adequada in Peru; it is called "Minka"
Measure for Immediate Implementation
The two most important approaches to improving the energy situation of the rural low-income population consist of forestation, especially of planting village fuel lots, and of the massive propagation of energy saving stoves.
Rarely recognized is a third option: If all fuelwood-consuming households of the developing countries could switch to kerosene, the petroleum demand of these countries would rise by about 15-20%. Considering their present low level of petroleum demand, such a switch would scarcely put pressure on the world petroleum market. However, the problem is that financial constraints would prevent many developing countries from taking advantage of this option.
Therefore, it should be worth considering whether the industrial nations should, at least in some countries, contribute to improvements in the living conditions and the ecological environment of the population by supplying liquid fuel without charge. Such measures would at least be capable of achieving a delay to be used for structural measures. Although none of the SEP country missions has made such a proposal, it suggests itself when one is intensively concerned with a comparison of the rural energy situation in different countries.
The figures on the annual forest increase and the consumption of fuelwood in the African SEP countries are alarming: Except the Sudan, in all countries there is an actual deficit of wood in absolute terms. To meet the likely fuelwood demand in the yea' 2000 would, according to the World Bank, mean planting an estimated 50 million hectares of forests - five times present reforestation efforts; in Africa fifteen times more wood would be needed than is currently being planted. However, one can imagine that in view of financial constraints such a target will not be meet.
Improved stoves could double the efficiency of most open fire places (actually about 95 percent of heal may be wasted). Under certain circumstances the usable energy obtained from fuelwood can be greatly increased.
· By far the largest part of the rural population in general is affected only indirectly by the commercial energy crisis (the "petroleum crisis"). All non OPEC developing countries together account for 10% of world petroleum demand. Since agriculture is responsible only for an average of 4.5% of the oil consumption in these countries, the agricultural sector accounts for less than 0.5% of world petroleum demand.
These figures make it clear that commercially feasible substitution possibilities for RE technologies are very limited in agriculture. Nevertheless the fuelwood crisis, which began even before the first energy crisis, should be seen primarily within the context of rural underdevelopment.
Within the rural area there are two sub-sectors of production characterized by different modes of production and living resulting in different "technology needs". Here one must distinguish between the modern, export-oriented subsector and the subsector devoted to the domestic market.
· The energy situation of the rural population is almost exclusively determined by the availability of biomass (frequently fuelwood). Within the different countries there exist large regional differences. However, it can in general be assumed that the energy situation of the rural population of all the SEP countries are uniformly bad. The different macro-figures in the economic sphere or in the area of commercial energy have little or no significance for the description of the targetgroups situation.
Cooking activities consume most of the energy and, therefore, offer the highest hypothetical saving potentials (50 %, when more efficient stoves are used). However, what makes foreign support difficult is the low energy consumption level (in absolute terms) of individual households and its integration into a traditional system of habits and behaviour. The introduction of improved stoves results merely in a delay of the already foreseeable ecological catastrophies, a delay which nonetheless can be used to achieve a fundamental change in the consumption pattern.
· The SEP can be regarded as a catalyst only which will heighten existing awareness of problems, lend support to individual self-help projects and, in conjunction with the political authorities of the various countries, consolidate and coordinate such projects with a view to developing an overall strategy in the area of energy policy.
The Implementation Phase
During the course of the planning work on SEP, some 120 project
proposals were studded, 40 of them in the form of detailed evaluations. From
this work specific projects gradually took shape. By the middle of 1982, the GTZ
had accepted commissions for the implementation of 17 individual projects. The
coordination of the individual projects is the responsibility of the division
"Mineral and Energy Resources" (division 34) of the GTZ.
Taking Kenya as an example, the following series of projects shows how SEP is moving into the implementation phase. A total of nine projects was agreed upon with this East African country:
1. Consultancy to the Ministry of Energy on the Formulation and Implementation of a Programme for the intensified Use of Renewable Energy Sources. Establishment of a Coordination Committee under the Chairmanship of the Ministry of Energy, the Committee Members being drawn from all relevant Projects and their Administrative Bodies (duration: 1982 - 1984);
2. Realization of a Nation-wide Programme for the Collection of Wind and Solar Energy Data and Evaluation of the Data to facilitate their Practical Application (duration: 1982 - 1984);
3. Consultancy to Maendeleo ya Wanawake on Propagation Measures for RE-Equipment, esp. improved wood stoves (duration: 1982 - 1984);
4. Support through Advisors on the Use of Wind, Biomass, Energy and Water Supply of Land Settlement Schemes (duration: 1982 - 1983);
5. Consultancy and Energy Supply in important agricultural areas by using Renewable Energies such as Biogas, Water and Solar Energy (duration: 1983- 1985);
6. Installation of Water and Energy Supply Plant in Kakuma (duration: 1982- 1983);
7. Promotion of the Kenya Industrial Estates in the Production, Propagation and Maintenance of RE Plants (duration: 1982- 1984);
8. Investigation of Biomass-Potentials and Possibilities of its Use. Preparation of Feasibility-Studies for Individual Projects and Comprehensive Exploitation Measures (duration: 1982- 1984);
9. R + D, Test and Modification of a 1 KW-photo-voltaic Solardriven Submersible Pump (duration: 1981 - 1983).