Welcome our New Intern
We are delighted to welcome our new intern Harpreet Singh Dhir. Harpreet graduated from the Carl von Ossietzky University of Oldenburg with a Masters in Renewable Energy. His thesis was titled “Analysing the Effect of Dust on the Performance of Large-scale Grid Connected PV Plants in India”. Harpreet will support energypedia in PR, fundraising and the development of Country Energy Profiles until February 2014.
Energy Sector News
The Alternative Charcoal Tool (ACT)
Common charcoal is still Africa’s most widely used household energy source to date, and it continues to pose a threat to the environment. Many new and increasingly sustainable sources of energy are being developed across the African continent. Nevertheless, at least 80% of the African population currently depends on traditional biomass resources such as charcoal and firewood for household energy use. This is a strain on the environment, with deforestation from wood-cutting a persistent threat. One solution is to promote the use of alternative feedstock for wood charcoal. However, since its production requires additional technologies and investments that need to compete with the informal charcoal sector, widespread use of alternative feedstock has not been achieved yet.
To support the decision whether and how to engage in alternative charcoal, the Biomass Technology Group (BTG) on behalf of NL Agency has developed the Alternative Charcoal Tool (ACT). The ACT assesses the opportunities and threats for several promising alternatives to charcoal such as harvest or processing residues. The ACT is interactive and provides a quick guidance for assessing business case opportunities and supports the design and implementation programmes and projects. It consists of four modules, namely feedstock selection, market selection, technology selection, and production costs determination. The tool can be used by small and medium enterprises, policy makers as well as NGOs or donor organizations in developing countries.
The tool comes with an extensive background report that details three case studies that served to build and test drive the tool. It also presents some observations on the development of a sustainable alternative to the charcoal economy.
Innovating Energy Access for Remote Areas: Discovering Untapped Resources Symposium | UC Berkeley, April 10 - 12, 2014
The Berkeley Rural Energy Research Group (BREG) and the TU Berlin Microenergy Systems Research Group (MES) will hold a symposium on Innovating Energy Access for Remote Areas: Discovering Untapped Resources at the University of California, Berkeley from April 10 – 12, 2014. The Symposium aims to present leading concepts surrounding microenergy systems and energy access issues on the international platform and to highlight particularly innovative topics within the current global energy access discourse for direct presentation and intensive discussion. Cutting edge research from the EntDekEn Project co-initiated by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research will be presented, focusing on how decarbonization in emerging and developing countries can be investigated in an equitable way that also contributes to reducing poverty.
Call for Papers
The BREG and MES invite researches to submit papers on particularly innovative topics within the current global energy access discourse and papers exploring the potential and limits of decentralized energy supply and climate change mitigation activities in the Global South. Suitable papers will be considered for peer review in a special edition in Springer Verlag. Submissions should be short papers (4 pages) and an abstract of 90 – 120 words. The deadline for submission of papers is January 15 2014.
In order to extend the scholarship funding for a select number of participants, the organizers of the Innovating Energy Access for Remote Areas: Discovering Untapped Resources Symposium are looking for sponsors to improve their ability to support travel, accommodation, and expenses for scholars visiting from the Global South. Sponsors will be recognized in Symposium documentation, during the opening ceremony, as well as in the published conference proceedings. Sponsor representatives will also receive free admission, with the opportunity to interact with leading researchers and practitioners in the field. The symposium aims to create a platform for international exchange and an environment conducive to fostering technological innovation, business and research partnerships in this increasingly dynamic field of global energy access.
IRELP Renewable Energy Photo Competition
The IRENA Renewable Energy Learning Partnership (IRELP) invites all amateur and professional photographers to submit original images depicting renewable energy use and impact around the world. The winner of the competition will receive exclusive IRENA merchandise and have their photo displayed on the IRELP website.
Carbon Finance Platform for Clean Cooking Launched
The Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves has launched the Carbon Finance Platform for Clean Cooking. The platform which is available in over 60 languages is a comprehensive and interactive knowledge sharing platform that provides how-to guides, tools, templates, and case studies to assist stakeholders with varying levels of carbon expertise. The platform serves as an interactive marketplace for multiple audiences and baseline knowledge levels, including new and experienced project implementers, carbon developers, as well as donors, investors, and carbon credit buyers.
Pilot Innovation and Women’s Empowerment Fund Announced
This Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves has introduced the new Women’s Empowerment Fund (WEF) and a request for proposals for the second round of of the Pilot Innovation Fund (PIF) to provide pilot grants to fund innovative approaches to addressing gender issues and women’s empowerment. The WEF will provide 2-3 grants of up to $75,000 to partners who are interested in innovating around gender and empowerment interventions within their business models. The PIF will provide 3-6 grants of up to $75,000 to finance and pilot innovations across the value chain. The Alliance seeks to identify and fund innovative technologies and approaches with the potential to scale and significantly contribute to the Alliance’s goal of reaching 100 million households by 2020.
Both the PIF and WEF are open to entrepreneurial entities working in the clean cooking sector or those whose approaches could integrate cookstoves and fuels, as well as organizations working with entrepreneurial entities to support innovation. Applicants should demonstrate how grant proceeds will enable them to develop and pilot an innovation that can ultimately be scaled. The deadline for applications is December 2, 2013.
New Energy Publications
Solar Water Pumping For Irrigation: Opportunities in Bihar, India
The irrigation of agricultural fields is vital for the subsistence of Indian farmers and for the food security of the country. Scarcity of electricity coupled with increasing unreliability of monsoon rains and the use of costly diesel pumping systems pose an economic risk to small and marginal farmers. Solar pumps constitute a promising opportunity to make farmers more independent from costly diesel fuels and to ensure irrigation security. In Bihar alone, the potential for the use of solar pumping systems for irrigation has been estimated to be around 11 million.
On behalf of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH under the Renewable Energy Component of the Indo-German Energy Programme (IGEN-RE) is supporting the development of favourable market conditions for solar irrigation systems in Bihar. In this context, GIZ has published a study to provide an overview of the opportunities and challenges for the usage of solar water pumps for irrigation in India, with a particular focus on Bihar.
The Way Towards Universal Access - Putting Value on Electricity Services
There are currently an estimated 1.3 billion people without access to modern electricity. The United Nation’s Sustainable Energy for All initiative has an objective of achieving universal access to modern electricity services by 2030, but no feasible and financeable solution has been proposed to date. With this background Differ has published a report on The way towards universal access - Putting value on electricity service. This analysis by Differ describes how decision-makers should approach the electrification challenge and consequently be able to achieve the objective of universal access to modern electricity services by 2030 – and with the highest possible impact on human and economic development for the funds invested.
IEA Geothermal Annual Report
The International Energy Agency's (IEA) Geothermal Implementing Agreement (GIA) has released its Annual Report for 2011 and published country reports for Australia, the European Commission, Germany, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Republic of Korea, Switzerland, United Kingdom, and the US. The report outlines the current status of geothermal energy globally, the work of GIA, its member activities at the national level, corporate activity, and plans for the future. The report says worldwide potential for accessible geothermal energy lies at approximately 40% of the total 2009 global energy supply but that this estimate could also rise if future accessible resources are identified. If properly exploited, the GIA estimates that 70-80 gigawatts could be produced by geothermal energy by 2050. Based on national survey data, the GIA found that 24 countries were producing 11.07 megawatts of geothermal energy in 2010, avoiding approximately 55.5 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions per annum. Nine GIA member countries producing geothermal energy accounted for 63% of this global production. It further found that the rate of deployment has been increasing over time, with over 350 megawatts per year being added on average from 2005-2011.
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