Handling available resources responsibly - case study of a renewable energy project with a remote and poor mountain village in the Nepal Himalayas
Zahnd, A. (2004) Handling available resources responsibly - case study of a renewable energy project with a remote and poor mountain village in the Nepal Himalayas. In: World Renewable Energy Congress (WREC 2004), 28 August - 3 September, Denver, Colarado, USA
Almost all of the 2 billion people with no access to electricity live in developing countries, and four out of five live in rural areas. Nepal is a clear example of that relationship. Families in the remote areas use precious trees for cooking, room heating and light. These activities, especially the indoor cooking on open fireplaces, have a direct chronic impact on the health and extremely low life expectancy of the women and children along with devastating deforestation. In a remote and poverty stricken mountain village in the northwestern district of Humla Nepal, Kathmandu University and the ISIS Foundation are trying new ways to utilize the locally available renewable energy resources in a more affordable, sustainable and appropriate way. The rich solar energy resource is tapped to generate electricity for an elementary lighting system. A self-tracking solar PV system in the center of the village powers three 1-Watt WLED (white light emitting diode) lights per household through underground wiring. Additionally, in each household an efficient, smokeless, metal stove for cooking and heating is installed. It consumes only half the usual amount of firewood, enabling a smoke free, and save environment in the home. A pit latrine per house, and a common village drinking water system are also an intrinsically part of the holistic community development project. Project planning, installation, training for operation and maintenance, are all implemented in close partnership with the community and are part of the excitement. Renewable energy resources are a foundation for holistic community development of our poor and marginalized 2 billion neighbors. This paper describes the process, implementation and partial evaluation of the project.
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