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WEBINAR | ENERGY AND TRANSPORT | Action Research in Northern Nepal - Ben Campbell


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Smart Villages/LCEDN webinar series

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Transport is an often overlooked aspect of rural development and linkage to energy access and productive use of energy in the developing world, but it is of critical importance. Not only does transportation rely on a source of energy (and hence transport can itself become a productive use of energy), but an effective transport infrastructure is a critical part of allowing mobility, access to markets, establishment of distribution chains (both to access energy generating equipment as well as marketing services, goods and products).

In this webinar, we were joined by experts presenting on diverse aspects of this complex challenge, including Prof Gina Porter and Dr Arash Azizi of the University of Durham, Dipak Gyawali, former Minister of Water Resources in Nepal and Chair of the Nepal Water Conservation Foundation, and Dr Ben Campbell from the UK Low Carbon Energy Development Network. As usual, we provided an opportunity for the participants joining the webinar to put questions to the speakers, for them to be answered during the session.

Published in: Science
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WEBINAR | ENERGY AND TRANSPORT | Action Research in Northern Nepal - Ben Campbell

  1. 1. Energy and Transport a case study in ac2on research from northern Nepal for Smart Villages Ben Campbell Department of Anthropology University of Durham
  2. 2. Energy Tradi2ons and Transi2ons •  Innova2ng and adap2ng to new renewable energy systems in many places requires making use of what is already in place as the transport infrastructure •  Hybrid DIY bricolage juxtaposed with unprecedented globalisa2on seIng loose infrastructure imaginaries •  Circular economy of energy conversion
  3. 3. Trisuli Valley looking north (before earthquake landslides of 2015)
  4. 4. Northern Connec2vity •  Film: The Way of the Road ( •  Trade, religion, cultural and livelihood diversity, learning and innova2on •  Local villagers from the Tamang-speaking communi2es depended on seasonal portering work between the entrepot towns of southern Tibet and the bazaars of Nepali shopkeepers
  5. 5. ADB plans of na2onal infrastructure for poverty allevia2on
  6. 6. Langtang Na2onal Park checkpost at Dhunche
  7. 7. Mul2-species Energy Companions •  Flocks of sheep and goats used to be kept for the purpose of carrying sacks of rice up the trail and salt down the trail, weighing up 15kg •  Also mules, donkeys, and dzobru – a male cross of yak and cow
  8. 8. Off grid, autonomous energy systems •  Emerging community of Renewable Energy prac2ce •  Hybrid energy stacking systems suppor2ng resilient agro-pastoral economy
  9. 9. Low carbon energy
  10. 10. Anaerobic digester dome 3,250 m asl hybrid designed assisted by AEPC
  11. 11. The muleteer has recently moved into supplying this trail. His 5 mules can together carry 130kg. The rate is rs.20 per kg for the distance between the road and the cheese factory. He makes about 7,000rs a day, and it costs 3,000rs in maize and chickpeas to feed them.
  12. 12. Because the milking chauri were a couple of hours away, we gathered 40 kg of mule dung to do a training in biogas digester feedstock input. The mule dung has considerably more roughage in it than the chauri dung, so proved more difficult to work into a creamy texture
  13. 13. Feeding the microbes
  14. 14. Biogas for yak cheese
  15. 15. It works!
  16. 16. Veg polytunnels for using the digestate
  17. 17. ‘The Universal Animal’ –fuel, milk, meat, wool, transport, ploughing A unifying concern across all ICIMOD countries and threatened by climate change Voices of the yak keeping communi2es are systema2cally marginalized in the region Very significant agent in the understanding of rangeland biodiversity vs forest science opposi2on to livestock
  18. 18. •  Electricity poles being installed in 2017 for…
  19. 19. Hydro dams and cable cars
  20. 20. Where there is no infrastructure – a terra nullius ? •  Some outsiders’ perspec2ves (e.g. visitors from northern, grid-centric backgrounds, or plains-people) might look at the mountains and see a place of no infrastructure, where hydro power could be installed, and roads built to facilitate movement of goods and exper2se. •  But how well ahuned will externally inspired designs be to the situated livelihood issues of the intended beneficiaries of development projects? •  Or rethinking low carbon energy infrastructure as rela2onships of mutual advantage in nego2a2ng posi2ons of development need, deploying dis2nc2ve affordances of locality, the innova2ve spirit of place (genius loci)