Tagged with 'Burundi'

Power One invests in smart hydro

Hydropower is a renewable source of electricity, but in traditional form it not only destroys entire valleys for its reservoirs, it also destroys natural biodiversity. But that is how it used to be. Today it is also an ecologically sustainable source. With today's so-called smart hydroelectric plants, no valleys are submerged. Biodiversity is not destroyed by these either. Power One has therefore decided to utilize the hydropower in the small river that flows through Kabonga. It is a small river, but with a constant flow even during the dry season, and is well suited for smart hydropower.

What is the difference between traditional and smart hydropower?

Last century was the century of large scale. At that time, almost all hydropower was built with dams and turbines. The dams were used to even out production during the year. However, these dams have placed large areas of forest land under water, while at the same time they have become obstacles to fish migrations. Not only the forests in the valley above the dam but also the biodiversity of the river were affected. Fish cannot get up or down alive through a turbine, and as many species of fish multiply in special places, to where they must move, entire species have also disappeared from river systems.

The smart hydropower does not use dams. By removing these, the disadvantages of hydropower are avoided, but at the same time, of course, its purpose disappears, to level out the seasonal changes of hydroelectric power. When using smart hydropower instead this has to be compensated by combining power sources that have different seasonal cycles, like wind and solar. In this way, both the costly and environmentally damaging dam plant is avoided. Instead, freedom is gained from using small and inexpensive systems that are also scalable. Instead of a single large plant, the fall height can be utilized in several places. Today thereare plenty of different varieties of smart hydro adapted to different conditions. Power One in Kabonga will therefore use different smart hydro in different parts of the river.An example of a smart hydro that does not affect biodiversity is the Dutch Turbulent. A Turbulent smart hydro costs between $ 80,000 to $ 300,000, but it generates approximately the same revenue in three year under favorable conditions. The water flow in the small river in Kabonga is at least 1 m2 per second, year-round. This is suitable for the smaller turbulent power plants, which are located at about 55 kW. To calculate the power economically, you multiply the installed power by 7500 and by the price per kilowatt. For a 55kW power plant in Kabonga, the calculation is 55 kW x 7,500 x 0.24 USD, which gives an annual revenue of $ 100,000 for an investment of $ 300,000. The fall height of the small river in Kabonga is just over two hundred meters, and since each power plant does not require more than a maximum height of 4 meters, the river can accommodate a large number of these, without negative impact on the river's fish and fauna. However, there are more models of smart hydro that are suitable for different conditions.

 

A design of smart hydropower requires many factors, including flow, altitude, geology and biology. Power One's Peter Rinaldo gives in the following filmed reportage a picture of how the initial design work in Power One goes.

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Power One has secured sustainable land for the solar park in Burundi

The municipality of Nyanza Lac initially offered government owned land for Power One to the solar park in Kabonga. However, the land was located directly at the shore of lake Tanganyika. Power One therefore decided to decline the offer to avoid disturbing the beautiful and delicate shoreline. Instead, another area was chosen for the solar park, located in a dry and suitable area.

The selected land is a dry area in between agricultural land and has 17 private owners. Power One's team has therefore met with the owners. There was a desire to sell and Power One's COO Séraphine Barigenera has now negotiated and agreed on a price with the owners. Now they all get paid well for their land, but the price is still within the budget on which the calculations are based.

 

Both the municipal council chairman in Nyanza Lac, Jean Claude Nduwimana, his technical manager Oscar Siyawesi and Kabonga's area manager Emmanuel Nsanzerugeze, have all participated in the negotiations in a constructive way and announce that the permit part for construction will not take longer for the land that has now been concluded. on.

- Through this transaction, Power One takes a constant environmental responsibility while leaving the time schedule and budget unaffected. A win-win situation says Séraphine Barigenera, COO Power One.

Burundi: part of the solution, not the problem

While every country in the world suffers from the impacts of climate change, some have no part in the creation of the problem. 

A report has shown that Burundi is the smallest contributor of carbon dioxide in the world. In fact, Burundi’s per capita emissions of 0.027 tonnes is so low it’s often rounded to zero.

The report shows that the top ten most food vulnerable countries combined produce just 0.08% of global CO2. Russia’s per capita emissions are 454 times larger than Burundi, America’s is 581 times while the average Saudi generates the equivalent CO2 as 719 Burundians.

"What is quite clear is that climate change is not only a global health crisis, it is a moral crisis," said Samuel Myers, Principal Research Scientist at Harvard University’s Department of Environmental Health.

As well as slashing emissions the other side of the climate coin is helping the likes of Burundi to build resilience and adapt to climate change while at the same time developing in a sustainable way that allows them to survive and thrive. Many of these poor countries have vast untapped potentials. Not only in natural resources, but mainly in their human resources. Africa have a thriving ingenuity in finding sustainable energy free solutions to be shared and adapted for sustainable production. With the right financial and technological support this can also strengthen their resilience to climate change. The international finance market need to redress and modernise to ensure early and adequate response to climate change.

Burundi is recovering from a civil war that lasted over a decade and claimed the lives of around 300,000 people - and displaced even more. It has largely remained peaceful since the end of the war, and has now transformed into a nation thriving of ingenuity. But agricultural livelihoods have been affected in recent years by an increasingly variable climate. It is some times difficult for farmers who have achieved food security to move beyond this. Farmers need assistance to adapt to a changing climate and extract the greatest possible value from their harvest.

- Burundi is a living testament to the injustice of the climate crisis. Despite producing almost no carbon emissions, Burundi is on the front line of climate change, suffering from higher temperatures, lower crop yields and increasingly unreliable rains, said Dr Doreen Stabinsky, Professor of Global Environmental Politics at the College of the Atlantic in Maine. “

Only last month, a study in Lancet Planetary Health showed that over the next 30 years, climate change combined with increasing carbon dioxide could significantly reduce the availability of critical nutrients like protein, iron, and zinc. One of the authors of that study, Dr Samuel Myers, Principal Research Scientist at Harvard University’s Department of Environmental Healthsaid: “Our research shows that rising concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere are reducing the nutritional quality of the food we eat and that the most vulnerable people to these impacts are those least responsible for rising global CO2 concentrations.”

The findings highlight the inequality at the heart of the global climate crisis, with the most vulnerable around the world set to pay the price for the actions of those in richer nations.

As well as climate impacts such as prolonged droughts or severe flooding directly is now causing food insecurity in many vulnerable nations. Climate change is also exacerbating other threats to food security. It is a similar story around the world, where in nations such as the Democratic Republic of Congo droughts and crop failures inflame existing conflicts and social tension.

To address the problem in the fairest way the richest countries must lead the way on dramatic emissions cuts, the report argues, while poorer nations must be given more support to 'leapfrog' fossil fuel development and roll out renewable power at scale.

Government funding is essential, but there is a compelling business case for businesses to support climate security initiatives as a means of aiding economic development in emergeing markets, improving supply chain resilience, and averting the reputational and financial risks. But there is hope coming also from the private sector.

Modern blockchain technology is now paving the road for fractionalised investing, but that is only one example. There are many more.

In cooperation with Blockhomes Burundi, the Swedish company Power One AB is now introducing a modern method of financing renewable energy in the Kabonga region in southern Burundi. Through this system the area will be electrified with renewable energy distributed through a smart grid containing high speed internet.

- Combined with a planned education facility for modern sustainable economics, marketing and blockchain technology. we will build a show case for a future decentralised economy built on renewable energy, global communication and less intermediaries, says Séraphine Barigenera, COO Blockhomes Burundi

 

Sustainable investments in Burundi

Blockhomes Burundi has now contracted Raire Invest for the financing of Power One, a 12 MW power plant in Kabonga, Burundi.

Blockhomes Burundi has been assigned by Burundi's Energy Ministry to handle the electrification of Kabonga-a previously non-electrified region in southern Burundi. The area is incredibly beautiful and lies along Tanganyika's beach towards the border with Tanzania.

Thirty-one thousand families are living in Kabonga, who mainly feed on agriculture and fishing. Kabonga community is located by the lake, but most residents live on their farms.

Currently, about 3,000 customers have registered, but the influx continues and is expected to grow to at least 5,000 before the plant is put into operation.

Through the area flows a small river with a steady flow all year round. The fall height is over one hundred meters. From this, hydropower will be extracted with several modern small-scale power plants, which do not harm the river's biological diversity. At the beach of Tanganyika, the wind is suitable for wind power. However, the primary source and central for electricity production is a 10MW solar park located on a high plateau a bit up from the lake.

Since the area of Kabonga has not been electrified previously, Blockhomes Burundi will also install a new electricity network, stable internet connection, and a digital pre-payment system. The customers who have registered today have smartphones and will thus prepay their electricity consumption via an app.

Blockhomes Burundi now offers investors the opportunity to start building Power One at an early stage.

The energy plant in Kabonga is exclusively renewable, also the storage. No CO2 compensation is, therefore, necessary for energy production. On the other hand, the electrification will lead to jobs and economic growth in the area, and thus increased consumption and emissions associated with it.

Therefore, for every $ 100 invested in the energy plant, Blockhomes Burundi will arrange the planting of a tree through the Tree4Life campaign.

 

Belgium Apologizes for Kidnapping Children From African Colonies

Belgium apologized on Thursday for the kidnapping, segregation, deportation and forced adoption of thousands of children born to mixed-race couples during its colonial rule of Burundi, Congo and Rwanda.

The apology is the first time that Belgium has recognized any responsibility for what historians say was the immense harm the country inflicted on the Central African nations, which it colonized for eight decades.

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Cleaning of Lake Tanganyika

(Bujumbura, Burundi) Lake Tanganyika is still clean and crystal clear but even here some plastic waste need to be removed. Blockhomes Burundi has therefore been invited by other local organisations to collaborate with them in their commitment to make the lake and the town of Bujumbura clean.

 

The Government of Burundi has issued a decree prohibiting the usage of plastic bags in 2020. In this objective, Blockhomes Burundi, represented by one of its technicians Gustave Niyongere in collaboration with other local NGOs, launched a campaign of collecting plastic waste this weekend.

The effort has been initiated by youth organisations, among them CIAD, CPAJ, and AIDB. These youth organisations have decided to conduct a fight against plastic waste everywhere in Bujumbura town and on the beach of Tanganyika lake.

This saturday 22, 2019, three lorries, representing more than 20 cubic meters of plastic waste have been collected by the youth. For these sustainable development activists, the target is: "zero plastic in Bujumbura town and on Tanganyika Lake beaches".

 

The Team

 

Blockhomes Gustave Niyongere and J. Baptiste Sibo from CIAD also plan a recycling program for the organic waste by producing electricity from the old waste and to replace plastc bags by paper bags.

The campain will be executed every two weeks. The sustainable development activists call all volunteers to join them, and financers to provide means for this initiative.

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