|Sustainable Energy News - No. 4 March 1994 |
source ref: in04we.htm
by Erik Graff, CARE Denmark
As follow up to the Rio Conference, Danish environment, energy and development organizations want to add an energy component to their developing projects. They have joined the Forum for Energy and Development.
In November 1993, CARE Danmark has carried out the first Forum supported study of the energy consumption and the possibilities of adding fuel savings and sustainable energy solutions to an on-going project in the outlying Mustang district in Nepal.
As an example the study has established time consumption for fuel wood collection, wood consumption, consumer patterns and habits etc. in the project area. The time consumption for fuel wood collection is today 8-16 hours each time per household, dependent on distance to the forest. 20 years ago the time consumption was only about 25% of this. As an average each household collects about 40 kg of wood each time about 130 times a year. Therefore a reduced fuel wood consumption will also cause that the time saved can be used for more productive purposes.
The study proves that it is possible to reduce the wood consumption by fuel saving initiatives and by utilizing sustainable energy sources in the area such as sun, water and wind. The suggestions include among others the following low- technological solutions: Improved clay stoves supplied with smoke pipes, pressure cookers, hay-boxes and solar box cookers, tightening of houses and putting in window glass, and passive solar heating. Furthermore solar water heaters for public bathing houses in the villages.
The results of the study is now available in a draft report containing suggestions at 4 levels of ambition together with calculations of costs and benefits of the objects at each level.
Devastation of the environment and following deterioration of the resource basis of the populations in developing countries is a global problem, which cannot be solved solely by agricultural and tree-planting activities. Therefore energy savings and utilization of sustainable energy must be subjects of future activities for the development agencies on line with other activities.