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Village Power 2000
Empowering People and Transforming Markets
 4-8 December 2000, The World Bank

 

 

 

 

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Coverage From Tuesday, 5 December

 

 

 

 

 

Visitors to the Solar Village, the World Bank.


On Tuesday, 5 December, the Village Power 2000 conference officially opened.  Sessions were held throughout the day. 


 

Conference

Opening Session

Nemat Shafik, Vice President, Private Sector Development and Infrastructure, the World Bank, welcomed participants to the Village Power conference, and called for practical solutions to advance rural development. She introduced the three keynote speakers: Nicholas Stern, Vice President and Chief Economist, the World Bank; Robert Thompson, Director, Rural Development, the World Bank; and Admiral Richard Truly, Director, National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

 


A New Vision for Rural Transformation and Poverty Alleviation

Tim Wirth, President of the UN Foundation, encouraged Village Power participants to address the dual challenge of over-consumption in the North and poverty in the South, noting dissemination of sustainable forms of energy in the developing world as one part of the solution.

Brady Anderson, Administrator, U.S. Agency for International Development, discussed initiatives to provide sustainable energy to rural areas in different parts of the world. He said energy is vital for development, but stressed that providing abundant quantities of energy is not sufficient. He emphasized the need to ensure that energy production is efficient and safe for human health and the environment.

Gerardo Zepeda Bermudez, Minister of Science and Technology, Republic of Honduras, spoke about the spread of renewable energy and telecommunication technologies to remote areas, highlighting San Ramon village in Honduras, a “solar NetVillage”, as an example. He explained that the installation of solar panels and a high-speed internet connection have brought new educational opportunities and opportunities for micro-enterprise to the village, and stressed the need for initiatives of this kind in order to bridge the digital divide in the world.

Frank Tugwell, President of Winrock International pledged to bring energy sources to 500 million people over the next 10 years. He also proposed canceling future Village Power meetings until results could be measures and monitored.

 

Graham Baxter, Chief Operating Officer from BP Solar headquarters, discussed the rapidly growing Photovoltaic market and BP’s commitment to providing low cost solar power to the developed and developing world alike.


Renewable Technologies for Global Markets

Dan Reicher, the US Department of Energy’s Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, highlighted the government’s commitment to alternative technologies, including solar and wind energy, geothermal and hydropower, biomass, fuel cells, micro-turbines and reciprocating engines.

 


Linking Energy and Rural Development

Lulu Gwagwa, Chief Executive Officer for South Africa’s Independent Development Trust, called for a coordinated and integrated approach to rural development, with particular attention given to women and youth.


Success Stories and their Replication

Daniel Kammen, of the UK-based AH Associates, presented on combining productive uses and village power. He drew upon solar and pico-hydro projects in Laos.

 


 

Village Power 2000 Achievement Awards

James Wolfensohn, President, TheWorld Bank Group, lightens the mood as he introduces recipients of the Village Power 2000 Achievement Awards.
Paul Hassing, Government of the Netherlands, accepted the Village Power 2000 Donor Award, presented in recognition of outstanding dedication to electrification for the rural poor.

Anil Cabraal was awarded the Village Power 2000 Road Warrior Award for his exceptional commitment and enthusiasm, which his wife accepted on his behalf.  
 

 

Out And About

Runu Begum, from Bangladesh, completes the circuitry for a desk lamp at a display in the Solar Village.  She is a member of an all-women business group that produces and markets these lamps to neighbors and nearby villages.
A windmill in the World Bank atrium signifies the importance of renewable energy.

Participants listen in rapt attention to the morning's speakers.
The day concludes with a reception to celebrate the conference inauguration.

 

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