The Cost of Relying on Diesel

The Cost of Relying on Diesel

Reeling under power-outage, Nepal relies heavily on diesel to generate power in winter, adversely affecting public health and environment. Also, black carbon that diesel engines emit is accelerating glacier melt, rendering the mountain people more vulnerable to Glacial Lake Outburst Floods (GLOFs).

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India struggles to control rising vehicle use, pollution

NEW DELHI (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Environmental and public health experts are warning that an explosion in the number of motorised vehicles on India’s roads is threatening the health and economic security of its population.

Stricter standards are needed to control vehicular pollution and regulate traffic, they say, along with moves to popularise non-motorised transport.

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Nepal tackles methane emissions through trash recycling

By Saleem Shaikh
October 23, 2013
Thomson Reuters Foundation

Labourers work at the Biocomp-Nepal project site in Khokna, a village on the outskirts of Kathmandu, Nepal’s capital. THOMSON REUTERS FOUNDATION/Saleem Shaikh

KATHMANDU, Nepal (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Nepal’s capital is recycling organic waste into compost in a bid to reduce methane emissions and provide cheap, environmentally friendly organic fertiliser to local farmers.

The scheme aims to tackle environmental degradation and reduce the health hazards from rotting produce.

Trash is a significant nuisance in Kathmandu, and organic matter accounts for almost 70 percent of the total waste generated daily in the city.

Many neighbourhoods in the capital are dirty and strewn with rubbish. Some markets look scarcely different from garbage dumps and streets are littered with discarded trash. Inadequate waste management in the Kathmandu Valley and a lack of dumps and landfills make the problem worse.

To address the problem, Biocomp-Nepal – a not-for-profit social enterprise –launched a year-long pilot project to recycle organic waste into compost in March 2011 in collaboration withmyclimate, a non-profit foundation based in Zurich. The foundation develops and supports projects around the world to reduce greenhouse gases.

During the pilot, the project collected organic waste every day from the Kalimat market, Kathmandu’s largest wholesale vegetable market, and composted it at a facility in Khokna, a village on the outskirts of the capital.

A total of 140 tons of fresh organic waste was collected and 15 tons of high-quality compost produced. The compost was sold to farmers who cultivate fields on the edges of Kathmandu, but local traders were pleased with the impact too.


“We are extremely happy that the surroundings of our vegetable market no longer get strewn with waste or rotten vegetables discarded in the open outside the market for want of proper dumping sites and … waste collections,” said Pitamber Gurung, a vegetable trader at the Kalimati market.

In January 2013, Biocomp-Nepal expanded its waste processing capacity to 20 tons a day, producing 3 to 4 tons of compost daily, to meet the demand for organic agricultural fertiliser in the Kathmandu valley.

According to Raju Khadka, Biocomp’s former project director in Nepal who now advises the project, the organisation is collaborating with myclimate to increase its collection capacity to 50 tons of vegetables and fruit by 2015, which will produce 7.5 tons of compost daily.

The waste will not just be sourced from vegetable markets such as Kalimati, he explained, but also from landfill sites and homes. The growing collections should help curb emissions of methane – a powerful climate-changing gas – and as well as reducing health problems associated with rotting trash.

Kathamandu Valley is a hub for agriculture due to its fertile and relatively flat land, and the majority of the vegetables sold at the Kalimati market are grown using chemical fertilisers to boost farm productivity.

Compost, a traditional fertiliser in the region, lost ground to chemical fertilisers as they became more widely available on the market, experts say. But the overuse of chemical fertilisers has caused soil fertility to decline globally, according to studies by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization.

In contrast to chemical fertilisers, compost feeds the soil through its nutrient-rich organic matter. According to Khadka, it maintains soil fertility, reduces acidity, and stops nutrients from being washed away by rain. The compost improves the soil’s ability to let water percolate, helping to recharge underground aquifers and prevent desertification of fertile land, he said.


Krishna Hari has been buying compost from Biocomp-Nepal for the past nine months to use on his land in Kirtipur, on the outskirts of Kathmandu.

“Before I used the compost fertiliser, I earned 35,000 Nepalese rupees (about $350) a year from my one acre land,” Hari said.

“But using the compost fertiliser has improved my income to 60,000 rupees” by boosting his yields per acre, he explained as he put small packages of compost into a cloth bag hanging from his bike at Biocomp-Nepal’s project site.

The compost is effective for twice as long as chemical fertiliser, according to Hari, and is cheaper too, at a rate of around $70 per ton rather than the $180 per ton for chemical fertiliser. Hari adds that other farmers have noted his improved results and started switching to compost.

Apart from these benefits, recycling vegetable waste into compost reduces methane emissions, said Khadka. Food waste is one of three main sources of methane, along with emissions from livestock and the mining and burning of fossil fuels.

Composting vegetable waste at the expanded rate of 50 tons a day has the potential to reduce methane emissions by an estimated 40,000 tons between 2012 and 2021, according to Khadka.

Biocomp-Nepal hopes to seek carbon credit financing through myclimate to scale up the project and make it self-sustaining.

The organisation also plans to offer training and demonstration sessions to meet the interest of community organisations from other areas of the country that want to create their own organic waste recycling programmes to counter the burden of rising fertiliser prices and address health hazards from decaying produce.

“Waste is a major problem in many cities of developing countries. The project can potentially be replicated in different places in Nepal or elsewhere in South Asia or the Asia-Pacific region where waste is a problem,” said Krishna Chandra Paudel, former secretary of Nepal’s Ministry of Forests and Soil Conservation.


Solar traffic signals help Pakistan tackle road jams

Saleem Shaikh
Thomson Reuters Foundation – Wed, 4 Sep 2013

A solar-powered traffic signal installed at the Aabpara intersection in Islamabad is helping manage traffic congestation. THOMSON REUTERS FOUNDATION/Saleem Shaikh.


ISLAMABAD (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Business has picked up for Abdul Latif, and he credits to an eco-innovation in Pakistan’s capital: the solar-powered traffic signal.

Latif runs a shoe shop in Aabpara, a bustling main shopping area in an upscale sector of the heart of Islamabad.

The traffic signal at the Aabpara intersection used to regularly fall dark because of frequent and protracted power failures, causing massive traffic jams on the road that passes by his shop.

“The traffic jam had become a nuisance equally for shoppers and shop owners in the market. Customers would avoid coming to the market for fear that they would become entangled,” he said. “Business activities were suffering seriously.”

But the installation of solar-powered traffic signals has resolved the problem and business is now booming again, a happy Latif told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Traffic jams on Islamabad’s main arteries and at intersections have become routine in the power-starved capital, which sees regular power outages, particularly when energy demand is high. Outages can lead to traffic signals going dark for hours, leading to massive traffic snarls.

But in July, the city’s Capital Development Authority launched a pilot project to power traffic signals using solar panels. Solar-powered signals are now working at the Aabpara roundabout and at two other busy locations in the city.

Officials at the Authority’s engineering wing said that if the pilot project is effective, the solar-powered signals would be installed at more intersections or roundabouts where traffic jams are a serious problem when the signals go dark.

Navid Hassan Bokhari, director of solar energy affairs for the Pakistan Alternative Energy Development Board, said board had put together a plan to install solar panels at 25 traffic signals in Islamabad.


Frustrated traders, fed-up drivers and exhausted traffic wardens welcomed the changes.

“When traffic signals shut down during load-shedding hours, it is the wardens who have to handle vehicular traffic congestation for hours, said Bilal Raza, a 45-year-old traffic warden, standing beneath the solar-powered traffic signal at the Aabpara roundabout.

The solar-powered signals are “helping us manage traffic jams that are a nightmare for us,” he said.

Jacob Joseph, who runs a smartphone shop at the Jinnah Super market in another upscale residential and commercial sector, said he believed solar traffic signals could help manage business-destroying congestion at a range of shopping areas across the city.

Hit by worsening power crises, the country’s other provinces, such as Sindh and Punjab, also are mulling installing solar traffic signals and street lights.

Saeed Akhtar, chief engineer for Punjab province’s Traffic Engineering and Transport Planning Agency told Thomson Reuters Foundation over the telephone from Lahore that contracts have been signed with three local firms for the conversion of traffic signals to solar power at five road intersections in Lahore, the capital city of Punjab province.

The costs of installing solar panels will be paid for by private firms in return for small advertisements at the signals, noting which firm had backed the project, he said.

Akthar said his department is in touch with different potential corporate sponsors to fund installation and maintenance of solar panels at all 138 traffic signals.

If the plan works, it “will help address our aggravating traffic mess without becoming any financial burden on the government’s pocket,” he maintained.

Pakistan is grappled with one of the worst energy crises in its history, with around a 4,000-megawatt shortfall. Authorities hope that can be plugged by tapping into Pakistan’s huge solar energy potential.

Right now, Pakistan uses only 7 megawatts of solar power, out of its estimated potential of 2.9 million megawatts, Gholamreza Zahedi, an associate professor of chemical engineering at Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, told Thomson Reuters Foundation in an email interview.

He said that attracting local investments in small- and medium-size renewable energy plans and launching local manufacturing of basic components, with the help of European countries and China, which have more advanced renewable technology, could make a big difference in expanding Pakistan’s solar energy production.

Saleem Shaikh and Sughra Tunio are climate change and development reporters based in Islamabad, Pakistan.


Pakistan’s Punjab builds model villages to withstand disasters

Saleem Shaikh
Thomson Reuters Foundation – Thu, 22 Aug 2013

A model village after construction in flood-prone Dera Ghazi Khan district, Punjab province, Pakistan. PHOTO/Punjab Disaster Management Authority

DERA GHAZI KHAN, Pakistan (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Ayesha Fatima, a 29-year-old widow with two small children, burst into tears of delight when she was handed the key and ownership papers for her new home, a two-room, single-storey, disaster-resilient brick building.

Her former home, a mud-brick house, was washed away by devastating floods in 2010, forcing the family to flee for their lives, abandoning everything they owned except two goats.

While living in a makeshift tent outside a nearby primary school, Fatima’s husband died of pneumonia and she was reduced to begging to survive, she told Thomson Reuters Foundation in muted tones.

The village where Fatima now lives – ‘Basti Hote Lashari’ in Taunsa town in Dera Ghazi Khan district, 405 km (250 miles) from Pakistan’s capital Islamabad – is one of 22 model villages built to replace homes washed away by the floods.

Constructed with private-sector funds and technical expertise, the houses are strong and designed to withstand earthquakes and extreme climate events, including floods, as part of a “climate-compatible development” initiative by the Punjab provincial government.

Climate-compatible development focuses on “triple win” strategies that limit greenhouse gas emissions, build resilience and promote development at the same time.

Parts of Punjab have been hit yet again by monsoon flooding in recent weeks, underlining the need for measures like these to protect people, property and crops from natural hazards.

When Fatima moved into her new home, in June 2011, her role as the family breadwinner was transformed by the gift of two buffalos.

“I earn Rs800 ($8) a day by selling nine litres of buffalo milk and this is enough to feed my two children,” she said happily, while milking one of the animals. “My children have also resumed going to school in the model village.”

Thousands of other poor families also lost their homes to the 2010 floods, the worst in Pakistan’s history, which tore through Fatima’s village early one morning after days of torrential rain.

She was woken by a huge uproar and the cries of villagers: “Wake up … wake up, people … Floodwater is coming!”

“When I came out of my room, the gushing floodwater was just minutes away from our home. Getting hold of my two children and two goats, I fled to the higher ground along with my 54-year-old husband. We left everything behind to the floods,” she explained.

The family spent 45 days in a school building on higher ground. When she returned, she could see only mud bricks strewn around where her home had stood.


Some 1.9 million houses were damaged or destroyed by the 2010 monsoon floods, according to the National Disaster Management Authority. Around 2,000 people died and over 20 million were affected, more than one-tenth of the population, from the Himalayas to the Arabian Sea.

The World Bank calculated the economic damage at over $9 billion.

With financial support from the non-government and corporate sectors, the Punjab government has built 22 disaster-resilient showcase villages in seven of the severely affected districts, drawing on expertise from two private firms, National Engineering Services Pakistan and Associated Consulting Engineers.

The villages, costing nearly Rs1.35 billion, contain 1,885 single-storey homes, which have been handed over to people who lost their houses in the 2010 floods. The villages have schools, health centres and other community infrastructure, replacing what the floods destroyed.

“These will show how such villages can be better planned, built to higher standards and with improved community infrastructure and facilities. Other facilities are biogas plants, solar energy systems, livestock sheds, covered sewerage, brick-paved streets, parks, play areas, markets and community centres,” said Mujahid Sherdil, director-general of the Punjab Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA).

“The corporate sector played a pivotal part by extending support in both cash and in kind for the construction of disaster-resilient houses,” he added.

Sherdil told Thomson Reuters Foundation from his office in Lahore, the provincial capital, that public relief operations after disasters were often delayed by lack of funds, but that businesses could play a bigger role by immediately making financial contributions to meet aid needs under their corporate social responsibility (CSR) programmes.

The private sector’s role in post-disaster reconstruction in 2010 showed it can help society cope with disasters, as well as providing resources, expertise and essential services for rebuilding afterwards, he said.


Dina Khan, manager of climate-compatible development projects in Pakistan for the Climate and Development Knowledge Network (CDKN), told Thomson Reuters Foundation the Punjab PDMA had asked her organisation to help it incorporate climate resiliency into its post-disaster reconstruction efforts.

CDKN in turn uses management and engineering consultancy Mott MacDonald to prepare guidelines on reconstruction in hazard-prone areas of the province, and to assess the climate compatibility of model villages being built.

Arif Hasan, an independent architect, said this kind of approach addresses the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, use fewer resources and put up buildings that can withstand weather-related disasters.

“There is an urgent need for implementation of such guidelines in highly disaster-prone Pakistan that will help the country adopt climate-resilient construction methods in disaster-prone areas,” he added.

Ali Tauqeer Sheikh, CDKN’s Asia director based in Islamabad, said Pakistan has inadequate guidelines for disaster risk reduction in the construction sector.

It is hoped the climate-compatible development initiative will pave the way for the country to adopt an effective national policy, and give the rural poor and local decision-makers the knowledge they need to reduce the impact of future disasters, he said.

“The Punjab government asked CDKN to help ‘build back better’ after the devastating floods in 2010,” he said. “Not only is this a strategic project for Pakistan, it is also a test case for climate-compatible development that promises to offer lessons for the international community.”

Saleem Shaikh and Sughra Tunio are climate change and development reporters based in Islamabad, Pakistan


The Environmental Impact Of The Cordyceps Business

The living standard of the country’s highlanders has improved through Cordyceps business every year, but it comes at a high cost, both social and environmental, a survey conducted by the Ugyen Wangchuck Institute for Conservation and Environment (UWICE) revealed.

Despite the stringent monitoring in place with strict rules and regulations, officials from the agriculture department agree that there is high pressure on environment.

Director of the department of agriculture and marketing cooperatives (DAMC) Dorji Dhradhul said, “It is a serious concern for us and also for the ministry, but it is not possible to monitor with foresters in the field outnumbered by collectors.”

“We are trying to create awareness through educational program, but only a few seem to be convinced. If the issue gets serious then the ministry might have to revisit the rules and regulations like reducing the number, from three collectors from each household to one, in order to have less impact on the environment. Less collectors mean less impact,” the director added.

This problem is further compounded by growing problems of littering and it is felt that, if not unregulated and unmonitored, the impact from the collection of this highly priced fungus while helping improve livelihood will leave some of the last pristine alpine ecosystems of this planet transformed for the worse.

Every year, from mid May to mid June, the collection season for the Cordyceps begins in the high alpine environment and the extend of environment degradation was categorized in four which were degrading shrub lands, littered landscapes, changing grasslands, and associated forest degradation.

A study by UWICE found that more than 78% of collectors interviewed said that they used Rhododendron and Juniper wood for cooking during the period of Cordyceps collection. The extensive use of slow growing Rhododendron and Juniper wood as fuel also pose a risk of such shrub lands from getting decimated completely.

Fuel wood is scarce in the high altitude collection grounds which are above tree line. With just available wood being Rhododendron, Dwarf Juniper and Willow, which are harvested extensively leading to opening of the areas in the fragile environment. Such openings may accelerate the process of mass wasting, thereby leading to many ecological and environmental hazards.

Studies reveal that it takes nearly 169 years for Rhododendron aeruginosum to attain the base diameter of just 8 centimeters, with an annual increment of only 0.6 millimeter. The slow growth of Rhododendron coupled with huge extraction by the collectors is a big concern. It’s, however, known fact to the collectors.

Some of the collectors The Bhutanese talked to said that it should be made compulsory to stop burning wood and go for kerosene and LPG.

Garbage management is another concern as mostly plastic and bottles wastes are not disposed off properly. Collectors throw garbage either by the side of the stream rocks or underneath the rocks, which might be hazardous to both fresh water biodiversity as well as to the people living downstream.

To address this problem, some collectors have come up with suggestions to have a proper designated disposal site. Some also said that temporary shops at the site should be discouraged.

Changing grasslands was another issue affecting the environment. Cordyceps collection coincides with the time when the young shoots of grass start to grow and with people collecting Cordyceps trampling on the grasses, the grass quality decreases and so does the feed for the yaks.

Digging for Cordyceps at the site is also a concern since it not only disturbs the grassland ecosystem, but may also accelerate soil erosion.

The amount collected from the sale of the Cordyceps has increased the purchasing power of the highlanders. There is a trend of buying power chains in the communities, and this may lead to harvesting of more of timber for construction of house and roofing, and fire wood.

Chencho Dema/Thimphu

Nepal turn to renewable energy

Story from Annapurna Post National Daily july 15-2013

नवीकरणीय ऊर्जाको भर

पिताम्बर सिग्देल 
हाम्रो देशमा भने ऊर्जाका पर्याप्त स्रोत हुँदाहुँदै पनि त्यसको वैज्ञानिक सदुपयोग हुन सकेको छैन। बिजुली, दाउरा, मट्टितेललगायतबाट प्राप्‍त गर्ने शक्ति नै ऊर्जा हो। त्यस्तै गाडी चलाउन प्रयोग हुने पेट्रोल, घट्ट चलाउने पानी, लुगा सुकाउने घामको ताप ऊर्जाका स्रोत हुन्। मुलुकमा एकातिर ऊर्जाको अभाव छ भने अर्कातिर ऊर्जाका स्रोत त्यत्तिकै खेर गइरहेको अवस्था छ। यी स्रोतको प्रयोगमा सरकारले ध्यान दिँदै जनतालाई आकर्षित गर्न सके ऊर्जाका अपार सम्भावना उपभोग गर्न सकिन्छ।
आधुनिक जीवनशैलीसँगै ऊर्जाको खपत बढ्दो छ।

ढुंगेयुगमा एकजना मानिसले वार्षिक एक सय वाट ऊर्जा खपत गर्ने गरेका तथ्य भेटिन्छ। मध्य युगमा मानिसले वार्षिक एक हजार वाट ऊर्जा प्रयोग गथ्र्यो। अहिले प्रत्येक नेपालीले करिब पाँच सय वाट ऊर्जा खपत गर्छ। नेपाली समाजमा ऊर्जाका लागि दाउरा, मट्टितेल, कोइला, गोबर तथा कृषिजन्य सामग्री, ग्यास, बिजुलीलगायत मुख्य रूपमा प्रयोग भइरहेको छ।

ऊर्जा खपतको अवस्था

नेपालको ८० प्रतिशतभन्दा बढी जनसंख्या ग्रामीण भेगमा बस्छ। परम्परागत ऊर्जाका स्रोत दाउरा, कृषिजन्य अवशेष गुइँठा, गोबर नै मुख्य रूपमा त्यहाँ प्रयोग हुन्छन्। नेपालमा खपत हुनेमध्ये करिब ८७ प्रतिशतभन्दा बढी ऊर्जा यिनै परम्परागत ऊर्जा स्रोतबाट प्राप्त भइरहेको वैकल्पिक ऊर्जा प्रवर्धन केन्द्रको तथ्यांक छ। यसको अर्थ परम्परागत ऊर्जाका स्रोतको प्रयोग बढ्दा वातावरणीय विनाश भइरहेको छ। वनजंगलको फडानी भइरहेको छ। यसका कारण बाढीपहिरो, भूक्षयका घटना बढेका छन्।
अर्कोतर्फ खेतबारीमा मलको रूपमा प्रयोग गरिने गोबर कृषिजन्य अवशेष ऊर्जाका रूपमा प्रयोग हुँदा कृषि उत्पादनमा समेत ह्रास आइरहेको छ। यसले वातावरणमा समेत नकरात्मक असर परेको छ। कृषि उत्पादन बढाउन प्रयोग हुने रासायनिक पदार्थले मानव स्वास्थ्यमा असर गरिरहेको छ।

वैकल्पिक ऊर्जा प्रवद्र्धन केन्द्रका अनुसार नेपालमा खपत हुने विभिन्न ऊर्जाको माग हेर्दा करिब ७७ प्रतिशत दाउराबाट पूरा भइरहेको छ। कृषिजन्य अवशेषबाट ३.६५, गाईबस्तुको गोबरबाट ५.८५ प्रतिशत ऊर्जा प्राप्त भइरहेको छ। त्यस्तै कोइलाबाट ३, तैलीय स्रोतबाट ९.३५, जलविद्युत्बाट १.९५ प्रतिशत ऊर्जा प्राप्त भइरहेको छ।
ऊर्जा स्रोतको केन्द्रीकरण तथा प्राकृतिक सम्पदाको दोहनका कारण विभिन्न विपत्ति आउने खतरा बढेको वैज्ञानिकहरूले औंल्याइरहेका छन्। वातावरणीय खतरा, विश्व तापमान वृद्धि, हिम रेखा स्थानान्तरको खतरा, जैविक विविधता नष्ट हुने, अम्लीय वर्षा तथा हिमताल विस्फोट नेपालका लागि मुख्य खतरा हुन्। अन्य देशमा समुद्री सतह बढ्ने, तेलजन्य प्रदूषणका समस्या पनि उत्पन्न भइरहेका छन्। यी सबै समस्यालाई निराकरण गर्दै वातावरण जोगाउन तथा ऊर्जा उपलब्धता बढाउन नवीकरणीय ऊर्जा सबैभन्दा उत्तम विकल्प हो। ‘हामीले अनुदान बढाउँदै लगे देशका सबै वर्ग र समुदायसमक्ष नवीकरणीय ऊर्जा पुर्‍याउन सक्छौं’, वैकल्पिक ऊर्जा प्रवर्धन केन्द्रका कार्यकारी निर्देशक गोविन्दराज पोखरेल भन्छन्।

के हो नवीकरणीय ऊर्जा?

प्रकृतिमा निरन्तर प्राप्त भइरहने र प्रयोग गर्दा वातावरणीय असर कम हुने ऊर्जा स्रोतलाई नवीकरणीय ऊर्जा भनिन्छ। यस्ता ऊर्जाको खपत जति धेरै भए पनि रित्तिने डर हुँदैन। त्यसैले पनि संसारभरि यस्ता ऊर्जाका स्रोतलाई प्राथमिकता दिइँदै आएको छ। नवीकरणीय ऊर्जाका स्रोत स्थानीय तहमा पर्याप्‍त पाइन्छ। ‘हाम्रै वरिपरि यस्ता स्रोत छन्। यिनको वैज्ञानिक व्यवस्थापनमात्रै अहिलेको चुनौती हो, स्थानीय निकायलाई सशक्त बनाउँदै लैजान आवश्यक छ’, पोखरेल औंल्याउँछन्। त्यस्तै यस्ता ऊर्जामा विदेशी लगानी र हस्तक्षेपको सम्भावनासमेत हुँदैन।

नवीकरणीय ऊर्जाका विभिन्न स्रोत छन्। जैविक ऊर्जा, जलशक्ति ऊर्जा, सौर्यशक्ति ऊर्जा, वायुशक्ति ऊर्जा, भूगर्भीय ऊर्जा, समुद्री छाल ऊर्जा, हाइड्रोजन ऊर्जा आदि संसारमा बढी प्रयोग भइरहेका स्रोत हुन्। यसमध्ये जैविक ऊर्जा पृथ्वीको सतहमा रहेको पिण्डको एउटा सानो हिस्सा हो। यो ऊर्जा सबैतिर धेरै परिमाणमा फैलिएको छ। सौर्यशक्तिको एउटा सानो अंश प्राप्त यो ऊर्जाको मुख्य स्रोत सौर्यशक्ति हो।

नेपालमा जैविक ऊर्जाका रूपमा गोबरग्यास, कृषिजन्य कामबाट खेर गएका पदार्थ, जैविक तेल (वनस्पति तथा फलफूल प्रशोधन गरेर निकालिने तेल) आदि प्रयोगमा छन्। त्यस्तै दाउराबाट खाना पकाउने, सुधारिएको चुलो आदि पनि जैविक ऊर्जाभित्रै पर्छन्। जलशक्तिअन्तर्गत सुधारिएको घट्ट, लघुजलविद्युत् ऊर्जाका स्रोतका रूपमा प्रयोग भइरहेका छन्। सौर्य शक्तिबाट भने सौर्य ताप, सौर्य बाकस चुलो, सौर्य पानी हिटर, सौर्य ड्रायर, सौर्य बिजुली मुख्य हुन्। संसारका धेरै देशमा वायु ऊर्जा महत्त्वपूर्ण स्रोतका रूपमा रहेको छ। नेपालमा भने यसको धेरै उपयोग हुन सकेको छैन। नेपालका लागि जैविक ऊजासँगै सौर्य र वायु ऊर्जा उपयोगी हुन्छन्। वातावरणमैत्री ऊर्जाका यी स्रोत प्रयोग गरेर विकसित देशले ऊर्जा अभाव पूरा गरिरहेका छन्। तर, नेपालमा भने परीक्षणका रूपमा यी ऊर्जा प्रयोग भइरहेको अवस्था छ।

वायु ऊर्जा

हावाको गतिमा रहेको शक्तिलाई वायु ऊर्जा भनिन्छ। वायु ऊर्जालाई परम्परागत रूपमा विभिन्न तरिकाबाट प्रयोग गरिए पनि हावा आधुनिकीकरण भइसकेको छैन। यसबाट विद्युत् उत्पादन गर्दा इन्धनको बचत हुन्छ भने प्रदूषण हुँदैन।

पछिल्लो अध्ययनअनुसार नेपालमा हावाबाट तीन हजार मेगावाट बिजुली उत्पादन गर्न सकिन्छ। भौगोलिक र प्राकृतिक रूपमा नेपाल वायु ऊर्जाको अपार सम्भावना भएपछि सरकारी बेवास्ताका कारण यसको सदुपयोग हुन सकेको छैन। नेपालका धेरै स्थानमा चल्ने हावाको प्रकृति र बेगका कारण पनि नेपाल वायु ऊर्जाका लागि आकर्षक स्थान मानिन्छ।

वैकल्पिक ऊर्जा प्रवर्धन केन्द्रले संयुक्त राष्ट्रसंघीय वातावरणीय कार्यक्रमसँग मिलेर गरेको एउटा अध्ययनले नेपालमा तीन हजार मेगावाट वायु ऊर्जा सजिलै निकाल्न सकिने बताएको छ। तर, भौगोलिक विकटता र यातायातको असुविधा प्रमुख समस्या रहेको निष्कर्ष छ। विज्ञहरूका अनुसार मुस्ताङको कागबेनी, भक्तपुरको थिमी, नगरकोट, पाल्पा तथा रामेछाप वायु ऊर्जाका लागि सबैभन्दा उपयुक्त स्थान हुन्। यी स्थानमा सजिलै र छिटो धेरै वायु ऊर्जा उत्पादन गर्न सकिन्छ। तर, सरकारले यसको दस प्रतिशत क्षेत्रमा मात्रै उत्पादन सम्भावनाका बारेमा विस्तृत अध्ययन गरेको छ। सबैभन्दा धेरै सम्भावना संरक्षण क्षेत्र तथा मध्य र उच्च पहाडी भेगमा छ। वैकल्पिक ऊर्जा प्रवद्र्धन केन्द्रका ऊर्जा इन्जिनियर प्रकाश अर्यालका अनुसार नेपालमा वायु ऊर्जा सस्तो र छिटो हुन्छ।

तीव्र गतिमा हावा चल्ने ठाउँमा टर्वाइन जडान गरी वायु ऊर्जा उत्पादन गरिन्छ। विकसित देशहरूले ऊर्जा उत्पादनका लागि सबैभन्दा धेरै प्राथमिकता वायु ऊर्जालाई दिएका छन्। मुस्ताङबाट मात्रै सय मेगावाट क्षमता बराबरको वायु ऊर्जा निकाल्न सकिन्छ। हालैमात्र ऊर्जाविज्ञ अमृतसिंह थापासहितको टोलीले गरेको प्राविधिक स्थलगत अध्ययनले मुस्ताङमा सय मेगावाट ऊर्जा निकाल्न सकिने प्रमाणित गरेको हो। तीन हजार ५४ मिटर अग्लो मुस्ताङको ताङवे गाउँमा ५० मिटर अग्लो टावर राखेर अध्ययन गरिएको थियो।

वायु ऊर्जा छिटो र वातावरणमैत्री हुन्छ। यो छोटो समयमा धेरै उत्पादन गर्ने गरी जडान गर्न सकिन्छ। सरकारले सिंहदरबारभित्र तथा काठमाडौंका केही सडकमा बीस मेगावाटको वायु ऊर्जा उत्पादन गर्ने तयारी गरिरहेको छ। वैकल्पिक ऊर्जा प्रवद्र्धन केन्द्रसँग ठूला विदेशी कम्पनीले समेत वायु ऊर्जा उत्पादनका लागि इच्छा देखाएका छन्।

अहिले नेपालमा ११ वटा विभिन्न ठाउँमा वायु ऊर्जा उत्पादन भइरहेको छ। सरकारले थप केही स्थानमा उत्पादनको तयारी गरेको छ। वायु ऊर्जामा अनुदान दिने नीतिको मस्यौदा पनि सरकारले तयार पारेको छ। सन् १९८९ मा नेपाल सरकारले नेपालमा मुस्ताङको कागवेनीमा दस किलोवाटको वायु ऊर्जाका लागि टर्वाइन राखेको थियो। तर, त्यसको तीन महिनामै त्यो बिग्रेको थियो। त्यसैगरी सन् २००२ मा कीर्तिपुर र झापामा दुई ठाउँबाट वायु ऊर्जा उत्पादनको प्रयास भएको थियो। तीन सय वाट प्रतिवर्गमिटर वायु ऊर्जाका लागि उपयुक्त। तीन मिटर प्रतिसेकेन्डबाटै व्यावसायिक उत्पादन गर्न सकिन्छ।

सौर्य ऊर्जा

परापूर्व कालदेखि नै मानिसहरूले सूर्यबाट प्राप्त हुने शक्तिलाई विभिन्न रूपमा प्रयोग गरिरहेका छन्। जाडोमा घाम ताप्न, लुगा, दाउरा सुकाउन सूर्यकै ताप प्रयोग गरिन्छ। यो नवीकरणीय ऊर्जाको प्रमुख स्रोत हो। सौर्य ऊर्जाको ताप शक्ति र प्रकाशलाई विभिन्न प्रविधिको सहयोगले मानवका लागि उपयोगी हुने गरी संग्रह गरेर प्रयोग गर्न थालिएको छ। सौर्य ऊर्जामा भएको ताप शक्ति प्रयोग गरी खाना पकाउन, बिस्कुन सुकाउन, ड्रायर चलाउन, पानी तताउन प्रयोग भइरहेका छन्। त्यसैगरी सौर्य ऊर्जाबाट प्राप्त बिजुलीबाट रेडियो टीभी तथा बत्ती बाल्ने, पानी तताउने, पंखा चलाउनेलगायतका काम भइरहेका छन्।

परम्परावादी सोच बाधक

नेपालको ऊर्जा क्षेत्र परम्परावादी सोच र प्रविधिको पछि लागेका कारण ऊर्जा क्षेत्रमा प्रगति हुन सकेन। अहिले पनि नीतिनिर्माता तथा राजनीतिक नेतृत्व जलविद्युत्भन्दा अर्को विकल्पमा सोच्न तयार छैनन्। नेपाल भौगोलिक तथा प्राकृतिक रूपमा नवीकरणीय ऊर्जाका लागि उपयुक्त स्थान हो। तर, यसमा सरकारको प्राथमिकता नहँुदा उल्लेखनीय प्रगति भएको छैन। विज्ञान प्रविधि तथा वातावरण मन्त्रालयले नवीकरणीय ऊर्जालाई प्राथमिकता दिन नीति बनाए पनि त्यसको कार्यान्वयनमा धेरै समस्या देखिएका छन्। पछिल्लो दशकमा नेपालको नवीकरणीय ऊर्जाको क्षेत्रमा उल्लेख्य प्रगति भएको छ। तर, यो पर्याप्त भने छैन। सरकारले अनुदान नीति ल्याएर ग्रामीण भेग तथा पिछडिएको वर्गमा ऊर्जा पहुँच पुर्‍याउन विशेष जोड गरेको छ। तर, ठूलो परिमाणमा ऊर्जा उत्पादन गर्नेतर्फ भने सरकारको ध्यान छैन। त्यसअनुसारको नीतिसमेत सरकारले बनाएको छैन। ‘नवीकरणीय ऊर्जाको क्षेत्रमा उल्लेख्य प्रगति भएको छ तर यो पर्याप्त भने होइन’, केन्द्रका सहनिर्देशक राजु लौंडारी भन्छन्। ग्रामीण र सहरी भेगमा नवीकरणीय ऊर्जाका विभिन्न स्रोत फरकफरक रूपमा प्रयोग गर्दै ऊर्जा अभाव टार्न सकिने लौडारीको तर्क छ।

अहिले विश्वको १६ प्रतिशत ऊर्जा नवीकरणीय ऊर्जाको स्रोत हो। खासगरी विकसित देशहरू नवीकरणीय ऊर्जामा गइसकेका छन्। मानव स्वास्थ्य तथा वातावरणका दृष्टिले समेत सुरक्षित नवीकरणीय ऊर्जा अभियान चलाउनुको विकल्प पनि अब छैन। अहिले पनि संसारमा दुई लाख ३८ हजार मेगावाट ऊर्जा वायुबाट मात्रै प्राप्त भइरहेको छ।

८० प्रतिशतभन्दा बढी नागरिक गाउँमा बस्ने नेपालमा प्रतिव्यक्ति ऊर्जा खपत विश्वव्यापी मापदण्डभन्दा धेरै तल छ। नेपालको ऊर्जा क्षेत्रमा परम्परावादी स्रोतकै दबदबा छ। अहिले नेपालमा जम्मा ४० प्रतिशत जनताको पहुँचमा मात्रै बिजुली छ। ग्रामीण विद्युतीकरणको पहुँचमा जम्मा २९ प्रतिशतमात्रै छ। अधिकांशले आफ्नो ऊर्जा आवश्यकता चुल्होमा दाउरा तथा गुइँठा बालेर पूर्ति गरिरहेका छन्। यसको ठूलो आर्थिक, वातावरण तथा स्वास्थ्यमा प्रभाव परिरहेको छ। लघुजलविद्युत् आयोजनाबाट सय मेगावाट बिजुली निकाल्न सकिन्छ तर अहिले आठ सय चार आयोजनाबाट १६ मेगावाटमात्रै निस्किएको छ। त्यस्तै बायोग्यास प्लान्ट ११ लाख जडान गर्न सकिन्छ तर अहिले तीन लाखमात्रै छ। अध्ययन क्षेत्रबाट मात्रै वायु ऊर्जाबाट तीन हजार मेगावाट बिजुली निकाल्न सकिन्छ तर अहिले पाइलट परियोजनामात्रै छ। नेपालमा २५ हजार पानीघट्ट बनाउन सकिन्छ, अहिले आठ हजारमात्रै सुधारिएका घट्ट छन्। नेपालमा नवीकरणीय ऊर्जालाई वैकल्पिक ऊर्जाका रूपमा प्रयोग गर्न सके ऊर्जा क्षेत्रको विकास छिटो हुन्छ। यसका अथाह सम्भावना छन्।

PCSIR Labs are promoting green technology through technology business incubators.

PCSIR Laboratories are promoting the green technology through their technology business incubators .They are trying to convince the public to invest in the technology on demand and requirement basis in Khyber Pukhunkhwa. They help the investor to to produce products look for markets and establish business on the research and findings of the scientists of the Labs.This step will be very helpful in promoting green technology which is environment friendly.
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