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New Members in Brazil
A new network of NGOs, “RENOVE”, and 7 new members of INFORSE help to spread the use of renewables in Brazil

By Emilio Lèbre La Rovere, INFORSE Coordinator, and Claudia do Valle Costa, researcher, LIMA, Environmental Sciences Laboratory, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
The New NGO Network: RENOVE
More than 30 participants from a number of institutions including 17 different NGOs met in Praia do Forte in the state of Bahia, Brazil, from June 15 to 17, 2000. They decided to create a new network, RENOVE, Brazilian Network of NGOs for Renewable Energy, to foster development of renewable energy in Brazil.
The event was convened by Winrock International (WI), as a follow-up to an initial workshop that was held in Fortaleza in May, 1997 and to a report prepared by LIMA on Brazilian NGO activities in the field of renewables (see SEN 29, p.7).
The meeting attendees approved the establishment of RENOVE, the formal institution responsible for the network, and the modalities of its functioning. A Council of Directors and an Executive Secretary were appointed, and the first steps were taken to ensure that the new institution would begin working swiftly towards its goals.
7 New INFORSE Members
Following a presentation of INFORSE activities and the distribution of SEN issues by the Latin America INFORSE coordinator, seven institutions participating in the meeting eventually became INFORSE members (see the new Contact List in this issue).
Update on New Projects
The meeting included updates on new projects started by Brazilian NGOs in the field of renewables. Besides the data collected in the LIMA/WI report (see SEN 29, p.7), it is worth mentioning the activities carried out in the northeastern region of Brazil (the poorest of the country) by 2 NGOs :

IDER (Institute for Sustainable Development and Renewable Energy), which is based in Fortaleza the capital city of the state of Ceará, Northeastern Brazil)

IDER has structured a renewable energy program that it has been implementing since 1996. The program is done jointly with a number of partners including WI, BNB (the regional development bank), COELCE (the state utility), UFCe (main local university), PRODEEM (a renewable energy programme of the Brazilian Ministry of Mines and Energy), and SELF (Solar Electric Light Fund). As of the end of 1999, more than one thousand PV systems had been installed for different applications : residential electricity needs (623); water pumping systems (155); rural telephony (132); public lighting (71); schools (27); manioc powder mills (23); health care centres (14); and small textile units (3).
IDER has developed a methodology for project implementation comprising eleven steps: identification of candidate municipalities and communities; selection of communities; survey and assessment of needs; identification and registration of families (before the project and two years after the equipment installation); development of the energy project; training; development of productive uses of energy; establishment of revolving funds; equipment installation by the communities themselves; monitoring (one-year minimum); evaluation of social and economic impacts.
Highlights of IDER’s experience include the involvement of children and young adults in the installation of the PV systems and the revolving funds allowing for proper maintenance (including two battery replacements) at affordable costs (as low as US$ 30 upfront and US$ 10/month) based upon previous expenses with energy (candles, batteries, diesel oil).

FTV (Fundação Teotônio Vilela)
- a foundation based in Maceió the capital city of the state of Alagoas, Northeastern Brazil.

FTV has been active in the field of renewable energy since 1995 through a partnership with BNB called the Sunlight Program. Some 1,600 PV residential systems were installed by micro-companies who bought the equipment and rented them to the families. A condominium (groups of 30 families) system will be tested now.

Another partnership with PRODEEM has installed PV systems for other applications: schools (51), water pumping (15), and health care centres (4).
New programs are to be started shortly, including a cooperation with APAEB, another member of RENOVE, in the state of Bahia (see Sustainable energy News No. 29, p.7).
More information:
Photo text:
400 Wp PV system installed in Pedreira in the Amazon region, Brazil. It supplies electricity for lighting, TV and video equipment at the local school. Joint project by Winrock and a local NGO, PSA-Health and Joy Project, 1999. Photo by Aurélio Souza Assistant, WI.

For further information, please contact the authors
at INFORSE Regional coordinator, LIMA,
Federal University of Rio de Janeiro,
CP 68565, Brazil.
Ph: +55 21 5608995,
fax: +55 21 2906626
e-mail: emilio@ppe.ufrj.br;
or ccosta@lima.coppe.ufrj.br,
http://www.lima.coppe.ufrj.br/; or Tanya Andrade, WI Brazil,
Winrock International, e-mail: tandrade@winrock.org.br
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Sustainable Energy News
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ISSUE #30 (683KB) 18 pages (2000-08-11)
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