Solar farming in Africa

 

Title Solar Farming in Africa: Green Electricity Powered by the Sun
Director(s) Intelligence Squared
Date released (year) 2012
Production company Intelligence Squared: the world of   debate
Length 5.33 mins
Location London
Keywords/tags Renewable energy, solar, natural   resources
Link to film http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GIWeZQpZ5QE
Synopsis In the fourth installment of our iq2 Shorts series,   Professor Michael Düren of DESERTEC argues that we can harness the African   desert sun to power the world.

The animation is adapted from our Switched On evening ‘Energy Game Changers’   from March 2012. Click on the following link to watch the four other carbon   cutting energy solutions presented that evening http://bit.ly/I8HLSw

Reviews/discussion African renewables potential mapped

Bernard Appiah

1 March 2012 |

Some of the best potential   for solar power is in the Sahara belt

European Commission Joint   Research Centre

Tapping into Africa’s renewable energy could transform living standards across   the continent, according to a report that has mapped the potential of   renewables in the region.

The report aims to help   African governments set up renewable energy plans, and has called for the   urgent transfer of relevant knowledge to research and technology partners in   Africa.

“Only if much of the   research, prototyping, demonstration and large-scale deployment are done by   African people, one can accelerate the uptake of renewable energy,” says   the report, published by the European Commission Joint Research Centre (JRC)   last month (8 February).

Renewable energy has   particular relevance in remote and rural areas, where around 600 million   people live without electricity, and where renewables would be cheaper than   extending national grid services, the report says.

The authors used geographical   data to map out regions that could generate electricity from the sun, wind,   biomass and water. They then identified those regions where using renewables   might be cheaper than existing sources such as diesel or electricity grids.

“We found good wind   energy potential in North Africa and good solar energy potential in Sub-Saharan Africa   and the Sahara belt,” said the report’s editor, Fabio Monforti-Ferrario.

The report says small hydroelectric   power plants would suit Equatorial Africa, where many people live closer to   river systems than to existing electricity grids.

Monforti-Ferrario added that   “biomass is the ‘green gold’ of Central Africa”, but cautioned against   its widespread use on sustainability grounds.

Speaking more broadly, he   said Africa’s ability to tap the potential of renewables potential is   hampered by reliance on subsidised diesel fuel.

“It is the policy of   African countries to keep the cost of diesel low, even though [this policy]   is unsustainable. It makes the use of [alternatives like] photovoltaic   systems unattractive to consumers,” he said.

This view is backed by   Dieter Holm, honorary   board member of the International Solar Energy Society based in South Africa.   But he said the report had focused too heavily on petrol subsidies, and not   enough on the ability of renewable to create jobs.

Holm said that in Africa   photovoltaics and wind energy can create 62 and 12 jobs per gigawatt hour of   electricity produced respectively, compared to less than one job in the coal   industry for the same energy output.

“Political   decision-makers in Africa should be well-informed of the overall potential of   renewable energy sources in terms of electricity generation, job creation,   and environmental sustainability,” Holm told SciDev.Net.

 

Link to full report      [3.16MB]

 

Source:   http://www.scidev.net/en/climate-change-and-energy/renewable-energy/news/african-renewables-potential-mapped.html

Links to other resources http://www.intelligencesquared.com/

 

The 4th Revolution: energy autonomy

Title The 4th Revolution: energy autonomy
Director(s) Carl A. Fechner
Date released (year) 2011
Production company Fechner Media
Length 8mins (trailer to full length feature film)
Location International
eywords/tags Energy, sustainability, technology
Link to film http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=15S-Pz3s3Rg
Synopsis We   know that we can do something.

Sun, wind, hydro and geothermal energy are natural sources accessible to   everyone all over the world without making any difference. And they are   renewable, free and available in the long run. Only the widespread knowledge   about the possibilities of renewable energy can ignite an international   movement and take the absolutely necessary energy transition. We need a   quickly enlightening medium that conveys this knowledge comprehensible and   compactly. This can be provided by a great documentary. We have made it.

Reviews/discussion a great, informative, realistic and well   done movie/documentary on the upcoming change/opportunity behind renewable   energies. the movie is entirely sponsored/funded by single individuals with   no support/influence of any governmental organization whatsoever. it covers a   broad spectrum of existing realities and sheds its light on future   perspectives: the transformation of currant energetic, ecologic and economic   crisis into a process of democratization and global solution. the movie   starts in los angeles with hermand scheer, expert of ren. energy, scientist,   author and alternative nobel price winner, pointing out critical words to the   current model of architecture…. >>

that is not   implementing minimally solar and renewable technology on its high-rise   buildings and general urban design. It further brings you to the innovative   -Nordic Folk Center- in Denmark, where clean renewable energy has been   introduced since 30 years successfully providing now a whole region with   sufficient energy coming from 100% renewable sources. The Center is today a   shining example for the world and many students from all over the world come   here to learn and expand their knowledge. Like Malinese Ibrahim Togola, here   for one year and now developing, with the support of its government,   renewable energy projects into the small rural communities of his country.   The Movie continues to Bangladesh with Muhammad Yunu (”The Banker of the   Poor” Nobel Price Winner for Micro-Credits) where woman co-operatives   started to educate their communities and families introducing solar panel in   their villages and gaining so major financial and individual independence   from the urban cities. Germany, China, The Amazons – the movie takes various   looks at individuals and protagonist as projects, debunking the myth that   ‘renewable energy’ is an unrealistic affair so often propagated by media and   high corporate ranks that are fearing the loss of power and money behind such   a much awaited and inevitable process.

 

Source: http://thenofrontiers.blogspot.com/2010/04/4th-revolution-energyautonomyorg.html

 

African renewables potential mapped

Bernard Appiah

1 March 2012 |

Some of the best potential   for solar power is in the Sahara belt

European Commission Joint   Research Centre

Tapping into Africa’s renewable   energy could transform living standards across the continent, according   to a report that has mapped the potential of renewables in the region.

The report aims to help   African governments set up renewable energy plans, and has called for the   urgent transfer of relevant knowledge to research and technology partners in   Africa.

“Only if much of the   research, prototyping, demonstration and large-scale deployment are done by   African people, one can accelerate the uptake of renewable energy,” says   the report, published by the European Commission Joint Research Centre (JRC)   last month (8 February).

Renewable energy has   particular relevance in remote and rural areas, where around 600 million   people live without electricity, and where renewables would be cheaper than   extending national grid services, the report says.

The authors used   geographical data to map out regions that could generate electricity from the   sun, wind, biomass and water. They then identified those regions where using   renewables might be cheaper than existing sources such as diesel or   electricity grids.

“We found good wind   energy potential in North Africa and good solar energy potential in Sub-Saharan Africa   and the Sahara belt,” said the report’s editor, Fabio Monforti-Ferrario.

The report says small   hydroelectric power plants would suit Equatorial Africa, where many people   live closer to river systems than to existing electricity grids.

Monforti-Ferrario added that   “biomass   is the ‘green gold’ of Central Africa”, but cautioned against its   widespread use on sustainability grounds.

Speaking more broadly, he   said Africa’s ability to tap the potential of renewables potential is   hampered by reliance on subsidised diesel fuel.

“It is the policy of   African countries to keep the cost of diesel low, even though [this policy]   is unsustainable. It makes the use of [alternatives like] photovoltaic   systems unattractive to consumers,” he said.

This view is backed by   Dieter Holm, honorary   board member of the International Solar Energy Society based in South Africa.   But he said the report had focused too heavily on petrol subsidies, and not   enough on the ability of renewable to create jobs.

Holm said that in Africa   photovoltaics and wind energy can create 62 and 12 jobs per gigawatt hour of   electricity produced respectively, compared to less than one job in the coal   industry for the same energy output.

“Political   decision-makers in Africa should be well-informed of the overall potential of   renewable energy sources in terms of electricity generation, job creation,   and environmental sustainability,” Holm told SciDev.Net.

 

Link   to full report      [3.16MB]

 

Source: http://www.scidev.net/en/climate-change-and-energy/renewable-energy/news/african-renewables-potential-mapped.html

Links to other resources  

From the Mara Soil – a Film About Simple and Natural Solutions to Poverty, Hunger and Disease

 

Title From the Mara Soil – a Film About Simple and Natural Solutions to   Poverty, Hunger and Disease
Director(s) Steve Schrenzel
Date   released (year) 2011
Production   company Global   Resource Alliance
Length 39.33
Location Tanzania
Keywords/tags Global hunger,   natural resources
Link to film http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5AaYsZYz3VI
Synopsis What if global hunger, poverty and disease could be solved with resources   already at our disposal? From the Mara Soil transports you to a community in   rural Tanzania that is doing just that – solving humanity’s greatest   challenges with simple, natural and affordable solutions.

A small plot of sandy, dry land is being transformed into a nutrient-rich   food forest. Women are escaping the hazards of daily life by capturing the   energy of the sun. The community is discovering cures to deadly disease in   local plants and natural medicine. A local non-profit is tapping into clean,   pure water just below the bedrock….

This visually stunning film captures the daily pain and suffering caused by   poverty in Tanzania, and the creativity and courage of the Mara community in   finding practical solutions to their own problems.

Source: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5AaYsZYz3VI

Reviews/discussion Hilton Worldwide LightStay Sustainability Award &   Fund, 2012   Hilton Worldwide and Sundance Institute
Best Short Documentary Film, 2012 Peace on Earth Film Festival   Chicago, IL
Best Sustainable Practices Film, 2011 Green Screen Environmental Film   Festival Santa Monica, CA

GRA is an all-volunteer 501(c)(3) organization   dedicated to bringing hope, joy and abundance in the Mara Region of Tanzania.   By sharing ideas, volunteers and financial resources with local, community   based organizations we seek to promote natural, holistic and sustainable   solutions to the challenges of poverty, malnutrition and disease. The   inspiration and leadership for our work comes from the communities we serve.   We believe that empowering local communities to address pressing social,   economic and environmental challenges according to their own vision and their   own creative potential is the key to lasting solutions.

Source: http://www.globalresourcealliance.org/

 

Links to   other resources Dryland Permaculture with Bill   Mollison: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JmdCIqNG5BI

See Hope in a Changing Climate: http://www.open.edu/openlearn/whats-on/ou-on-the-bbc-hope-changing-climate

http://permacultureglobal.com

http://permaculturevisions.com

Baka People: Facing changes in African forests

Title Baka People: Facing changes   in African forests
Director(s) Participatory production
Date released (year) 2009
Production company UNDP
Length 12.7 mins
Location Cameroon
Keywords/tags Climate change, deforestation, poverty, adaptation
Link to film http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AgerTDO4r6M
Synopsis Living   in the Central African forests, the Baka hunter gatherers formed an   organization called Okani (meaning “rise up” in Baka) to help train   other communities in filming and story-telling techniques. This first film   from the Baka People in Eastern Cameroon shows how they are coping with the   impacts of climate change and the swift transformations of their habitat.   This film is an Okani-Insight http://www.insightshare.org production, part of   Conversations with Earth Initiative http://www.conversationsearth.org . It is one of several   experiences around the world in which indigenous communities are using videos   to voice their concerns. These projects were funded by UNDP’s human rights   programmes through the Global Environmental Facility Small Grants Programme http://sgp.undp.org/
Reviews/discussion From   WWF:

 

Climate   change impacts in Cameroon – what the IPCC 4th Assessment Report has found:

 

Possible direct impacts of sea-level rise in Cameroon,   indicate that a 15 % increase in rainfall by the year 2100 would likely   decrease the penetration of salt water in the Wouri estuary. Alternatively,   with an 11% decrease in rainfall, the salt water could extend up to about 70   km upstream.

In the Gulf of Guinea, sea-level rise could induce   overtopping and even destruction of the low barrier beaches that limit the   coastal lagoons, while changes in precipitation could affect the discharges   of rivers feeding them. These changes could also affect lagoonal fisheries   and aquaculture [9.4.6]

 

Source: http://wwf.panda.org/about_our_earth/aboutcc/problems/rising_temperatures/hotspot_map/cameroon.cfm   Climate change impacts in Cameroon

 

From   Babatope Akinwande:

 

Climate   Conversations – Forest communities in Cameroon cannot adapt to climate change   alone | Thu., November 22

 

YAOUNDE, Cameroon (14   November, 2012)_Rural communities in Cameroon rely heavily on forests for   everything from their nutritional and medicinal needs to fuel for cooking and   will be unable to adapt to climate change without significant outside help, a   new study has found.

 

That could include anything   from setting up a meteorological observatory to help farmers during planting   season, to the establishment of research and action programmes by governments   to support communities in increasing the effectiveness of their adaptation   strategies.

 

The Center for International   Forestry Research’s (CIFOR’s) Congo Basin   and Climate Change Adaptation (CoFCCA) project was developed in   2008 to increase public and policy awareness about the heavy reliance both   rural and urban areas have on animal and plant products coming from the   second largest continuous tropical rainforest in the world. It also looked at   ways in which to protect communities – as well as the natural resources – as   the world experiences dramatic shifts in precipitation and temperature.

 

A key lesson was that, no   matter how pertinent, local knowledge was not enough, said Denis Sonwa, one   of the authors of a paper resulting from the study,   focusing specifically on Cameroon. Sonwa’s team looked at the most vulnerable   sectors in Cameroon, including energy derived from fuel wood. They focused on   charcoal production and consumption, interviewing everyone from the producers   and transporters to sellers and consumers to find out how each stakeholder   perceived climate change and how it affected their activities.

 

“They were all concerned   about the unpredictable rainy and dry seasons which affect levels of production,   consumption, and earnings,” said Patrice Metenou, a post-graduate researcher   involved in the project, adding that all were vulnerable to climate change   but at very different levels.

 

While producers, transporters   and sellers of fuel wood could revert to other means of income or hike up the   prices of their products and services during the rainy season, when things   slowed down, for instance, consumers were all-but stuck.

 

Dependent on charcoal for   cooking, they had no choice but to cope with shortages or inflated prices. Metenou   noted, too, that each stakeholder often had to devise several different ways   to adapt to the changes.

“During the prolonged dry   season, when charcoal makers need large quantities of water to produce a   better quality of charcoal, they move closer to sources of water,” he said,   pointing to one example.

“During the rainy season,   they buy large tarpaulins to cover their products while waiting for buyers.”

 

The Congo Basin is the second   largest and most intact tropical forest region of the world after the   Amazonian forests. Covering some 228 million hectares, it represents   approximately 20 percent of the world’s remaining tropical forest. These   forests cover about 60 percent of the total land area of six countries of the   central African countries of Cameroon, Central African Republic, Gabon,   Equatorial Guinea, Republic of Congo and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Forests are important to the   indigenous people in the Congo Basin where more than 80% of people live   exclusively on agriculture, fisheries, and livestock. Harvesting activities   are highly dependent on climate in the region.

According to Sonwa, “Planning   climate adaptation strategies with the forest communities in the Congo Basin   is absolutely fundamental and urgent in order to cope with the projected   inevitable climate impacts”.

 

This research was conducted   under the CIFOR’s CoFCCA (Congo Basin Forest Climate Change   Adaptation) project which is part of the Climate Change Adaptation in Africa (CCAA)   Program supported by the International   Development Research Centre (IDRC)and the Department for   International Development (DFID).

 

Source: http://www.trust.org/alertnet/blogs/climate-conversations/forest-communities-in-cameroon-cannot-adapt-to-climate-change-alone/

Links to other resources Also see: https://ejoltdocumentaries.wordpress.com/tag/climate-change-2/

 

Ernest L Molua & Cornelius M Lambi (2007) The Economic   Impact of Climate Change on Agriculture in Cameroon. The World Bank

Development Research Group, Sustainable Rural and Urban Development   Team, Policy Research Working Paper 4364.

A Thousand Suns

Title A Thousand Suns – Global Oneness Project (Part   1)
Director(s) Stephen Marshall
Date released (year) 2009
Production company ChannelSideBySide
Length 8.50mins
Location Ethiopia
Keywords/tags Indigenous, climate change, agriculture, food security
Link to film http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7bNhTYxYfV4
Synopsis A Thousand Suns tells   the story of the Gamo Highlands of the African Rift Valley and the unique   worldview held by the people of the region. This isolated area has remained   remarkably intact both biologically and culturally. It is one of the most   densely populated rural regions of Africa yet its people have been farming   sustainably for 10,000 years. Shot in Ethiopia, New York and Kenya, the film   explores the modern world’s untenable sense of separation from and   superiority over nature and how the interconnected worldview of the Gamo   people is fundamental in achieving long-term sustainability, both in the   region and beyond.

Source: http://www.globalonenessproject.org/library/films/thousand-suns

Reviews/discussion The Global Oneness   Project is a digital, ad-free, bi-monthly magazine. Through stories, we   explore the threads that connect culture, ecology, and beauty. Our collection   of films, photography, and essays feature diverse and dynamic voices from   around the world.

Source: http://www.globalonenessproject.org/about-project

A. Nyong,  F. Adesina & B. Osman Elasha (2007) The   value of indigenous knowledge in climate change mitigation and adaptation   strategies in the African Sahel, Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change
Volume   12, Issue 5 , pp 787-797.

Abstract

Past global efforts at   dealing with the problem of global warming concentrated on mitigation, with   the aim of reducing and possibly stabilizing greenhouse gas (GHG)   concentrations in the atmosphere. With the slow progress in achieving this,   adaptation was viewed as a viable option to reduce the vulnerability to the   anticipated negative impacts of global warming. It is increasingly realized   that mitigation and adaptation should not be pursued independent of each   other but as complements. This has resulted in the recent calls for the   integration of adaptation into mitigation strategies. However, integrating   mitigation and adaptation into climate change concerns is not a completely   new idea in the African Sahel. The region is characterized by severe and   frequent droughts with records dating back into centuries. The local   populations in this region, through their indigenous knowledge systems, have   developed and implemented extensive mitigation and adaptation strategies that   have enabled them reduce their vulnerability to past climate variability and   change, which exceed those predicted by models of future climate change.   However, this knowledge is rarely taken into consideration in the design and   implementation of modern mitigation and adaptation strategies. This paper   highlights some indigenous mitigation and adaptation strategies that have   been practiced in the Sahel, and the benefits of integrating indigenous   knowledge into formal climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies.   Incorporating indigenous knowledge can add value to the development of   sustainable climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies that are rich   in local content, and planned in conjunction with local people.

Source: http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11027-007-9099-0#

Links to other resources Oxfam report on climate change in Ethiopia: http://www.oxfam.org/pressroom/pressrelease/2010-04-22/climate-change-increasing-poverty-and-vulnerability-ethiopia

Marius Keller, Climate Risks and   Development Projects: Assessment Report for a Community-Level Project in   Guduru, Oromiya, Ethiopia. Source: http://www.iisd.org/cristaltool/documents/BFA-Ethiopia-Assessment-Report-Eng.pdf