Video: ‘Green’ orphanage forces children to make own biofuels to save oxygen-providing local forest

Deutsche Welle reports:

Located around10 kilometers outside of Nepal’s capital city Kathmandu, the Jharuwarashi orphanage is investing in eco-friendly ways to replace expensive firewood. The children themselves gather leaves and used school notebooks to manufacture biomass briquettes, while solar thermal systems on the roof heat the building’s water. On top of that, two small solar modules provide light when the sun goes down. Now, the orphanage is also planning to use the dung emitted by buffaloes grazing the lands to power a biogas plant, a move that would completely cut the orphanage’s reliance on using firewood for power.

Watch the video.

7 thoughts on “Video: ‘Green’ orphanage forces children to make own biofuels to save oxygen-providing local forest”

  1. I think what this article brings home is that solar and other technologies (some really old with new names like ‘biomass conversion’, meaning burning crap…) have real world practical uses. This may be a lonely bright spot in the misguided ham-handed approach to convert everything to alternate energy, in that the contrived push drove up demand in a very real way and then collapsed and drove down prices to where solar now becomes attractive financially for these purposes. It is certainly being aided by the collapse of solar due to over production and plummeting demand with the loss of subsidies, however that is likely short term as the market, left to its own devices, will eventually even out supply and demand. It usually does.

  2. Howdy ben and ken. To be fair, the grid issue in Nepal is very serious. This may be a case where a solar system is filling a valid niche where conventional engineering would be too difficult. I’d rather see it pitched that way, though, than as a “green” intiative. Leaves and paper burn a lot dirtier than coal does.

  3. I’m with Geoff on this one. It’s a positive spin on a bad situation. In any other era, they’d be doing the exact same thing with the simple reason of “do you want to freeze tonight?” The solar panels are a new touch, but if grid power is unavailable (as it might very well be in parts of Nepal), then it very well might be the cheapest method of getting electricity.

  4. I would agree. And based on the “scammability’ factor of most greenies, I can’t blame them at all. It’s like free money.

  5. This is probably more of a poverty response than it is a “green” response. Conditions in Nepal are difficult. The orphanage governing body may well have appealed to wealthy “green” donors on these terms but that’s probably more scam than commitment to green energy.

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