Energy Security In The Mountains: Issues and Economic Opportunities

Jul 11th, 2012 | By | Category: Advocacy, Biomass, Carbon, Development and Climate Change, Energy, Government Policies, Hydropower, India, Information and Communication, Land, Lessons, M-20 CAMPAIGN, Migration, Mountainvoice, News, Renewable Energy, Resilience, River, Solar Energy, Technologies, UNFCCC, Water, Wind energy

Mountain Voice: In a series of Mountain Voice, the Climate Himalaya team interacted with authorities working on energy renewable energy issues in the western Himalayan region of India, to understand that how much scope such mountain states have in energy security and how people could be involved in such processes.

What is the scope of hydro-power in the mountains?

Mountains have a good potential of hydro power as micro-hydel, and we can have small such projects up to 100 KW, they can be developed and run by the villagers at gram panchayat (cluster villages committee) level, from which they can sell and secure a certain annual income. This will also help in various local developmental works and getting employment and livelihood opportunities, while it’s a sustainable clean energy option. In this way the Indian mountain states like Uttarakhand can at least develop 1000-1500 micro-hydel projects now.

What alternate other than hydro power we have in the mountains?

In mountain villages and urban centres, where water availability is a problem, biomass is a good source of energy security. The projects using lantana weed and pine needles can generate electricity. It has already been started and a project of electricity generation from pine needle has been commenced. The third option in mountains, I would say, could be solar energy, as in the mountains we have enough sun light, so electricity could be generated in any village or place as an alternate energy source.

What the government is doing considering the carbon development mechanism?

In year 2010 we submitted a project application for cluster of micro-hydel projects from Uttarakhand state of India under carbon development mechanism to UNFCCC, which got registered, and up to year 2020 the government will get 8 million Indian Rupees annually from it.

How the communities in the mountains can get benefit from carbon credit mechanism?

If we want to get benefit of carbon credit, we need to follow a system. In my view we can add up a cluster of villages, where people replace the carbon emitting fuels by non-emitting technologies, so that CDM project out of this could be developed and registered for getting carbon credit.

What problem our communities are facing in registering carbon credit projects?

To register a project, the UNFCCC guidelines need to be followed in term of project verification, validation. For such technicalities villagers neither have resources nor competence to adhere to, also the investment for carbon credit registration is huge, therefore, the government and agencies don’t take interest.

Watch the interview:


Started in year 2010, ‘Climate Himalaya’ initiative has been working on Mountains and Climate linked issues in the Himalayan region of South Asia. In the last five years this knowledge sharing portal has become one of the important references for the governments, research institutions, civil society groups and international agencies, those have work and interest in the Himalayas. The Climate Himalaya team innovates on knowledge sharing, capacity building and climatic adaptation aspects in its focus countries like Bhutan, India, Nepal and Pakistan. Climate Himalaya’s thematic areas of work are mountain ecosystem, water, forest and livelihood. Read>>

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