Welcome to the 11th issue of the International Energy Initiative (IEI) newsletter.
New year, new ideas to turn the newsletter more attractive to our readers. This year, starting in the next issue, we will bring to our readers interviews with prominent energy experts on relevant energy and development issues. And we also wish to do it interactively with you. You can send your questions, suggestions and subjects of interest you would like to see here.
And there is a new address too. The IEI Asian office and the journal Energy for Sustainable Development have moved out, but they are still in Bangalore (India). Check it out.
The newsletter also calls attention to the last three issues of the IEI journal Energy for Sustainable Development (ESD), which brings a special issue on the Household Energy and Health Project and two special sections: on solar energy and on transport and energy.
Enjoy your reading!
On January 1, 2008 the Kyoto Protocol (KP) came into effect with all industrialized countries on board, except the United States (Australia ratified it in last December). The KP ends in December 2012. It starts over both a favourable strong political momentum and international concern about the post-Kyoto period.
Last year IPCC released its 4th Assessment Report on Climate Change and was awarded with the Nobel Peace Prize, together with the former US Vice-President Al Gore. Last December the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP13/CMP3), under fierce negotiations, approved and adopted the Bali Roadmap, which charts the course for a new negotiating process to be concluded by 2009 that will ultimately lead to a post-2012 international agreement on climate change. Last week the European Commission unveiled its package of proposals to reduce greenhouse gases by at least 20% (30% if global targets can be agreed on) and increases to 20% the share of renewable energies in the final energy consumption by 2020. Furthermore set a minimum target of 10% by 2020 for the use of biofuels in transport in the European Union under sustainability criteria.
On the other hand, there is still a long way to reach an effective agreement that can cope with the capping of global temperature increases at 2�C, what scientists agree would be the tipping point for Earth's climate. Some organizations welcome the EU Commission targets that aim to the right direction but at the same time are not ambitious enough, suggesting that instead of 20%, 30% reduction of greenhouse gases emissions would be more realistic by 2020. There is also the fact that the United States, as one of the leading GHG emitters, are not taking part of this global concerted effort, despite some important domestic initiatives. The world in a way waits for the results of the 2008 US presidential elections before agreeing on a more concrete course of action to the post-Kyoto period.
The challenge of mitigating and adapting to climate change is huge and tremendously complex. The world has the expertise, resources and technology to reduce the pace of climate change and important steps are being taken, even though the solution is not comprised solely of technology itself, as evidently shows the 2007/2008 Human Development Report: Fighting climate change. The KP can be viewed as a crucial test to prove the world's ability to achieve a goal by joint efforts, then the next four years will be decisive.
The current issue represents a collection of papers covering many areas, but all focused on developing countries. It is useful to see how this varied collection fits into the larger picture of sustainable energy development.
Several of the papers in this issue are revised and expanded versions of papers presented at the Advances in Energy Research conference hosted by the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay in December 2006.
IEI would also like to invite you to subscribe to the Journal Energy for Sustainable Development (ESD), which is unique among energy journals for its focus on efficient energy production and use in developing countries.
This issue is comprised of two special sections: (1) on direct solar energy conversion; (2) on transport and energy.
Direct conversion of solar energy means the use of solar radiation for generating heat or electricity. The section brings 4 papers on this matter.
The remaining 6 papers cover the interdisciplinary aspects of sustainable transport. This section on transport and energy was initially meant to be a special issue itself, but unfortunately we did not receive an adequate number of papers to make it. Nevertheless, we remain interested in more papers on interdisciplinary aspects of sustainable transport and look forward to contributions on the subject.
ESD continues to highlight the importance of improving the household use of traditional cooking fuels. Since 1994, 40 ESD papers directly related to improved biomass cookstoves have been published. Kirk Smith (University of California, Berkeley), with a long, relevant track record work in the area, is the Guest Editor of this special issue. It focus on the Household Energy and Health (HEH) Project, designed specifically to develop Monitoring & Evaluation (M&E) methods appropriate for NGOs to use to document improvements in fuel use and indoor air quality (IAQ) in real households from their stove disseminate efforts. The HEH Project was funded by the Breathing Space program of the Shell Foundation.
This ESD's special issue brings six papers. The first one summarizes the methods and the results from the entire project and is followed by detailed articles on IAQ M&E in the three HEH NGO-led stove dissemination programs, two in India and one in Mexico. These are followed by papers summarizing the methods and results of stove performance measurements at all three sites and the statistical and other considerations of designing the field measurement strategies and analyzing the results.
Kirk Smith's Editorial grasps the importance of appropriate fuel use and IAQ M&E methods over a historical perspective. It is worth reading (click here).
IEI's regional initiative for Asia (REI-Asia), located in Bangalore (India) is carrying out a one-year project to demonstrate the operation of a village-based energy enterprise.
The main objective of the project is to demonstrate a village-based multi-functional enterprise that combines improved energy services with income generation and employment opportunities, as well as efficient and sustainable resource use. Such a synergistic approach is vital to effectively bringing about rural development.
While the productive use of energy for poverty reduction (for example, lighting services) is well-known, REI-Asia is focusing on energy for domestic cooking, because it does not yield financial returns and is therefore usually ignored in energy-development plans.
While one village demonstration will take place during the project period of a year, this could be used to facilitate larger-scale replication. On the basis of suitability criteria drawn up during the initial stage of the project and a survey of several villages, one village in Tumkur district of the State of Karnataka has been selected for the demonstration. The construction of the dairy and the biogas plants are done. The dairy construction consists of four large cattle-sheds and a small office. Water supply for the dairy was also arranged. People from the village have been employed for construction labour and will later be involved at the dairy and biogas systems. Once the system is in operation, every home in this village will be supplied with biogas (generated from cow dung) for cooking. This fuel supply will be sustained through linkage with the dairy whose revenue from milk sales will accrue to the co-operative of village families. The project will therefore facilitate the use of fuel that will be beneficial for the health of the people exposed and for the environment, and also improve the livelihood of the village families. IEI's monitoring of the energy-enterprise will continue for two years after the completion of this project period.
The chief sponsor of this project is the Wuppertal Institute of Climate, Environment and Energy (Germany) through its WISION Sustainable Energy Project Support programme.
Through the third round of the exchange program that IEI's Latin American office takes part, the exchange participant Leornardo Perdomo, from Brazil, spent 18 months in Tanzania working for TaTEDO ( http://www.tatedo.org/).
He developed and implemented a Multifunction Platform to produce biodiesel and provide electricity to two Tanzanian rural villages for the first time ever, an experience that the villagers and Leonardo himself will not forget.
Leonardo Perdomo shares with our readers his fruitful experience in Tanzania. Click here to read it.
Based on a shared opinion on the importance of developing sustainable energy solutions as a contribution to, and basis for, social and economic development, the project partnership is financially supported by Fredskorpset, a Norwegian governmental agency, since February 2003.
As an output of the 3rd Partnership Agreement between IEI-Latin America, Sweco Gr�ner (Norway) and TaTEDO (Tanzania), the Norwegian exchange participants posted to Brazil, Tor and Kirsten Fossan, prepared a SWOT analysis on Clean Development Mechanism in Brazil.
According to their report, CDM in Brazil is expected to avoid 26 million tons of CO2e emissions annually during the first crediting period, and the country has become one of the most experienced host countries for the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM). This study harvests the Brazilian experience with CDM; analyzing strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. The SWOT analysis is based upon contact with main CDM stakeholders in Brazil, visits to project sites as well as literature studies.
IEI's regional initiative for Asia (REI-Asia), located in Bangalore (India), carried out a study concerning the environmental effects of the effluents discharged from coffee processing units and the feasibility of an effluent treatment process involving a bioreactor in India. The benefits from using such a method for wastewater treatment include: reduction in pollution of the surrounding water bodies, water conservation (through recycling and re-use), and production of biogas. At present, penalties for effluent discharge have not been levied in India, and the charges for water supply are low, hence financial returns on the bioreactor investment are obtained only from the value of biogas and the avoided cost of diesel that is replaced by biogas in the generation of electricity. The estimates obtained from the case study indicate that this effluent treatment cum generation option is already financially viable, and, if environmental policies were more stringent, would be even more attractive. An article is being published in Water Digest, November-December 2007.
This section provides news and information about relevant initiatives regarding the progress of sustainable energy efforts from the developing world. IEI is currently establishing a network of contact persons for dissemination of relevant sustainable energy news. This is a great opportunity to make projects from various parts of the world known. Please let us know if you are interested in being such a contact person. We will be happy to acknowledge names of all contributors in the newsletter.
Taking ACTION to rid the world of Indoor Air Pollution
HEDON and Practical Action held a two-week online conference on kitchen smoke alleviation from 16 to 27 July 2007. The topics covered included: Community projects & Integrated programmes, Monitoring and evaluation, Technology development, commercialisation & enterprise, Policy action, Knowledge sharing and networking, and "What are the next steps?". Papers and Proceedings are available for download.
South Africa Approves Biofuels Plan: 2% by 2013
South Africa has approved its long awaited biofuels plan. The country will aim to have biofuels account for 2 percent of its total fuel production by 2013 but will exclude the staple maize as a source largely due to food security concerns,probable price rise and the fact that maize is a staple food source for the majority of the poor in the country. Read more
New publications from Enabling Access to Sustainable Energy
Three new publications from the programme Enabling Access to Sustainable Energy (EASE) can be downloaded from their website.
The three new publications are:
EASE Publication on Energy Entrepreneurs in Mali and Burkina Faso In March 2007: EASE, in cooperation with IMPROVES, published this study focusing on the dynamics and development paths of already operating rural entrepreneurs in the local energy provision business;
EASE Photobook In December 2006 EASE Published Access to Energy: a photobook showing the reality of energy access for the rural poor. By giving faces and names to the people who form EASE's target group, this book shows you the reality behind the words and the people behind the numbers;
EASE Research Synthesis 2000-2006: Synthesis report of the research findings from studies undertaken by EASE in Tanzania, Bolivia and Vietnam. The research intended to increase understanding of how energy contributes to poverty reduction, who benefits, and why.
To see the publications, click here.
Barriers To Dissemination Of Renewable Energy Technologies For Cooking
This paper was published 12 years ago, in 1985, but the topic has relevance even today. The authors have discussed the barriers to the dissemination of renewable energy technologies, such as solar cookers as an alternate stove, improved biomass stove and the use of biogas as fuel option. It is a must read for those working in household energy programs. 12 years after the publication of the paper some of problems are still existing. To read the paper click here.
WHO launches call for proposals integrating water and air quality
WHO has just launched a Request for Proposals to fund two pilot projects in the range of US$ 30,000 to 60,000 integrating household water treatment and indoor air quality interventions in sub-Saharan Africa. Read more.
Off-grid, Mini-grid and Grid Electrification assessed
ESMAP has published a Technical Paper on the technical and economic assessment of Off-grid, Mini-grid and Grid Electrification Technologies. It is now available to download. Read more.
Contact Persons List
Carlos J�come, UNDP Consultant for the Ministry of Energy and Mines (Equador)