The editorial of the 8th issue of the newsletter is written by IEI's new president, Sribas Bhattacharya, who brings recent news from the International Energy Initiative.
It also reports some current activities of the Asian and Latin American Regional Energy Initiatives of the IEI. These activities cover improving schooling and access to electricity to two rural schools and initiatives on energy efficiency, such as a retrofit of the lighting system in a Brazilian public hospital and a workshop on energy efficiency financing mechanisms held in India.
Enjoy your reading!
Welcome to this issue of the Newsletter of the International Energy Initiative (IEI). As you may know, IEI is a small, independent, international non- governmental public-purpose organization led by internationally recognized energy experts, and with regional offices, staff and programmes in Latin America, Africa and Asia. It represents a Southern- conceived, Southern-led and Southern-located South-South-North partnership.
IEI was formally incorporated as a not-for-profit organization with tax-exempt status in the USA in September 1991, and started operations in September 1992. It was founded by Prof Jos� Goldemberg (Brazil), Prof Amulya Reddy (India), Prof Thomas Johansson (Sweden) and Dr Robert Williams (USA), after the publication of their widely acclaimed book Energy for a Sustainable World. The intent was to further develop analysis around sustainable energy development and to translate these ideas into practice.
Currently the world is just about waking up to the reality that the present pattern of energy consumption is not sustainable and that promoting energy for sustainable development will take wide- ranging large-scale efforts in the foreseeable future. IEI Board has recently taken a number of steps so that it can effectively play its role as a catalyst for promoting sustainable energy development in the years to come. These include a subscription drive for its journal Energy for Sustainable Development (ESD); IEI will be pleased to send a CD covering all papers published in ESD so far to anyone who subscribes to the journal personally or arranges a library subscription. IEI also plans to launch some important global projects that will involve researchers from different geographical regions; news about these projects will be disseminated through our newsletter.
As the new President of IEI, I plan to work closely with Prof. Gilberto Jannuzzi, Executive Director of IEI to revamp the IEI newsletter. We plan to have contact persons for the Newsletter from several countries to enlarge IEI�s global network of people committed to the cause of sustainable energy development so that all significant developments could be disseminated through it. Please let us know if you are interested to be a contact person for the newsletter, in case we don�t have any one from your country currently. Contributions of news related to sustainable energy development are also welcome; we will be happy to acknowledge names of all contributors in the newsletter. Also, please feel free to offer comments and suggestions so that we can improve the newsletter further.
Once again, welcome to the IEI newsletter.
Sribas C. Bhattacharya
The papers in this issue evolved from the Workshop on Liquid Biofuels for the Transport Sector in Developing Countries organized by the Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel (STAP) of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and held August 29-September 2, 2005, in New Delhi.
The workshop was motivated by the growing interest in renewable biofuels as substitutes for petroleum-derived products, evidenced by an increasing number of proposals to the GEF for biofuel projects.
These papers provide important food for thought and action toward sustainable biofuel programs throughout the world. The articles as a whole highlight the multiplicity of technology, agriculture, economy, social, policy, environmental, and other issues involved with biofuels, and the corresponding challenges of introducing biofuels on significant enough scales to substantially impact rural development, energy security, petroleum substitution, and other issues of concern. The Brazilian experience illustrates that the challenges can be overcome, but the diversity intrinsic in biofuels calls for careful context-specific analysis, planning, policy formulation and implementation to maximize the chance of success.
A workshop on Energy Efficiency (EE) Banking Windows and Guarantee Facilities was held in New Delhi, between the 18th and 20th January 2006. It was the culmination of a series of international cross- exchanges included in the UNEP/World Bank project �Developing Financial Intermediation Mechanisms for EE Projects in Brazil, China and India� (the 3 CEE Project). The objective of the 3 CEE Project was to achieve major increases in lending for EE investments by domestic financial institutions in the three participating countries. The project provided for the establishment of an informal Country Working Group in each country, consisting of representatives from the local financial and EE communities, and for applied research and analysis on the most pressing operational topics in EE financing. It included a series of focused international cross-exchange activities, involving practitioners from the three countries, to share experiences and potential solutions to similar problems. The purpose of this workshop was to present in-country project experiences as well as international good practices for developing EE Banking Windows and Guarantee Facilities for ESCO stakeholders and financial institutions.
Download here the report on the discussions that took place at this workshop.
The great majority of Brazilian children are enrolled in school. Nevertheless, the quality of teaching is a challenge, and there are still schools either without access to electricity or that are poorly electrified. The 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 to improve both schooling and access to electricity in two schools of Canan�ia has been initiated. The schools are located in the Cardoso Island State Park, whose access to electricity is provided by small stand-alone PV systems. The overall aim of the project is to improve the quality of education. Increased access to electricity, enabled through the installation of a low-cost, small-scale wind turbine, will improve the lighting conditions as well as provide access to audiovisual teaching material and a refrigerator. The provision of these energy services will be followed up by capacity building and training of teachers.
The project is funded by the HSBC Bank, and will be carried out by IEI's Latin American Regional office (REI-LA) in partnership with three other institutions: the technology enterprise Eletrovento, The Grupo AULA – an interdisciplinary research group from the Faculty of Education at the State University of Campinas (Unicamp) – as well as the Laboratory of Photovoltaic Systems from the Energy and Electro- technical Department of the University of S�o Paulo (LSF/IEE-USP).
The IEI�s Latin American Regional Initiative office (REI-LA) is taking part in a two-year project aiming to retrofit the 27 year-old lighting and air- conditioning systems of a public hospital located at the State University of Campinas (UNICAMP).
The project is funded by a local utility through the funds of its 1% charge for energy efficiency and R&D. UNICAMP has signed a performance contract with the utility.
The first phase of the project retrofitted luminaries, fluorescent lights and reactors of the hospital�s second floor (approximately 40% of the total). The results achieved by its first phase can be summarized as: an energy consumption reduction of 45%, overall luminance improvement of 20%-35%, power factor increase from 0.6 to 0.97, payback reduction from 39 to 18 months and high enhancement on the end-user satisfaction.
�Fuel for life – Household Energy and Health� is a publication recently issued by the World Health Organization (WHO). It gives an overview of the health impacts of indoor air pollution from solid fuel use and describes solutions to promote health and development in the context of the household energy challenge.
It is recognized that energy is essential to meet our most basic needs, and it is also a prerequisite for good health. Cooking with wood, dung, coal and other solid fuels is a major risk factor for pneumonia among children, and chronic respiratory disease among adults. According to the WHO, almost one half of the world�s population still relies on solid fuels for their everyday cooking and heating. It is estimated that traditional cooking fuels are responsible for 1.6 million deaths each year.
Innovative policy approaches and a rigorous acceleration of investments is needed now to save lives and enable development. Targeting household energy issues is crucial for the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals.
It is with this knowledge in mind, that IEI has launched the Global Clean Cooking Fuels Initiative (GCCFI). It aims to bring about a worldwide shift to clean liquid fuels for cooking and heating by 2020, with an emphasis on the poorest households access to clean fuels. Read more about the GCCFI project here, or learn about the challenge of cooking fuels by downloading the Fuel for Life publication.
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.
The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) runs the project �Capacity Development for the Clean Development Mechanism� (CD4CDM). The project is implemented by the UNEP Ris� Centre (URC) and financed by the Directorate-General for International Co-operation (DGIS) of the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It aims at generating broad understanding of the opportunities offered by the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), and developing institutional and human capabilities required to formulate and implement CDM projects. The project is carried out in selected countries from sub-Saharan Africa, South-East Asia, Middle East & North Africa, and Latin America.
Off-grid, but online
The e-Commerce and Renewable Energy (eCARE) project seeks to facilitate economic growth and empower off-grid rural communities of Ghana. Through the diffusion of information and communication technologies that are powered by renewable and cleaner energy systems, eCARE aims at changing the mode in which social and commercial services are provided for and by rural communities.
The first so-called Rural Business Centres (RBCs) were inaugurated under the pilot phase in the eastern region of Ghana in June 2005. At present, twenty-five RBCs have been installed in 4 regions. They are each equipped with a converted container housing a subscriber wall set (that connects the RBC to an access Center base station), a computer, printer and solar photovoltaic or other reliable and proven renewable energy system. By means of these installations, the RBCs provide internet and telephone access to the local population.
eCARE�s main partners for implementation of the projects are the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), the United Nations Foundation (UNF), Ghana Telecom, the Kumasi Institute of Technology and Environment (KITE) and Telecom Management Partner. Read more.
From knowledge to action; stove alternatives
The Project Gaia provides one alternative solution to the challenge of household fuels through the introduction of the �CleanCook� stove. It is a project that focuses on the commercialization of the stove and its fuel: methanol or ethanol.
One hundred of such ethanol stoves, supplemented by several micro-distillers, are being introduced in rural households in the state of Minais Gerais, Brazil. By means of these stoves, one aims to achieve improved indoor air quality, as well as rural access to a fuel which is cheaper than LPG. It is also an opportunity for these rural communities to produce their own fuel and thereby alleviate poverty, as well as reduce the pressure on forest resourcesThe project is run by Winrock International together with Banco do Povo and Universidade Federal de Itajub� (UNIFEI) and is funded by the Shell Foundation.
The CleanCook has two burners delivering a maximum of 1.5 � 2 kW per unit, and two fuel containers of 1.2 liters each. The containers contain a mineral fiber which absorbs the ethanol in order to eliminate the risk of accidental explosion. The CleanCook functions as the LPG stove, just without the necessity of a tank of pressurized fuel, hose or regulator. Read more about the CleanCook project in Brazil here (in Portuguese). The stove is also being sought implemented in various countries of Africa; follow this link to learn more about it.
Another interesting alternative is a woodstove developed by Philips Research. When properly used the woodstove typically reduces fuel consumption up to 80% compared with traditional, three stone fires. Apart from faster and more convenient cooking, this energy efficiency means the stove can save the cost of the time needed to gather fuel, and should also slow deforestation.
Efficient burning and high combustion temperatures also reduce the amount of indoor air pollution. The Philips woodstove reduces pollution due to smoke up to 90%, and organic volatile emissions up to 99% of the level of traditional cooking fires. The secret is an electronically controlled fan forcing air through the stove, leading to higher temperatures and a better fuel to air ratio. A thermoelectric generator using the heat from the burning wood generates electricity for the fan. Field tests of the stove have been running in different areas in India, which led to the decision to set up a commercial pilot in India later this year. At the same time, Philips Research is looking for partners to bring this technology to the market in (rural) areas that are difficult to reach through existing distribution channels. Read more about the project here.