NGOs Should Turn to Clean Energy Tech for Disaster Relief
In the wake of two devastating earthquakes in Nepal, aid groups are looking at a larger role for clean technology in disaster preparedness and response.
“Clean energy technologies, especially solar-powered generators, seem like a logical choice during disaster relief efforts, as they do not require fuel supplies to be shipped in,” Greentech Media’s Katherine Tweed reports on The Energy Collective. “Unlike more traditional technologies such as diesel generators, however, they are often not considered by NGOs during the planning process and are not warehoused and ready to go when emergencies happen.”
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After the first quake hit the Nepalese capital of Kathmandu, the engineering director of SunFarmer, Avishek Malla, installed a solar streetlight “to give his neighbourhood some light after two days without power,” Tweed writes. But the solution goes beyond a few streetlights.
With 1.4 million people affected by the quakes, “Malla is trying to collaborate with non-government organizations to help bring solar water purifiers and small solar-powered systems, under 200 watts, to villages in the hills hit hardest by the earthquake.”
In preparation for future disasters, “the cleantech sector needs to work more cohesively with large NGOs and local stakeholders before disasters happen, say professionals in the field. In some cases, that would involve rethinking how the organizations use power during a crisis, what standard equipment and interconnections look like, and how clean energy could scale in a disaster.”