Domenech B.,Polytechnic University of Catalonia |
Ferrer-Marti L.,Polytechnic University of Catalonia |
Lillo P.,Engineering Without Borders Catalonia ESF |
Pastor R.,Polytechnic University of Catalonia |
Chiroque J.,Practical Action
Energy for Sustainable Development | Year: 2014
When electrifying isolated rural communities, usually standardized solutions have been implemented using the same technology at all the points. However these solutions are not always appropriate to the community and its population. This article aims to describe the technical design of the electrification system of the community of Alto Peru (in the region of Cajamarca, Peru), where the adequate technology was used at each area according to micro-scale resource evaluation and the socioeconomic requirements of the population. Specifically four technologies were implemented: wind microgrids in highlands, a micro-hydro power plant in the presence of a waterfall, a PV microgrid in a group of points sheltered from the wind and individual PV systems in scattered points with low wind potential. This project brought electricity to 58 households, a health center, a school, a church, two restaurants and two shops. © 2014 Elsevier Inc.
Irfanullah H.M.,Practical Action
Bangladesh Journal of Plant Taxonomy | Year: 2011
In the light of important developments in biodiversity conservation in the global and national arenas over the last decade (2001-2010), this paper appraises the progress in identifying threatened vascular plant species of Bangladesh as a primary step of species diversity conservation. It is argued that, as per the IUCN Red List categories and the Volume 1 of 'Red Data Book of Vascular Plants of Bangladesh' published in 2001, only four angiosperm species are threatened (1 Critically Endangered (CR), 1 Endangered (EN), 2 Vulnerable (VU)) in Bangladesh, not 106 vascular species. This account also records that, accordingly to the 'Encyclopedia of Flora and Fauna of Bangladesh' (2007-2009; Volumes 5-12), 36 pteridophyte species (all VU; 18.46% of 195 recorded species), 1 gymnosperm species (EN; 14.29% of 7 species), and 449 angiosperm species (30 CR, 126 EN, 293 VU; 12.43% of 3,611 recorded species) are threatened in the country. The paper discusses and explores the importance, limitations and opportunities for red listing of threatened plants of Bangladesh. This account further advocates for a well-planned initiative to effectively complete the Red List of threatened plant species of the country by considering appropriate, established, updated assessment methods; following collaborative approach; and capitalizing on the progress made so far. Such steps may subsequently contribute to the species diversity conservation endeavours in Bangladesh. © 2011 Bangladesh Association of Plant Taxonomists.
Irfanullah H.M.,Practical Action
International Journal of Environmental Studies | Year: 2012
Armed conflict affects the biological diversity and biological research regime of a country. This paper takes a low-intensity armed conflict in the biologically and ethnically diverse Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) of Bangladesh, as an example, and assesses the response of biologists to this conflict. The study spans the last 50 years dividing it into three periods: pre-conflict (1961-1974), conflict (1975-1997) and post-conflict (1998-2011). Interactions with selected researchers and a literature survey showed that sporadic, intermittent biological research was conducted in this region even during the conflict. The number of research initiatives substantially increased and became more diverse over the last decade. Research opportunity has increased mainly because of improved security and accessibility. Nevertheless, despite the research capacity and a positive attitude among the researchers, some fundamental issues still limit long-term research in this area. The continuing volatile situation due to slow implementation of the 1997 Peace Accord and the tension between rebel factions and indigenous and settler communities in some areas continue to be serious concerns for studying and conserving the biodiversity of this region. Innovative research approaches and the full implementation of the peace agreement are vital to improving the situation for biological research in the CHT. The paper underlines the importance of a biologist's self-motivation to respond to low-intensity armed conflicts. © 2012 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.
News Article | November 9, 2015
Power for All is a non-profit that is working to bring much more energy access to people in Africa. William Brent is the Director of Communications, Media & Content for the organization. He generously answered some questions about its work in Africa. Britain’s International Development Minister Grant Shapps announced new UK support to Power for All, what does this support look like in the most practical, concrete terms? Power for All is working closely with the UK’s Energy Africa program, which has set a goal of getting a dozen African countries to support the accelerated deployment of off-grid solar. Nigeria and Sierra Leone are already on board. Our funding is for mobilizing the private sector and civil society in those 12 markets, and in doing so helping to create the policy and financing environment needed to achieve energy access for the 620 million Africans without it. Specifically, we will engage key decision-makers to remove market barriers. No two markets are alike, and the campaign has created specific action plans for each. What are some specific clean energy successes your organization has been connected with? The fact that Power for All exists is already a huge success. It signifies that the market for off-grid renewable energy has gone mainstream, and now has a seat at the table in determining how the world develops a modern energy infrastructure that is equitable and sustainable. Distributed technology is ready to scale, and the financial world has finally woken up to the huge market potential for distributed solar, wind, biomass, micro-hydro and mini-grids. As a collective industry voice for this $500 billion opportunity, our main job (and metric of success) will be to highlight the successes of the entrepreneurs, companies and countries blazing a new path to democratized energy. What are some of your goals for the next three to five years? 2016 will be a watershed year for distributed renewables in emerging markets. Our immediate goal is to elevate the profile and collective influence of the sector globally and in key markets such as Sub-Saharan Africa and India. Additionally, we will recruit champions to carry the Power for All message at the highest-levels of energy policy and finance. That message is that energy access doesn’t have to wait until 2030 and cost $700 billion. It can happen by 2025 and cost 1/10th of the amount by scaling off-grid renewables. More than that, off-grid renewables are an engine for economic and job growth, and a magnet for investment. How many partners does your organization have? Power for All requires the action of many. We have committed to sign up at least 100 partners over the next year, including private businesses, multinationals, investors, industry groups, NGOs and even national governments. We expect to easily exceed that goal given the momentum of the off-grid renewable sector right now. Power for All started with a handful of partners, including Off Grid Electric, Nadji.bi, Sierra Club, d.light, GOGLA, Practical Action and Greenlight Planet. We’re seeing huge interest from the sector, and are adding new partners every week. What can individuals do to support clean energy development in Africa? Power for All believes that the market should do most of the work in supporting the scaling of off-grid renewables. That said, impact investing and social enterprises have a transitional role to play in priming the pump, and individuals can financially support those entities. You can also sign up at PowerforAll.org/take-action. We will be rolling out a series of actions in coming months that both organizations and individuals can participate in. Are you expecting that the coming clean energy explosion in Africa will birth a new generation of entrepreneurs? It already has. We estimate that 7,000 to 20,000 new businesses will need to be created to achieve universal energy access by 2030. Many great entrepreneurial ventures are already innovating new off-grid business models that are taking off, such as mobile pay-as-you-go solar and mini-grids. The level of talent that this sector is attracting is truly staggering. These are the people who will lead the next major revolution in energy services. We’re also seeing that this is much more of an inclusive movement, with women playing a much more significant role than the traditional energy industry. Which Africans most need clean, renewable sources of electricity? 2 of every 3 Africans – 620 million people – don’t have access to ANY meaningful sources of electricity. They all need it. Most of them live in rural areas that will never see grid extension. And by 2030 there will be another 450 million people in Africa under the age of 15. We need solutions that can reach people fast. And an often forgotten aspect of energy access is the multiplier effect it has in achieving many other development goals – poverty reduction, access to clean water, education, healthcare and climate action Will you focus on specific areas like electrifying remote village areas that are currently not near a grid, or that lack the funds for a grid connection? The off-grid solutions that Power for All is advancing are best suited for rural areas, especially as the technology costs continue their rapid decline. But we are also starting to see mini-grids gather steam, which have the potential to serve peri-urban communities. The grid in some urban centers is so unreliable and expensive that city dwellers are looking for other options as well, but our focus will be in remote areas that are likely to never see the grid reach them. Do you have any sense of the number of jobs that will be created in Africa as more and more clean electricity technology is installed and becomes operational? We’re collaborating with other organizations on more quantitative data to show the potential of the sector. Job creation is one key metric, and although comprehensive up-to-date data is still being pulled together, some strong indicators are already emerging about the huge potential. For example, a 2013 report from IRENA estimated 4.5 million jobs in the off-grid renewables-based electricity sector by 2030. Similarly, a UNEP study estimated that 15,000 new jobs have already been created in Africa due to off-grid solar lighting markets and that the sector could grow to half a million jobs in West African countries alone. Image Credit: Corrie Wingate, Solar Aid Get CleanTechnica’s 1st (completely free) electric car report → “Electric Cars: What Early Adopters & First Followers Want.” Come attend CleanTechnica’s 1st “Cleantech Revolution Tour” event → in Berlin, Germany, April 9–10. 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Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-CA | Phase: KBBE.2010.4-02 | Award Amount: 603.56K | Year: 2011
Much agricultural research is carried out in isolation from the realities of small-scale farmers in the South and has not recognised their local knowledge and creativity. INSARD partners regard agricultural research and development (ARD) as a process of innovation involving different participants making complementary inputs to produce research results that contribute to development. In this process, farmers do not merely receive new knowledge from research; they are involved in generating it. Smallholders and NGOs are already doing applied and adaptive research to answer questions to which formal research is not giving enough attention, e.g. how to improve local marketing systems. In bridging the gap and bringing smallholders and researchers into joint research on questions central to smallholders concerns, civil-society organisations (CSOs) in the South and the North can play a vital role. The main aim of INSARD is to ensure the informed participation of a broad range of European and African CSOs in formulating and implementing ARD. It will do so by: 1) Designing a structure for coordination and communication between European and African CSOs involved in ARD and in influencing ARD policy and practice 2) Identifying CSOs research priorities and a strategy to communicate these to other actors in ARD 3) Facilitating joint definition of specific research examples by CSOs and researchers, based on the smallholders priorities 4) Engaging in policy dialogue with key African and European research organisations and donors. The project will build up a more transparent system for CSOs to provide well-founded inputs and positions in the ARD agenda and its implementation, so that smallholders are central to publicly funded ARD. It will help make research more relevant for small-scale family farmers, including livestock-keepers. It will seek to achieve its aim by building on existing initiatives and networks in Europe and Africa that involve CSOs promoting smallholder-centred ARD.