Address:
International Energy Initiative,
Asian Regional Energy Initiative,
80-B Spencer Road, 2nd Cross, Fraser Town,
Bangalore 560 005,
India

Telephone:
+91 80 2555 3375

Fax:
+91 80 2555 3375

E-mail:
ieiblr@vsnl.com

 

The Asian Regional Energy Initiative of the IEI

Integrating energy conservation practices towards sustainable agriculture: the case of small farms in India

IEIís Asian Regional Initiative in Bangalore has designed a field project for demonstrating energy conservation practices towards sustainable agriculture.  The objective is to improve the efficiency and sustainability of agriculture in densely-populated regions, integrating benefits for farmers, the utilities, and the environment.  The project focuses on energy-efficiency in using the main agricultural inputs -- water and fertilizer.  Irrigation efficiency is to be improved by replacing the existing pumping devices with more efficient pumps and introducing efficient application (through sprinkler and drip systems).  Simultaneously, longer-term soil improvement will be brought about through natural means (composting, crop-rotation, etc.).  Demonstration will take place at small farms growing fruits and vegetables in our home state of Karnataka (in south-west India).

The project model is rare, as it applies Integrated Resource Planning to the agricultural sector, promoting (economic and environmental) least-cost options for bridging the gap between the supply and demand for agricultural inputs.  It is also innovative in its integrative approach Ė combining efficiency of energy, water and soil use, and juxtaposing the interests of farmers, utilities and the environment.  The main financial support for the implementation is being obtained from the Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy, as this is one of the projects they have selected for their 5th round of Sustainable Energy Project Support.



Promoting the use of solar energy

As a part of our efforts for the promotion of renewable sources of energy, (indicated in previous newsletters), we have been advocating the use of solar-powered lighting devices.  In particular, during the last six months, we have been involved in the promotion of solar-based light emitting diodes (LEDs) fixtures, for street lighting.  While the use of solar energy results in direct conservation of electricity, the LED-based devices further increase the energy saving, as they are more efficacious (in terms of luminous output per unit of energy).  Moreover, the relative durability of LEDs, as compared with the fluorescent options (tubular and compact), reduces the cost and effort of replacement; this is important for the maintenance of public lighting.


Ten LED-based solar-powered street-posts have been installed on a stretch of roadway at a new residential colony (in Mysore, Karnataka).  Battery back-up has been provided for 12 hours per day, more than sufficient for dusk-to-dawn illumination.