The Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) and the Secretaria de Recursos Naturales y Ambiente (SERNA) are collaborating in preparing a rural energy policy for Honduras. Activities focus on capacity building, information dissemination and implementation of demonstration projects.
As part of a FAO / SERNA joint project on the "Development of small-scale hydropower technology in Honduras" both institutions are currently involved in the development of two pico-hidro projects (smaller than 5 kW) for community electrification in remote areas. Both projects are at various stages of site assessment, system design, or completed design/budget. Next to this, two more community pico-hidro projects for battery charging, and integrated in irrigation systems, are being validated in the department of Lempira, where one of FAO's field projects on rural development operates.
FAO also collaborates with the Programa Hondureño de Educación Comunitario (PROHECO) to supply electricity to 6 schools in remote areas of Lempira with solar photovoltaic (PV) systems. Provided with small PV systems (50 Wp), these schools have a multiple community function, by using the school for adult education in the evening, community center, meetings etc. Two of these schools will be equipped with computers facilitating access to information via educational CDs.
FAO, in close cooperation with one of its other field projects in Honduras and local NGOs, implemented last year one of the first community water supply projects with solar energy in Honduras. Experiences up to now have been most promising as the community has shown that they can easily manage operation and management of the water supply system as well as establishing a community fund for future replacement of system components.
All these projects are an input for a rural energy strategy to be formulated in the near future in close cooperation with SERNA and other relevant stakeholders.
A series of websites are being developed providing detailed information about rural energy issues in Honduras. One focuses on pico-hidro and can be accessed at http://rds.org.hn/Energia/picohidro.html
More information can be obtained from Bert van der Plas, APO Energy Systems or by visiting FAO's website at http://www.fao.org/sd/EN2_en.htm
Bert van der Plas
APO Sistemas Energeticos
FAO - Proyecto Desarrollo Rural del Sur de Lempira
Col.Palmira, Ave.Juan Lindo, Sendero Guyana # 2450
Apdo 1808, Tegucigalpa, Honduras
tel: (504) 236-7321