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close this book Sustainable energy News - No. 8 March 1995
View the document Acknowledgments
View the document Editorial: Environment, Energy and Social Development
View the document Outcome of the Social Summit
View the document Social Summit NGO Forum
View the document Regional News - Africa
View the document Regional News- Europe
View the document Regional News - Asia
View the document Rethinking Development Assistance for Renewable Electricity
View the document Private Power a! Jamaica
View the document World News
View the document Regional News- North America
View the document Garbage- Recycling- Hygiene
View the document Danish Support for Windturbines in Cuba
View the document Self-Production of Rapeseed Oil for the "rapeseed car"
View the document Publications
View the document Events
View the document Sustainable Energy Tour 1995

Regional News - Asia

Taking a Proactive Stance in Developing Markets for Renewable Energy

Compiled by Benjamin Gertes, INforSE Eastern Asia & Pacific

The global market for renewable energy is stirring the interest of private sector companies. In the Philippines and the ASEAN countries, renewable energy industry is on the upswing. Technology developments have grown considerably and have reached the commercialization stage. Government support through policies, plans, and programs is motivating the renewable energy industry to explore new ways of expanding local markets.

Converting these markets to actual installations and aggregate sales remains an elusive goal, mostly because of institutional and commercial constraints. Government action in this instance should be proactive in approach as well as decentralized and integrated in strategy.

For instance, the needs of special markets in which the cost of electricity is exceptionally high can be targeted. Rural electrification of many coastal barrios, interior and upland communities, and isolated islands can now be accomplished using marker-ready solar home systems (SHS). The affordability and practicality of SHS is well proven.

The burgeoning demand of rural industries for energy and power can be supplied by technologies that use biomass resources such as rice hulls, bagasse, coco, and wood residues. There are feasible power projects that will harness wind and micro-hydro resources.

A decentralized and integrated strategy for developing NRSE (New and Renewable Sources of Energy) projects should also be considered. The needs of individual communities as well as grassroots support and interest play important roles in efforts to commercialize NRSE projects. It is encouraging to note that there are many organizational infrastructures like associations, cooperatives, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that have shown a capacity to manage community-development projects.

The government must work to help link private companies with these organizational structures so that various communities and industries can experience the techno-economic gains from using renewable energy.

(from Renewable Energy News - Philippines).

The Renewable Energy

Program of the Philippines

Compiled by Benjamin Gertes, INforSE Eastern Asia & Pacific

The goal of the REPP is to install at least 50 MW of power-generating capacity from renewable energy sources by the end of 1996. It has the following objectives:

· To promote the dissemination of technically and financially viable power-generating technologies that make use of, renewable energy sources such as solar radiation, wind, animal wastes, agro-waste, forest residues, and hydro-power.

To provide an accommodating market environment that is attractive to loca/foreign investors by making available information, incentives, and funding support relative to the commercialization, marketing, and utilization of unconventional and, renewable energy technologies.

To provide funding support in terms affordable to target beneficianes.

· To assist in the national government's power development program.

Nature and Funding of the Loan Program This program shall be known as the Department of Energy Renewable Energy Power Program (DOE REPP). An amount of 750 million pesos (US$ 30 million) shall be provided from the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) and from the Social Security System (SSS), which will contribute, respectively, US$ 10 million and US$ 20 million. The Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP), the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP), and the Philippine National Bank (PNB) shall act as the conduit banks for the purpose.

The Department of Energy, through the National Power Corporation (NPC) and the National Electrification Administration (NEA), shall provide technical and marketing support to the project proponents and shall guarantee the purchase of the power generated from their plants if the proponents wish to sell their power.

Features of the Program

The loan shall not exceed 50% of the total project cost.

The loan shall not exceed a maximum term of 20 years, including a grace period of not more than 5 years. Loans shall carry concessional interest rates which shall be determined by the lending institution.

Eligible Projects

Any power plant project that utilizes the following renewable sources of energy: Biomass, including forest residues, logging waste, animal waste, agricultural residues; mini-hydro; solar; and wind.

The aggregate power-generating capacity shall be within the range from 200 KW to 25 MW.

Project Criteria (partial list):

The operation of the proposed power project shall promote public interest.

The technologies introduced must have been successfully piloted in a pre-commercialization phase.

The proposed project shall be supported by a feasibility study providing indications of the technical, economic, financial, social, administrative viability of the project.

A private power proponent may use the main transmission line and service facilities free of charge so long as the electrical energy will be sold to the National Power Corporation and so long as transmission capacity is available. If the power is intended for a private utility, the National Power Corporation will charge the proponent wheeling charges, to be determined, for the use of the grid.

The National Power Corporation and the National Electrification Administration shall assist the proponent in the negotiating with the appropriate utilities on the payment for and ownership of transmission lines as well as service instruments.

Narmada Update

The largest hydro power scheme in India, the Sardar Sarovar Dam at the Narmada river, is facing increased public resistance. The debate now concerns the height of the dam and the speed of construction. How much higher than the current 80 m shall the dam be, and how much lower than the planned 140 m? Following a hunger strike of 11 people in December 1994, NBA, the anti-Sardar-Sarovar Movement has succeeded in starting a court case at the Supreme Court of India, with a charge filed against the project. At the first sessions of the Court in January and February, the Court raised several critical questions about the project, and made public as well as internal evaluations of the project.

The increased influence of NBA is partly due to the desperate situation of many of the people displaced by the project. During the last half of 1994, several people died because of the bad conditions in the resettlements.

Adding its voice to that of the NBA, the State of Madya Pradesh has raised a number of critical points against the project. This is the State in which the 150,000 people live who will be displaced by the project. The State Government raises the objection that the resettlements fall short of the promised standard, and that they will get worse as the number of people being moved increases. It proposes that the dam should not be built as high as planned and that the dam should not be made any higher than the current 80 m before the promised resettlement standard is reached for the people already displaced by the project. The State Government of Gujarat also proposes slow down of construction.

The main supporter of a rapid continuation of the project is now the Central Government of India, as well as the State Governments of Mahaashtra and Rajasthan.

The construction of the dam is suspended presently (February 95) because of the Madya Pradesh Government's protests. In 1994, the monsoon did serious damage to the earth cover of the turbines and to a basin at the bottom of the dam. These incidents showing some weaknesses of the design will probably delay the construction, and they will increase the project costs.

Information: International Rivers Network, Berkeley, California, USA, ph1-510-848 1155, email: & International Service Society, Bombay, India, email:

Everybody's Solar Dryer

By A. Jagadeesh, India.

Vegetables, fruits, fish etc. drying in straw or bamboo baskets are a common sight in India. However, the method suffers from many disadvantages, like vulnerability to dust, insects, and birds. To overcome these problems, a simple and inexpensive solar dryer has been designed by the author.

The dryer is made in two sizes. The larger model consists of a basket made of bamboo, one meter long, 60 cm wide and 15 cm deep. The inside of the basket is covered with a black polyethylene film which acts as solar absorber. The dryer is covered with a transparent polyethylene sheet and has holes on the sides for easy passage of air, which avoids condensation of water vapour inside. The larger dryer can be made for 150 Rupees in southern India, while the smaller can be made for 50 Rupees.

Compared with normal drying, the advantages of the new dryer are:

. it dries twice as fast,

· the contents are kept clean,

· the contents are protected from rain, which often appears quite suddenly,

· the dryer is easy to make locally.

(shortened by the editors)

Further information: A.Jagadeesh, Shri AMM Murugappa Chettiar Research Centre, Tharamani, Madras 600 113, India, ph:+9144-235 0369, fax:+91-44-510 378, telex: MCRC CARE 041-7132 CUMI IN.

Halifax Eco-city

In Adelaide, Australia, the community group of Urban Ecology Australia plans to develop 2.4 hectares of the inner city into an eco-city with room for 1,000 inhabitants, shops, community centres, parks, and gardens. The group has taken an option on the land, located on Halifax Street, for one year. The land is now cleared from its former use. The project is currently in a stage of planning and searching for investment funding. The estimated investment needed is 60 million Aus$.

Source: Soft Technology, 247 Flinders Lane, Melbourne, VIC 3000, Australia. Email: