IEI Newsletter No.7, January 2006

1 de janeiro de 2006

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Number 7 January 2005
in this issue

Dear reader,

 

The 7th issue of the newsletter brings the most recent issues of Energy for Sustainable Development, the journal of the International Energy Initiative.

It also reports on some recent activities of the Asian and Latin American Regional Energy Initiatives of the IEI. These activities cover fellowship and exchange programs for local capacity building, 15-year forecast scenarios study to promote energy efficiency and renewable energy sources, and access to electricity to two schools from a rural community.

 

Enjoy your reading!

 

Editorial

Health impacts of energy production and use as well as the further introduction of energy efficiency measures and renewable energy sources have been key issues for IEI in its efforts to promote expansion of sustainable energy services.

Some 2.6 billion people rely on solid biomass and coal for cooking and heating, with direct and indirect negative consequences. While traditional biomass fuels may be blamed for some of the health problems, biomass is also seen as a renewable fuel source in a future where petroleum fuels are more scarce and/or more expensive. A key requirement is to modernize the way biomass is used for energy.

The more efficient use of energy and increased reliance on renewable energy sources are important options for using energy in ways that support sustainable development, which requires a consistent focus on social, economic, and environmental processes. Physical resources and adequate technologies are available to meet this challenge.

The International Energy Initiative continues its efforts in promoting such issues and recognizes that joint actions of all stakeholders (public and private) are indispensable to meet this goal. Accordingly, such efforts and joint actions are exemplified by the IEI's activities reported below.

We would like to thank the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation (based in the USA) for the grant it recently awarded IEI to support publication of Energy for sustainable Development (ESD), the journal of IEI, for the next three years. The award recognises the unique and vital role that ESD plays in facilitating peer- reviewed South-South and South-North scientific communication and interaction on key issues of energy for sustainable development. The Hewlett grant will be used to support quarterly publication of regular issues and occasional special issues, including special issues on climate change mitigation and sustainable development and on sustainable transportation (see call for papers here). With the Hewlett support, IEI will also launch a major subscription drive aimed at further enlarging ESD�s readership and its impact on informing discussions and decisions relating to energy for sustainable development.

With the start of the new year (2006), I will step down as President of IEI. I will be succeeded by Professor Sribas Chandra (S.C.) Bhattacharya, who retired in 2004 from a long and distinguished career at the Asian Institute of Technology (Bangkok). Prof. Bhattacharya brings to IEI an indepth understanding of energy and development issues, an enthusiasm for action, and many new ideas for IEI's future. Everyone at IEI wishes Prof. Bhattacharya a heartfelt welcome! Stay tuned to this newsletter and the IEI website for exciting news in the months ahead.

 

The Journal Energy for Sustainable Development

The range of topics covered by ESD often requires a multidisciplinary approach, and this is well reflected in the current issue. There are two papers that show that the social and institutional context may be as important as or more so than merely technical aspects. Two other papers report experimental work in the biomass energy area, both intended to expand the applicability of the respective technologies. Another paper analyses the potential for sustainable coal gasification technology in Pakistan for minimize local air pollution and the global warming impact. The last paper explores benchmarking for the case of small hydro projects as an approach to provide widespread availability of data on technology performance as well as application experience.

 

The Journal Energy for Sustainable Development

 

The third issue in 2005 of the IEI�s journal, Energy for Sustainable Development, includes a special section on energy and health. One major ��energy and health�� issue is the air pollution from the use of biomass fuels, particularly from cooking in rural areas of developing countries.

This issue also brings papers on torrified briquettes, biodiesel production from Jatropha curcus, implications of power sector tariff regulation on private investments and programming model for optimizing sustainable agricultural operation.

While ESD will continue in the same direction as before, we would like to draw the attention of our readers and authors to the fact that special issues are planned for the areas of (1) climate change, and (2) sustainable transport. Authors interested in contributing to these areas are invited to submit an abstract so that we may coordinate each issue in order to cover all major areas with as little duplication as possible.

 

 

PowerSwitch! scenarios for the Brazilian power sector

 

In August, the Latin American regional office of the International Energy Initiative (REI-LA) was commissioned by the WWF to elaborate alternative, cost-effective scenarios for the Brazilian power sector for 2020 to promote wider introduction of energy efficiency measures and renewable energy sources.

This prospective study is part of a global campaign of WWF called PowerSwitch! , whose goal is to get governments to cut CO2 pollution from the power sector and force a switch to cleaner, more efficient power. The PowerSwitch! Campaign is part of the WWF Climate Change Program.

Even though hydroelectricity represents 83% of all electricity generated in Brazil, then representing modest participation on the national greenhouse gas emissions, WWF- Brazil envisages there is a big room for increasing the share of renewable energy technologies and energy efficiency measures, bringing benefits to consumers and avoiding socioeconomic and environmental impacts due to the use of conventional energy technologies.

The commissioned study compares results for two energy scenarios: Business as Usual and Power Switch. The latter prioritizes, in general, technologies which seek higher energy efficiency, to increase decentralized generation, higher share of renewable energy sources, to reduce either electricity expenses to consumers or the need to expand the installed power capacity from conventional technologies.

Up to date, two partial reports were presented to, and discussed with, invited energy experts at the Environment Secretariat of the State of S�o Paulo (Brazil) and at the Energy Planning Department of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (COPPE/UFRJ). The final report will be concluded in February 2006.

 

 

Fellowship Program

 

As part of IEI�s mission to encourage technical capacity in the efficient production and use of energy, the Asian Regional office of the International Energy Initiative is collaborating with the Karnataka State Council for Science and Technology (KSCST) in financially supporting undergraduate student projects, named student project programme (SPP).

As part of their curriculum, university engineering students have to carry out supervised projects for a period of three months. Since engineering colleges lack resources to fund these projects, the students themselves have to pay the costs involved, influencing their choices when selecting projects.

Accordingly, early this year REI- Asia had discussions with KSCST, short-listing some energy project proposals. Up to date, three projects supported by REI-Asia have been completed, named (1) micro-controller based solar tracking system, (2) test rig development for substituting vegetable oils for diesel with minor or no modifications on internal combustion engines and (3) photo-biological hydrogen production.

 

 

Third energy exchange program Norway-Brazil-Tanzania

 

The third exchange program between IEI's Latin American regional office (REI-LA) and its partners from Norway (Sweco Groner) and Tanzania (TaTEDO) starts in February and will take 18 months. The participants are: two Norwegians, one Brazilian and one Tanzanian, which will be posted, respectively, in Brazil (REI-LA), in Tanzania (TaTEDO) and Norway (Sweco Groner). The exchange candidates will be assured relevant works in the host organizations.

The Norwegian participants, Mr. Tor Fossan and Mrs. Kirsten Fossan, will carry out a study on the Brazilian experience with Clean Development Mechanism projects. Mr. Fossan will also work with reviews of power projects in Brasil, and Mrs. Fossan will also contribute to IEI�s work on cooking fuel switch in developing countries. Both candidates will work on other tasks as required by IEI.

The Tanzanian participant, Mr. Alexander Mwolyoyo, will start by working with desk studies related to hydropower developments. There will be applications to courses on hydropower development given by the International Centre on Hydropower. After gaining sufficient insight into the subject, he will be involved in fieldwork. The primary objective is that the participant should develop a broad understanding of all aspects of developing small hydropower schemes. The participant will also be involved in other tasks at hand where his skills are relevant.

The Brazilian participant, Mr. Leonardo Perdomo, will work within the ongoing initiatives with UNIDO, Norwegian and EU support which aim at greater uptake and use of modern energy services in selected rural areas of Tanzania for poverty reduction and environmental conservation. He will provide technical assistance in either micro-hydro or biodisel projects, i.e planning for implementation, conducting field studies and implementation activities and information packaging where necessary.

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, from when two rounds took place.

 

 

Schooling and access to electricity to a rural community

 

The great majority of Brazilian children is enrolled in school. Nevertheless, the bad teaching quality is still a great challenge to be overcome. In addition, there are still schools without access to electricity. The rural municipality of Canan�ia (S�o Paulo State, Brazil) fits into this picture, being one of the poorest communities of the state. The illiteracy level is high among children, teenagers and adults.

A pilot project partnership between IEI's Latin American Regional office (REI-LA) and a Brazilian company (Eletrovento) to improve schooling and access to electricity in two schools of Canan�ia has already been granted by HSBC Bank. Eletrovento is a innovative small enterprise which develops a low- cost, small-scale wind turbine.

The project seeks to improve the teaching quality through locally need-oriented capacity building and training of teachers and provide access to electricity from a low-cost, small-scale wind turbine to the schools in order to provide sustainable energy services (lighting, refrigeration, television).

 

 

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