WG 3 renewable energies and climate change.... next steps

  • rahulingle
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Re: WG 3 renewable energies and climate change.... next steps

message sent by Rahul Ingle to WG3 on 29th April 2011

Dear members of the SuSanA working group Sanitation, renewable energies and climate change,
This is to officially introduce you to the new mailing list of the SuSanA working group 3 (sanitation, renewable energies and climate change susana.org/index.php/lang-en/working-groups/wg03 ). The mailing list has been created to help facilitate the communication among working group members and to offer a convenient and easy-to-use forum for future discussions.
From now on all relevant future communication within the group can be done by simply posting to the following email address: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. In my capacity as the working group lead I will be responsible to approve the emails to avoid spam and irrelevant emails to avoid clogging of inbox.
Allow me to take this opportunity to introduce myself. I am Rahul Ingle, working for the GIZ (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit) in Sustainable sanitation – Ecosan program in Eschborn for the more than two and half years. I am an Architect (B.Arch) and Infrastructure planner (M.Sc Infra), and have worked for 4.5 years in Architecture and Project management prior to joining GIZ. In the past two years I have been coordinating the SuSanA working group on ‘Sanitation, cities and planning’ and we have come up with the book publication on ‘Sustainable Sanitation in Cities: a framework for action’ susana.org/lang-en/library?view=ccbktypeitem&type=2&id=1019 . I am looking forward to working closely with you and hope to see your active participation in the our working group.

SuSanA working group 3 Factsheet: what next?
The terms of reference prepared for our working group ( www.susana.org/lang-en/library/rm-susana...peitem&type=2&id=547 ) indicates the following proposed activities for the working group: to prepare
• Factsheet
• comprehensive major brochure
• collection of case studies
• Practical guide for farmers (reuse of wastewater and sludge for biomass production)
• practical guide for users (e.g. biogas for households)
We have so far produced a factsheet. What would be our next steps? Any suggestions?

Looking forward to hearing from you...

Best regards

Rahul

Best regards,

Rahul Ingle
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  • rahulingle
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Re: WG 3 renewable energies and climate change.... next steps

From: E-Systems
Sent: Tuesday, May 03, 2011 8:41 AM
To: Ingle, Rahul GIZ
Subject: Re: [Wg3] SuSanA WG3 Mailing List / next SuSanA Meeting

Dear Mr. Rahul,

Thanks for this. I read the old terms of reference document.
I think the work proposed needs radical rethinking. It is the same old tired UNese blah blah.
Studies and ideas and brochures that no one will read, that is based upon no coherent idea of innovation and social change.

What I would propose is a series of demonstration projects - linked closely with small businesses, housing developers, progressive municipal governments, and community groups that are designed to test new ideas in the field and lead to sustainable solutions and even small businesses. You yourself must know of such things e.g. the network of dry toilets near Durban South Africa, or Sulabh´s work in India, etc., some interesting stories I´ve heard about biogas digesters made from water storage tanks in Cairo. There are many others.

What we need is to get these ideas to pay for themselves, to be deeply integrated into housing and building design, and into municipal infrastructure planning. It needs to be done in a serious professional way. A focussed set of carefully monitored and financed demonstration projects, in strategically chosen areas, done in a way to build long term engineering and financing capacity.

How to do it and how to pay for it - should be the question.


Rob Lichtman, Director
e-SYSTEMS
Roerstraat 54
1078 LR Amsterdam
The Netherlands
WEBSITE: www.esysfound.org

Best regards,

Rahul Ingle
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  • rahulingle
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Re: WG 3 renewable energies and climate change.... next steps

From: "Ingle, Rahul GIZ"
To: "wg3"
Sent: Wednesday, May 4, 2011 6:09:52 PM
Subject: [Wg3] FW: SuSanA WG3 Mailing List / next SuSanA Meeting
Dear All,

@ Rob- Thanks for your email. I am forwarding your email to the entire group so we could discuss it together. To send an email to the group please click on ‘reply to all’.

I agree with Rob that we should focus on knowledge exchange from different demonstration projects. But this effort has already been initiated by SuSanA through its case studies. There are a couple of case studies on the topics mentioned by Rob. See the links below.

Case studies on projects on biogas/DEWATS system: www.susana.org/lang-en/case-studies?vbls...=27&showby=updateasc
South africa case: www.susana.org/lang-en/case-studies?show...esc&search=ethekwini

Surely more information on projects related to the topic of our working group is required and members are welcome to share their project experiences through SuSanA case study format ( www.susana.org/images/documents/06-case-...cs-template-2011.doc ).

But what next? How do can we put all these experiences together ?

Hope to hear from the group…

Regards

Rahul

Best regards,

Rahul Ingle
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  • rahulingle
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Re: WG 3 renewable energies and climate change.... next steps

From: E-Systems
Sent: 2011 May 04 09:27 PM
To: Ingle, Rahul GIZ
Subject: Re: [Wg3] FW: SuSanA WG3 Mailing List / next SuSanA Meeting

Rahul

Thanks -to amplify this further. There are lots of examples of pieces of the puzzle. But integrated systems - biogas with reedbed or fish based systems that might also create recreational or park areas, larger scale dry or urine seperation toilets at a neighborhood income producing scale, either linked with eco-housing schemes or even supermarkets which produce lots of organic wastes etc. But not studies - larger scale demo projects where GIZ and other donor funds are put together either to invest and monitor, or perhaps act as loan guarantees for more private sector initiatives. Eventually you want to start businesses to stimulate this - to provide services to slum upgrades or municipal housing projects or large commercial buildings.

But please no more studies, less knowledge exchange and more knowledge generation - fewer conferences. Facts on the ground that build things, and companies to employ especially unskilled or low skilled labour and help them earn and learn, and new design firms that can work with developers and city governments, etc.


Rob Lichtman, Director
e-SYSTEMS
Roerstraat 54
1078 LR Amsterdam
The Netherlands
WEBSITE: www.esysfound.org

Best regards,

Rahul Ingle
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  • rahulingle
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Re: WG 3 renewable energies and climate change.... next steps

Dear All,

Rob’s got a point, to a point (to coin a phrase...). Such projects, as opposed to case studies and pilot plants will firstly have a much greater impact as far as creating public and professional awareness is concerned, and secondly should be able to “generate” knowledge, especially if unskilled labour or even specialist companies (both local, of course) can be drawn in and walk away trained. This will obviously not only help create a new fraternity of relevant specialists but also – in the long-term – benefit the environment etc.

So far so good.

Yet I don’t see at the moment how SuSanA could be pulling such a stunt. I mean: this is a bunch of extremely active and enthusiastic scientists/engineers/nutcases but most are attending to real jobs in real lives as well. How could a multi-million project involving exact and long-term planning be conducted by such a loose agglomeration? Mind you: I hate throwing spokes into wheels, yet I so far cannot answer the question how that should come about.

But I’m extremely eager to learn...

Kind Regards,
Mit freundlichen Grüssen,
Erich C. Schmollgruber, CEO
Finuk CC t/a Wettech SA
40 Textile Street, Paarl 7620, Western Cape, South Africa
Web: www.wettech-sa.com

Best regards,

Rahul Ingle
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  • rahulingle
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Re: WG 3 renewable energies and climate change.... next steps

Dear Rob and Erich,

Thanks for your opinions. I do agree with you that more needs to be done on ground in creating an enabling environment for private sector initiatives to foster the concepts of sustainable sanitation. But like Erich rightly pointed out there are limitations to what SuSanA as a loose network can do. SuSanA positions itself as a catalyst from commitment to action. It aims at providing a platform for all participating organisations to share their knowledge and expertise. In other words it is a think tank. It is not an organisation nor does it have funds to support projects. Many foresee SuSanA to get involved in individual projects but thats unrealistic as long as it is an informal network where members offer their free time to work with it.

Do reports, documents, studies help? well, in my opinion it is a cycle. If there is a project and if it is not well documented it does not generate much of knowledge and a case study without a project means there is nothing there to study. There are a lot of projects out there which have gone undocumented and not known to anyone. There are a few large scale projects documented within SuSanA like the EU ecosan program in Burkina Faso, Ethekwini from South Africa etc and surely there is need for more. A lot of capacity building, training and effort to attract private enterprises has been made in these projects.

Assuming SuSanA's role as a catalyst we can therefore influnce the cycle through knowledge exchange. Challenging its role would be a part of the large discussion of SuSanA itself. So we need to keep focus on the aims of the working group i.e sanitation in context of renewable energies and climate change.

In our fact sheet we talk about the potential of energy generation through biogas technology and possibilities to adapt to climate change. However in many examples from Biogas installations the energy generated from wastewater from households is pretty low and demotivating to the owners or community. On the other hand a lot of treatment plants in Germany for example have biogasplants that supplement the energy consumption for the treatment plants and function succesfully.

Is there a gap in technology transfer of biogas systems from succesful bio gas plants installations in developed countries to those in the developing countries or is it a gap in expectations from a biogas plant? are biogas plants anymore recommendable in decentralised solutions for individual households or even a community? are there succesful examples to your knowledge?

Is there a potential of Biochar in reducing the climate change impact? ( en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biochar )

Are there are any other ways of adaptating to climate change using sanitation?

Hope to hear from you!

best regards

Rahul

Best regards,

Rahul Ingle
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  • sunder.s
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Re: WG 3 renewable energies and climate change.... next steps

Considering (a) the WG 3 topic -- the confluence of sanitation, renewable energies and climate change and (b) the inherent limitations of of an informal group in taking on large projectised agendas, as next steps, the WG could possibly initially explore the option of narrowing the bandwidth to areas of the world where the targeted advocacy, policy advisory support, and possibly technical assistance via the WG forum on the interface of sanitation, renewables and climate change could play a force multiplier role. Examples of such areas could be say: small islands developing states, especially those of coral origin, and mountain communities, especially in developing nation contexts such as in the Hindukush Himalaya, Andes, and elsewhere. The reasons for these choices are fairly obvious, and I'd be happy to spell these out if necessary :)

Therefore, why not set up a task group to develop define the parameters for an agenda for a time-bound program deployment in this direction??

Cheers all,

Sunder

Sunder Subramanian
International Development and Infrastructure Advisor/Consultant
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  • muench
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Re: Updating the factsheet of WG 3 which was written in 2009

Dear all,

I have no direct answer to Sunder's suggestions above - it all depends on who has time to put into this working group to move something like this along.

My posting today is about the factsheet of WG 3. As you probably know we from the SuSanA secretariat are compiling all the working group factsheets into one book right now and are therefore taking another close look at all the existing factsheets.
Some of them have been worked on intensively by the working groups and are now available in an updated version.

The same could have been done for the factsheet of WG 3, but it has traditionally been difficult to find an active lead for this group who could drive such a process forward...

The factsheet in its current state is online here:
www.susana.org/lang-en/library/rm-susana...ypeitem&type=2&id=99

It was published in 2009.

I am no expert on this topic but have reviewed the factsheet and made some minor text improvements and also added some new sentences (see marked in yellow). This was mainly in the section on biogas, and on how to prevent unintentional biogas production and release into the atmosphere from sanitation systems. I found it had been written too theoretically, e.g. saying (more or less) "we should do away with all septic tanks as they release methane - and/or they must all have flares". "Build constructed wetlands instead as they are aerobic" (not strictly true and they also have a pre-treatment step which is most commonly a settling tank where biogas can also escape).

I also wonder if some new publications should be cited (as the reference list is supposed to list the most important publications in the field of the factsheet). E.g. I have now added the recently published GIZ technology reviews on constructed wetlands and biogas sanitation - for the biogas part of the factsheet.

So in short, please provide your input to updating this factsheet, we would like to hear from you (by 20 November ideally). I have made a start and you can see my main changes marked in yellow in the attached file. - All main contributors will be named in the factsheet, either as authors or as contributors.
(volunteers for lead or co-lead for this group are also welcome!).

Climate change is a real "hot topic" in German development cooperation and worldwide, so it is strategically important if SuSanA has a good, up-to-date factsheet showing the links between sanitation, renewable energy and climate change (in the field of climate change adaption and mitigation).

Kind regards,
Elisabeth

Community manager and chief moderator of this forum
(Funded via GIZ short term consultancy contract)

Dr. Elisabeth von Muench
Independent consultant located in Brisbane, Australia
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Twitter: @EvMuench
Sanitation Wikipedia project leader: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:WikiProject_Sanitation
My Wikipedia user profile: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:EMsmile

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  • secretariat
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  • SuSanA secretariat currently allocates 2 full time person equivalents of time from members of GIZ Sustainable Sanitation Team: Arne Panesar, Cecilia Rodrigues, Shobana Srinivasan, Mintje Büürma, Franziska Volk and interns Judith Munz and Maximilian Schneider.
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Re: Updating the factsheet of WG 3 which was written in 2009

I am posting this on behalf of Cecila Sundberg (from Sweden) who is one of the authors of the factsheet and has provided some comments. See the attachment below for the full factsheet with comments and edits. Thank you, Cecilia. (posted by EvM)

+++++++++++++++++++
Her comments include:
A1:
I do not know where to fit it in, but I think it would be good to add a bit more on emissions from different treatment systems, not only of methane but also N2O.

Good reference: Life cycle assessment of vertical and horizontal flow constructed wetlands for wastewater treatment considering nitrogen and carbon greenhouse gas emissions Original Research Article
Water Research, Volume 45, Issue 5, February 2011, Pages 2073-2081
Valerie J. Fuchs, James R. Mihelcic, John S. Gierke doi:10.1016/j.watres.2010.12.021

A2:
Mining of P for P fertiliser production is much less energy intensive than N-production.

A3:
Feacal sludge is often too old and stabilised to have any biogas potenial. I‘d rather write „fresh faecal sludge“ or something like that.

Posted by a member of the SuSanA secretariat held by the GIZ Sustainable sanitation sector program
Located at Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, Eschborn, Germany
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  • rahulingle
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Re: Updating the factsheet of WG 3 which was written in 2009

Dear All,

Please find attached an updated version of the factsheet with some additional changes to the version commented by Cecilia and Elisabeth. I would appreciate your comments preferably by Friday 9th Dec to finalise the factsheet.

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Thanks and best regards

Rahul

Best regards,

Rahul Ingle

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  • sunder.s
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Re: Updating the factsheet of WG 3 which was written in 2009

Dear Rahul,

Will go through this in detail and see if I can give more inputs by CoB 9th; but my first impressions are that the climate dimensions are somewhat weak. I suppose we do not have enough time, but ideally, we ought to split this into two separate fact sheets to do justice to the topics -- one on Sanitation and Renewable Energy, and another one on Sanitation and Climate Change (both adaptation and mitigation). Given time, I'd volunteer to take a crack at attempting this -- it would be well worth the effort.

Cheers,

Sunder

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  • roblichtman
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Re: WG 3 renewable energies and climate change.... next steps

Sorry you have to give us more than 2 days notice on such things (if you want a serious review). This is a hectic time of year. Some of the biogas info seems dated - we built super cheap plastic models that outperform fixed dome digsters, all published in late 90s. See Energy for Sustainable Development, Lichtman et. al. Improved Biogas Systems Project 1999 (peer reviewed, top tech people). Systems now being rolled out for testing in Bangladesh as well. Just no time to go through the rest- I know well the arguements for poor gas yields from humans but we keep hearing anecdotal evidence from So Africa (Greg Austin in the network here) and some 100l plastic drum work all over Cairo that it can be a useful supplement-perhaps 1-2 meals p day, esp. if seeded also with kitchen wastes.

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