A Clean Solar Alternative to Kerosene Lamps, Nepal

by Environmental Camps for Conservation Awareness
May 29, 2007

Solar Tuki - Nepal

TRAININGS CONDUCTED • Motivator training to the field staffs of INGOs / NGOs and various projects • Training camp for the youths focused on preparing the youths as promoters of alternative and renewable energy • Training camp for the children and formation of children club - which conduct small scale follow-up activities and community orientation program in their local community • Orientation on clean technology to the community, workers and staff of companies, Cooperatives, Forest Users’ Group, etc. • Repair and maintenance training: for the people from the area where solar tuki are being promoted

DISTRIBUTION • The no. of solar tuki sets distributed has exceeded the original target of 800 sets. Total 1,218 sets of Solar Tuki along with 41 single lamp units were distributed through the Global Development Marketplace during the period (July 2005 – March 2007). • Additional 4,000 sets have been distributed through micro-financing scheme supported by World Bank Nepal Development Marketplace, Global Environment Facility, WWF Nepal Program, and private Nepalese companies and directly on cash.

SOCIAL IMPACT STUDY Based upon the field visits, the baseline information collected before the distribution of Solar Tuki, the post Tuki survey report and the feedback received from the village level partner organizations (through whom solar tukis are being promoted), Impact study report has been prepared. Some of the major points are: • Light: 13,000 rooms have clean, white and smokeless light • Radio: able to listen for a longer time and to a variety of programs without having to worry the increase in cost • Poverty eradication and a new economy: resource (sun) is made into an economic value, creating employment • Education: allows children to study longer, children listen to radio (are informed about current information) and stay competitive with the rest of the students. Children can now stay inside the mosquito net and study • Policy direction/Donor education: zero subsidy model, rather than providing subsidy - focus is to be made on supporting through start-up capital, quality control, central warehouse, access to credit market • Long-term infrastructure: the infrastructure created can also be used to role out new products and services. New campaign – “Solar Tuki Plus” includes mobile phone and CDMA phone (which has spread to rural areas where there is no electricity) charger, 12volt black & white TV, fan for improved cook-stove. • Environment (no fumes emission, no indoor pollution) • Better health (less amount spent in medicine, soap) • Foreign currency saving • Energy security • Reduced fire hazards

NEW APPROACH TAKEN • Instead of developing new Users’ group / Saving and Credit Group and training them, linkage was established with the existing groups. These groups had been developed by various other projects (Government of Nepal/UNDP program, WWF, Winrock International, etc.). • Repair and maintenance training has now been incorporated in the regular work plan of the manufacturer. The manufacturers have now been convinced to bear this cost as well – which will support in the long-term sustainability of the solar tuki program. Through this approach, the technical skill has been transferred to the local level Solar Tuki service centre without additional cost to the consumer. The local transportation cost is borne by the user’s group/trainee and the cost of food and accommodation during the training period is borne by the manufacturer. Also, now, no separate fund needs to be searched for the repair and maintenance trainings.

THE FUTURE: MOVING ONE STEP AHEAD • Focus on community charging model of solar tuki (deviation from the present house-to-house charging model)

From the experience and the feedback received from the community, we have learned that more no. of poorest of the poor people could be reached though the community charging model. In this model, one large size solar panel (say 50 Watt or 65 Watt) along with charger having many (say, 20 or 30 or 40) outlets (where lamp units brought by villagers will be connected) will be placed in a community building (say, school, ward office, etc.). People will bring their solar tuki lamp to charge there. This way, people will have to buy only the solar tuki lamp (which costs only $11 per piece) - which means, it would not be necessary for each consumer to buy the costlier solar panel ($28) (which means, poor people will have to invest less money). Thus, more no. of poor people could be reached.

Extra value addition will be the use of the solar panel in charging the local battery system so as to light the community building itself (where adult literacy class, income generation activities, etc. could be conducted during the evening hours).

In the present house-to-house charging model, each house owns 2.5 Watt solar panel to charge 2 lamp units. Cost of panel is high. They have to pay US$50 for one panel and 2 lamp units.

• New campaign of “Solar Tuki Plus”

As people have become familiar and used-to with the new technology of Solar Tuki, they are now demanding additional features. The recent introduction of mobile phone and CDMA phone and its network expansion by the Nepalese telecom companies have also influenced the demand (of solar powered phone chargers) by the rural communities (since most part of the country lacks electricity supply). “Solar Tuki Plus” package includes mobile phone and CDMA phone (which has spread to rural areas where there is no electricity) charger, 12volt black & white TV, fan for improved cook-stove.

ADDITIONAL ACTIVITIES • Long-term strategy has been developed considering the production aspect, distribution aspect and social mobilization • Understandings have been developed with different institutions (e.g. development banks, others INGOs, local savings and credit groups) for promoting as well as investing in the solar tuki • Manufacturing and distribution of the solar tuki is being developed as a self-sustaining business, for which, training for the entrepreneurs (who want to start manufacturing) has been given, concept of central warehouse has been developed • The participation of the private sector has opened the door of unlimited opportunity in scaling and sustainability. Based upon this agreement, possibility has been enhanced in including the private sector in this LIGHT FOR ALL campaign. • WWF Nepal Program has also contributed financially in the revolving fund managed by the local community group in Bardiya (Far Western Nepal) through their on-going program. The possibility of solar tuki promotion through Forest User Group Coordination Committee and using the income to support the health post was discussed. The fund from micro-financing institutes and Saving Credit Group formed by Winrock International will also be used along with support from GDM Revolving Fund • 47 sets solar tukis and 54 pcs of lamp units and 2 larger sets for adult literacy classes were promoted through Community Learning Centers (located in Dadeldhura in far west Nepal) established by UNESCO Nepal • Solar Tuki Sharing Workshop for Members of Parliament To share the knowledge and experience gained during the solar tuki promotion in the past two years, sharing workshop was organized in Kathmandu for the Members of House of Representatives on August 9, 2006. The program was attended by 23 persons including 7 Members of Parliament (MP) from the 9 districts targeted by the Government of Nepal for the “Karnali Illuminated Program” (where 60,000 solar tuki are planned to be promoted from the national budget of fiscal year 2006/07).

MAJOR ACHIEVEMENTS REGARDING REPLICATION AND SCALABILITY • Government of Nepal has recognized Solar Tuki (the technology itself) as a tool for providing light in rural areas and has initiated “Karnali Illuminated Program” through the fiscal year 2006/07 national budget. Under this program, 60,000 solar tuki will be promoted in 9 remote districts. Government has allocated Nepalese Rupees 250 million (US$ 3.5 million) for this program. • Various international donor agencies are supporting the Nepalese Government in providing subsidy (around 50%) for Solar Tuki in rural districts through Alternate Energy Promotion Center (AEPC).



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Organization Information

Environmental Camps for Conservation Awareness

Location: Lalitpur, Bagmati - Nepal
Website: http:/​/​www.ecca.org.np
Project Leader:
Prachet Kumar Shrestha
Team Leader
Kathmandu, Bagmati Nepal
$20,730 raised of $50,000 goal
500 donations
$29,270 to go
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