Renewable Solutions for Green villages in the ‘stans’

Feb 8, 2016

Introducing Greenvillages from Marko Capek on Vimeo.

Written by Marko Capek

We asked ourselves “How to bring energy access to rural Tajikistan and the Kyrgyz Republic?” Of course, the energy would have to be green and renewable as it provides immediate solution for electricity access.  So we invited energy experts and decision makers from these two countries in November 2015 for a study tour to Croatia to work on possible solutions.

During the study tour we visited number of organizations in Croatia dealing with renewable energy and energy efficiency; from a technical, financial and educational perspective. We visited several Croatian companies and clusters which produce and install renewable energy technologies to get first hand experiences on how to strengthen the domestic industry in that field.

One interesting parts on the schedule was the visit to Primary school Ostrog in Kaštela which was a part of the succesfull crowdfunding campaing resulting with thermal insulation, LED lighting and a full roof of PVs.

Not many little cities own their own hidroplant!? So we headed to the small City of Pleternica with total population of 11, 300 people, where we visited a hydro power plant completely owned by the city.

«Zadar has the most beautiful sunset in the world” said Alfred Hitchcock. So we also had to go to check this out, and to see the Solar Education Center in Zadar with constant innovation in solar energy appliances. In the center you can become a certified installer of solar thermal and PV systems.

If you want to end up with a functioning Greenvillage you will also need local NGOs, enthusiasts and people outside of the system so we visited the Eco Village to meet local NGO that gathers organic gardeners, practitioners of environmentally friendly technologies, permaculture designers, academic researchers and social activists and performs education for utilisation of environmentally sound technologies in agriculture, housing and energy production.

Well, the focus of the study tour was to find solutions for energy access in rural areas, development of green SMEs with the focus on small size, distributed systems and cheap solutions. The technology introduced would have to be renewable and efficient and includes “do it yourself” solar thermal systems, rocket stoves and rocket mass heaters, small and large photovoltaic power plants, energy efficient cookstoves, small hydropower plants, energy efficient lighting, efficient agriculture and introduction of solar and rocket mass heater heated greenhouses and biogas power plants.  Each of the solutions will have to be followed by education of the local communities and funded with innovative financing methods.

At the time this study tour was happening, we were already performing workshops for “do it yourself” solar thermal systems (four workshops resulting in more then 45 systems and households with hot water), construction of rocket mass heater and solar heated greenhouses, distribution of efficient cookstoves and small PV systems (200 systems each) and setting grounds for the crowdfunding campaign to refurbish a school in rural Tajikistan. Study tour energized us for more sustainable ideas!

Stay tuned for the implemented results and more projects in 2016!