Project Everest

Work Update

What direction is Fuel Fiji Jan heading into?

by
Darren D'Souza
Darren D'Souza | Jan 4, 2017 | in Knowledge Base

After having spent the past few days reading the research conducted by the December team in regards to the empathy conducted with 52 villagers from 6 different villages, we were able to collate the different results into a mind map. Two separate mind maps were created, to cater to the two major problems experienced by the villagers as highlighted by the December team as being:

 

  • Electricity

  • Cooking

 

Both these problems are prevalent in both geographical areas within the Nadroga-Nagrosa Province in Fiji, such as urban and rural villages.

 

Electricity

  • The team concluded that electricity was more of a problem in inland villages (rural) such as Wauosi as:

    • Use pre pay system since electricity use is minimal

    • Use LED solar lights (solar panels made in China so not of good quality)

    • Require electricity mainly for lights so children can study at night

  • Initially, solutions such as solar panels (PV modules) or other variations of solar generated electricity inventions were studied

  • However, as a team we realised that there were several issues associated with heading down such a path:

    • Urban or coastal villages already had access to electricity since they were already on the grid and as such didn’t really need or require a solution such as solar power

    • Villagers in urban villages were somewhat more well off than those in rural villages and even though they found electricity to be quite expensive, they could still afford it with their income

    • Pursuing a solution to the electricity problem involves high risk factors for all parties involved especially Project Everest

    • Liaison with several government agencies such as Department of Electricity and the Fiji Electricity Authority will be required and given their strict hierarchical structure and the ability to require permission to approve several options would be a problem

    • The best case scenario in this instance would see Project Everest as a ‘middleman’ party, with major operations still being controlled as a whole by FEA and/or the Department of Electricity

    • Villagers from rural or inland areas mainly required electricity to power lights at night so their children could study, however most already used Solar LED lights or prepay systems to ‘top-up’ electricity, so there is no REAL need for a solution

 

Cooking

  • It was observed that cooking in general was an issue both rural and urban villages faced on a daily basis. Although the use of different types of fuels varied with some villages, the most common ranking was (1 being most used):

  1. Firewood

  2. Kerosene

  3. Gas (LPG)

  • The team decided that developing a solution to the cooking problem would be easier, low risk and more beneficial in the long run as less parties would have to be consulted and the solution would directly correlate to the problem faced by the villagers of both geographical areas

  • Although, some villagers are not aware of the detrimental effects of kerosene, a solution that looks at possibly allowing them to use less firewood to cook the same amount of food in potentially less amount of time may be favourable to them. This would in turn deter them from using kerosene or gas, for that matter.

  • A solution to possibly eliminate the smoke created from burning firewood must also be created as some villagers dislike the smoke firewood creates

  • Possibly creating a solution to keep the firewood dry during wet conditions would be extremely favourable as most villagers see this as a reason for using kerosene or gas over firewood

  • Alternatively, solar powered cookers can also be studied further

  • The three major issues to consider on cooking with respect to the villagers is:

    • Income

    • Health

    • Safety

 

As such it was concluded as a team, that the January team for Fuel Assessment will decide to empathise further with more villages with respect to moving forward towards the cooking direction rather than electricity. As a team, we have decided that electricity as a whole is not to be pursued any further.

(Account removed) Jan 4, 2017

Potentially, some of these things could be looked at by the Cambodia energy assessment team!
Love the summary of the work the team has done in the past couple of days! Keep it up!

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Reply 3

William Ashford Jan 4, 2017

Hi Darren,

Could you please elaborate on the issues mentioned early in the electricity section as I don't really understand why those points show that electricity is a problem inland.

There are also a heap of both solar and non-solar off-grid power generation options we can look at if you guys choose to go down that path.

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Darren D'Souza Jan 5, 2017

Hi Will,

As of yet, the January team hasn't yet been able to visit any inland villages. However, we plan to visit inland villages next week and as such we will then be able to empathize further to gather better insight into their thoughts and point of views in regards to electricity. Until then, we will make sure to research further into electricity options, possibly solar powered solutions as it seems to be the most viable option for inland villagers, who are not as well off in comparison to urban villagers.

Regards,
Darren

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Hannah Daghighi Jan 6, 2017

Hi Darren, definitely can bounce ideas off each other throughout the course of this month. However Energy and Fuel Assessment Cambodia is looking more towards the electricity sector at this stage.

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Jesenia Bodey Lee Jan 8, 2017

Hi Hannah,
I was just wondering, what are the main reasons your team decided to focus on electricity and not cooking?

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Hannah Daghighi Jan 9, 2017

HI Jesenia. As part of our thinking of possible options we used upstream design thinking where we attempted to attack the issue at the root - we believe this route is energy. As part of our empathising we also found that there is a more dire need to address energy needs as there are major supply, quality and cost issues.

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Darren D'Souza Jan 8, 2017

Hi Hannah,

Definitely a great option to share ideas! Would you be able to elaborate further on why the Cambodia team is leaning more towards electricity rather than cooking? It might be beneficial for the Fiji team to understand your thought process as the issues faced in Cambodia can possibly relate to Fiji as well. Thanks!

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Hannah Daghighi Jan 9, 2017

As part of our thinking of possible options we used upstream design thinking where we attempted to attack the issue at the root - we believe this route is energy. As part of our empathising we also found that there is a more dire need to address energy needs as there are major supply, quality and cost issues. Keep in mind that Fiji and Cambodia have different core issues surrounding energy and fuel.

For example, one of the biggest issues that we have identified is transmission - Siem Reap only has 1 line from Thailand into the city with no widespread backups, when this fail a large proportion of the city does not have power. All it takes is for one pole to get damaged to cut off power supplies which can happen through weather, or simply someone driving into a pole. The other major issue is that there is little to no electricity access in rural areas and the access that those villages have is more expensive as the government has less ability to lower prices because of a lack of economies of scale.

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Amber Johnston Jun 20, 2017

Status changed to Previous Work

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