Changes in energy demand are a major driver of environmental degradation in Darfur, in particular the loss of forest cover. The conflict in Darfur has led to a huge increase in urban populations - pre 2003, 20% of the population lived in urban areas and now the figure is 50%.
The conflict has also inflated economies which has in turn created an unsustainable demand for timber to be used for fuelwood, charcoal and brick making.
Employing a combination of improved fuel efficiency, greater use of alternatives and promoting well-managed fuel woodlots can prevent further depletion of precious forest resources in the region.
The Darfur Alternative Energy Project is designed to promote alternative energy sources through evaluating current initiatives and identifying and analysing constraints and opportunities for energy in Darfur. The project, which began in 2010, also involves examining best practice in similar environments elsewhere and technical assistance to various implementing organisations.
The project involves the following two phases.
- 1. Scoping Study:
- Identifying opportunities and constraints on energy programming in different regions in Darfur with reference to the environment and social context;
- Analysing non-grid energy use in Darfur, including in terms of efficiency, economic viability and alternatives;
- Review of options for alternative energies drawing on the analysis in Darfur and a review of best practice in similar contexts, and
- Development of projects to introduce new technologies in partnership with implementing agencies in Darfur.
- 2. Consultation, training and capacity building:
- To include providing support to organizations developing projects, and to line ministries;
The first stage of the the project was implemented in partnership with ProAct Network who conducted a study on the available options recommending possible partners. Now, partnerships will be developed to implement these recommendations.
See also an analysis conducted by the Environmental Technology Task Force (ENTEC) in the report Destitution, Distortion and Deforestation, and a ProAct report Assessing the effectiveness of fuel-efficient stove programming .