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Clean Energy NEWS
Vol. 5, Number 46, 26 October 2005
CE News is published weekly by Clean Energy Nepal. For more
information on our campaign and back issues of CE News please log on
· Nepal can learn from Brazil experience of electrification
· NOC asks additional 3 b from government
· Kathmandu's Air Quality (16-22 October 2005)
· Flood experts warn Tibet of dangers from global warming
· Electric Charge Stations may kick off by 2006-end
· Japan struggling to meet CO2 emissions target
· World's first biogas train makes maiden voyage in Sweden
· Warmer climate produces less rain
· Link Of The Week
· Did You Know?
· Media Watch
· QUIZ Of The Week # 218
· Answer Of Quiz Of The Week # 217
Nepal Can Learn from Brazil Experience of Electrification
By Shree Ram Subedi, Brasilia, Brazil
As Nepal, ranked second in hydroelectric potential in world, is
struggling to electrify the rural households, the number one country
in terms of hydroelectric potential, Brazil is bracing to
universalize the access to electric energy by 2008.
The ambitious plan, entitled Luz Para Todos, meaning "Light for all"
in Portuguese, is an initiative to reduce poverty and hunger using
energy as a development vector. It seeks to guarantee access and use
of energy for all Brazilian citizens until 2008.
"We are working to provide energy services to 12.5 million people
by 2008, said , Nelson Jose Hubner Moreira, Executive secretary of
the Ministry of Miners and Energy, addressing the first Global
village Energy Partnership(GVEP) Assembly and global village energy
conference, that kicked of here on Thursday.
"We need to establish the fact that electric energy as right of
citizens," he said. Till 1992, only 11 per cent Brazilian homes were
not covered by the electricity service. By the end of the 2003, the
percentage of people has been reduced to 3 percent thanks to the
reforms in the power sector and growing participation of the private
sector. Brazil has almost electrified its urban areas as 99.6
percent of urban households had access to electricity. In case of
rural homes, access level is only 75 percent. The total installed
capacity of Brazil electric system is 96,799 MW.
Of the 182 million populations, 12 million lack access to electric
energy, and of them 10 million lives in rural areas in Brazil.
"Luz Para Todos encourages the rural folks to get electrified as the
government provides 75 percent of the total electrification costs,"
said Jose Ribamer Loboto Santana, who is the Programme Director for
Luz Para Todos. "With the need of additional 3.8 US dollar, the
programme is expected to accelerate the process of social inclusion
of this enormous fraction of the population," he added.
GVEP was launched at the World Summit on Sustainable Development
(WSSD) in August 2002, in Johannesburg, in South Africa . Its goal
is to increase modern energy services in a manner that enhances
economic and social development and reduces poverty. GVEP work is
carried out under a 10-year "implementation based" programme.
Today, GVEP boasts over 700 partners from a broad range of
stakeholders group including developed and industrialized country
governments, the private sector, NGOs, the academia.
GVEP is active in 26 partner countries, developing and implementing
energy poverty reductions programs targeting millions of people
without energy access. Though Nepal is not a GVEP member country,
senior officials with GVEP secretariat here says that Nepal can be
included in the GVEP network if she formally requests. "Nepal should
make a formal request to include in the GVEP network and we will
consider the proposal, Abeeku Brew Hammond, GVEP Programme manager
Once Nepal is included it will further ensure investments in rural
electrification and promote alternative energy in the country. Also
at the conference, participants representing Asia region applauded
the success of Biogas, solar and micro hydro in Nepal.
NOC Asks Additional 3 b from Government
Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) has sought Rs. 3 billion from the
government to clear October's import bill, settle past arrears and
service urgent loan liabilities of the commercial banks.
The corporation, which has been solely shouldering the country's oil
deficit emanting out of a huge import-sales price disparity, has a
total loan worth Rs. 4.53 billion. Of the total outstanding loan,
the NOC has to pay around Rs. 2.50 billion to the government and
remaining Rs. 2.03 billion to the different lending agencies. The
daily interest liability alone stands at about Rs. 1 million.
As the loss figure of NOC mounts, it has become dependent on loans
to finance the importation of petroleum products. The lack of
governments' timely action in adjusting the domestic prices and to
cut down duties to share the loss burden among the state, NOC and
consumers has made the situation more critical.
Source: The Kathmandu Post, 25 October 2005 (Summarized by CE News)
Kathmandu's Air Quality (16-22 October 2005)
It may have happened due to the few days of unexpected rains last
week or the holiday season, but whatever the reasons may be we
Kathmandu's air was a little easier to breathe last week. The
average PM10 concentration throughout the Valley was within national
standards of 120 micrograms per cubic meter, which is quite unusual
for this time of the year. As the winter sets in, the pollution
level in the air is bound to increase. So enjoy the fresh air while
PM10 (micrograms per cubic meter)
(SUN to SAT)
Data Source: www.mope.gov.np; Analysis by Clean Energy Nepal
Flood Experts Warn Tibet of Dangers from Global Warming
The threat of floods from global warming-related glacial melting in
the Himalayan highlands was the subject of a conference held in
Lhasa Sunday, state-run media reported.
More than 60 experts from the International Center for Integrated
Mountain Development, the World Meteorological Organization, China's
National Meteorological Bureau and eight countries are discussing
ways to improve flood forecasting, risk management and assessment
and disaster control, as well as regional flood management.
Gabriel Campbell, director of the ICIMOD, was quoted by Xinhua as
saying flooding may cause serious losses in Tibet and the lower
reaches of the rivers originating from the Himalayas if measures
aren't taken. Rivers at risk include China's Yangtze and Yellow
Rivers, as well as the Indus, Salween, Mekong and Brahmaputra.
The sensitive ecosystem of the Qinghai-Tibetan plateau is threatened
by a variety of problems, including overgrazing and road building,
which have accelerated glacial retreat and increased runoff. In
June, China's National Climate Center warned warmer winters and
summers are having a serious impact on the fragile environment of
A vice chairman of the Tibet Autonomous Region, Dorji Cering, said
mountain flooding is one of the major natural disasters plaguing the
region. He said the Chinese government is cognizant of the problem
and is drafting a plan on flood prevention and control.
Source: UPI, 25 October 2005
Electric Recharge Stations May Kick off by 2006-End
At least three Indian states will have electric recharge stations
for recharging of electric vehicles by the end of 2006. Mahindra &
Mahindra (M&M) is in talks with state governments of Pondicherry,
Uttaranchal and Andhra Pradesh for setting up around 200 electric
recharge points as it is planning to launch a fully electric three
wheeler by the end of 2005.
Apart from M&M, Bajaj and TVS Motor Company are also working on
hybrid three wheelers, that run on both petrol and
electricity. "Alternate fuel technology is not new in India. Earlier
it was considered a technological prowess. Today it is a new
business opportunity," says Pawan Goenka, president, M&M-Automotive
sector. With rising fuel prices, vehicle manufacturers are forced to
work on development of alternative fuel technology. "Manufacturers
are constantly working on new technology and hybrid is one such.
These vehicles are less polluting and cost effective," says CK Rao,
GM, three wheelers, Bajaj Auto.
A three wheeler with a fully charged 72 volt battery can run for
80km with an average running cost of 50 paise as compared to a few
rupees for petrol vehicles. But why electric three wheelers alone
and not motorcycles or cars? Electric vehicles would be priced
higher than petrol vehicles and so the higher cost is justified only
when the vehicle runs for a longer period of time. This is ensured
only in commercial vehicles. Also, these vehicles are less
polluting, with lower speed levels making them ideally suited for
Japan Struggling To Meet CO2 Emissions Target
By Hiroko Tabuchi,
Japan's greenhouse gas emissions fell slightly last fiscal year, but
the country is far from achieving its target for reducing carbon
dioxide emissions, a government report said Friday.
Japan released about 1.329 billion tons of greenhouse gases in the
year ending March 31, down 0.8 percent from the previous year,
according to the Environment Ministry. Japan must speed up
reductions if it intends to meet targets set in the Kyoto Protocol,
which went into effect in February this year.
Under the U.N.-brokered agreement, Tokyo is committed to cutting
collective emissions of carbon dioxide and five other greenhouse
gases to 6 percent below 1990 levels by 2012.
Although the Japanese government has been aggressively pushing
nuclear power as an alternative source of energy, many of the
country's reactors have been running at under capacity after a
series of safety violations, reactor malfunctions and accidents.
Public confidence in nuclear energy was badly shaken after an
accident at a reprocessing plant outside Tokyo in 1999, which killed
two workers and exposed hundreds of people to radioactivity.
Then in August 2004, a corroded pipe carrying boiling water and
superheated steam burst at a reactor in Mihama, west of Tokyo,
killing five workers. No radiation was released in that accident.
Source: Associated Press, 24 October 2005
World's First Biogas Train Makes Maiden Voyage in Sweden
The world's first train to run on biogas, made its maiden voyage in
Sweden, a country that has high hopes for biofuels.
Consisting of a single carriage that seats about 60 passengers, the
vehicle consists of a converted old Fiat train whose diesel engines
have been replaced by two Volvo gas engines. While the replacement
of the engine has made it more environment friendly, it has also
reduced a dependence on import of fuels from other countries.
The train links the city of Linkoeping, just south of Stockholm, to
the east coast of Vaestervik some 80 kms away, and is scheduled to
make one trip a day to begin with, which will eventually be two or
The train is equipped with 11 canisters containing enough gas to run
for 600 kms before needing a refill, and can a reach a maximum speed
of 130 kms per hour.
Source: AFP, 24 October 2005
Warmer Climate Produces Less Rain
New climate simulations from NASA show that under the warmer global
temperatures of the 20th century, water vapor in the atmosphere took
longer than normal to fall out of the sky fall as rain, snow and
other precipitation. With a few exceptions, the amount decreased
over land but increased over oceans.
The simulations are the first to take into consideration a part of
Earth's water cycle that until now has been overlookedthe storage
of water vapor in the atmosphere. These findings could play an
important role in climate models used to provide short-term weather
forecasts critical to water resource managers as well as models used
to predict long-term climate trends.
"Going back and looking at a time where we know what happened helps
give us confidence that the models can do a good job of predicting
the future," says meteorologist Michael Bosilovich, lead author of
the study, published online in the American Meteorological Society's
Journal of Climate.
When modeling the exchange of moisture that occurs among the land,
poles, oceans and atmosphere, scientists typically use sea surface
temperature data to predict how much water vapor will evaporate from
the earth and how much of it will turn into precipitation. And
although researchers have cautioned that warmer global temperatures
could increase the atmosphere's ability to hold moisture, no one has
modeled the extent to which this could occur.
Bosilovich and his team, from NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in
Greenbelt, Md., decided that rather than create climate models that
predicted the future, they would create models of the past using
historic information. Simulations were necessary because satellite
observations are nonexistent for most of South America, Africa and
huge gaps in Eurasia. Using available data, the team produced two
climate simulations. One was based on two 20-year sets of sea
surface temperature data gathered by satellites from 1902 to 1921
and 1979 to 1998. The other model was created from sea surface
temperature measured from 1948 to 1998.
Both simulations showed that along with a .25 to .5 percent increase
in global temperatures during these periods came a rise in
evaporation and precipitation. The higher temperatures also improved
the atmosphere's ability to retain water vapor and although
precipitation was significant, it was not as great as the potential
amount held in the clouds. "Water passing through the atmosphere was
taking longer to evaporate, and then find its way back out as
precipitation," Bosilovich says.
The study also found that, in general, the water cycle slowed over
tropical land masses and sped up over oceans. But the trend was not
equal across all regions. For example, precipitation increased over
land in the central U.S., while decreasing over the Gulf of Mexico.
According to the team, although global averages show significant
trends, further studies that take a regional focus must be conducted
in order to refine the models.
Source: WWF, 24 October 2005
Link of the Week
This is a very useful site especially for school kids, teachers and
trainers interested in global warming and green house effect. It has
an interactive demonstration that relates air pollution, global
warming and climate change.
Did You Know?
Improved water quality reduces childhood diarrhoea by 15-20%, but
better hygiene through hand washing and safe food handling reduces
it by 35% and safe disposal of children's faeces leads to a
reduction of nearly 40%.
Every Saturday at 7:00 am on Radio Sagarmatha 102 "Chittika"
Every Sunday at 7:30 am on Radio Sagarmatha 102 "Batabaran Dabali"
Every Wednesday at 7:30 am on Kantipur FM 96.1 - "Down to Earth"
QUIZ of the Week # 218
Earlier, leaded petrol used to be the most widespread, though easily
preventable, source of urban air pollution in the world. According
to WHO (World Health Organization), 1518 million children in the
developing countries are already suffering from permanent brain
damage due to lead poisoning. Why is tetra-ethyl lead added to
a) It prevents engine knocking
b) Reduces vehicular emissions
c) Increases life of motor tyres
d) None of the above
Send your answers to cen@..., within a week. Please
mention "Answer to Quiz # 218" the subject of your e-mail.
One lucky winner will get a T-Shirt with an Environmental Message
from Clean Energy Nepal. Please note that, we will not be able to
send prize to the winners outside Kathmandu valley. However, we
still encourage all participants to send in their answer. Best of
Answer Of Quiz Of The Week # 217
Emissions trading have become a key concept in reducing greenhouse
gases worldwide. Which country invented it?
Out of answers received the following gave the correct answer (The
names are listed here on the "first come - first name" basis)
Tri Ratna Tuladhar
Nawa Raj Dhakal
Mr. Chakra Gurung is the lucky winner for this week. Please contact
the CEN office within a week with your identity card. Congratulation
to the Winner and thanks to all participants!!!
Edited by: Bhushan Tuladhar and Eliza Sthapit
Clean Energy Nepal (CEN) is an independent, not-for-profit
organization working in the field of Energy and Environment. We
encourage you to send your articles on relevant subjects to expand
CEN: 254 Sahayog Marg, Anamnagar, Kathmandu, Nepal. Tel: 977-1-
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