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Webinar 1 | Mar-16 | Smart Villages. Remoteness and states of being Remoteness and states of being off -grid in Nepal grid in Nepal


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Ben Campbell

Off the beaten path: rural energy & remoteness

Far-flung islands in the South Pacific and treacherous terrain in the Himalayas: both pose enormous challenges for rural development and energy. In this webinar, we’ll gather experts who will tell stories about their experiences working in remote areas where energy access is limited or almost non-existent – and what they are doing to promote access.

What common challenges have they faced, and what solutions are they finding for energy in remote areas? How can these remote, “last mile” villages become places where people have full access to education, health, technology, and livelihoods? What can policymakers, entrepreneurs, innovators, and civil society do to make this a reality?

Our webinar series is a little different: each expert will speak for less than 10 minutes and will focus on their on-the-ground experience using photos to tell their story."

Published in: Government & Nonprofit
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Webinar 1 | Mar-16 | Smart Villages. Remoteness and states of being Remoteness and states of being off -grid in Nepal grid in Nepal

  1. 1. Smart Villages. Remoteness and states of being off-grid in Nepal Ben Campbell Durham Anthropology Durham Energy Institute Low Carbon Energy for Development Network
  2. 2. Remoteness as double edged Resilience, Adaptability and Solidarity Vs Isolation and neglect Capacity for take-up of technology and development can be affected by socio-economic and cultural remoteness alongside geography Politics of exclusion from development benefits, and histories of unequal citizenship
  3. 3. Local institutions for natural resource management Community forestry success story in many parts of Nepal But in protected areas in Nepal like the national parks, community livelihoods have come up against heightened concerns for forest protection, and restriction on fuelwood use. In Langtang National Park many villages rely on income from selling milk at seasonal, off- grid diary units for yak cheese making
  4. 4. Annual cheese production From Chandanbari15,156.5 kg (approx $150,000 value)
  5. 5. Biogas for yak cheese in Nepal • “From an anthropology of development perspective, the challenge of bringing low-carbon energy to the poor involves understanding the dynamics and characteristics of poverty in historical structures of inequality. In a country such as Nepal, there are factors of ethnic– cultural difference and community-adapted knowledge and skill sets that make Euro-American notions of poverty as lack of modern technological inputs too simplistic” (Campbell and Sallis 2013:4)
  6. 6. Hybrid solutions • The success of biogas energy in the warmer lowlands of Nepal have struggled to work their way uphill in colder climes • The remoteness of advice and support systems is more than geographical • Nepal has struggled through a decade of civil war over the center’s neglect of underdeveloped districts • the trial unit will use solar thermal water heat
  7. 7. BSP so far only looking at (domestic) cooking scale
  8. 8. Cheese factory on this day processed 165 litres milk – required 4 loads of wood (35-40 kg) including heating of water for morning after 30,000 rs per year (£250) paid to LNP for wood, in addition to reforestation project
  9. 9. “some kinds of transition technologies require wholesale behaviour change, whereas others could have more affinity with materials and principles of self-reliance linked to science of place in niches that enable pro-poor and pro-biodiversity examples of metabolic cycles” (Campbell and Sallis 2013:2)
  10. 10. • Conclusion • Old power relations that have kept the Tamang communities poor in the mountains, are now dampening the chances for sustainable livelihood innovation and for consensual biodiversity conservation. Poverty is an effect of unequal relations in society almost more than intrinsic productivity potential of the resource base. • “The key challenges …for social science seem clear. These lie in moves away from defining Sustainability in general – and Sustainable energy in particular – exclusively in terms of outcomes. Social research is as much about the processes and directions of change through which understandings and developments do or don’t unfold, as about any goals and end-points in themselves. Crucial here is a key neglected theme in Brundtland’s original characterisation of Sustainability – emphasising needs for “effective citizen participation” and “greater democracy” Stirling p2014:89. Energy Research & Social Science 1 (2014) 83–95