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Section C: Critical Enablers

Page history last edited by Tony Woods 14 years, 9 months ago

Section B: Domains and Essential Services


C.     Critical enablers

1.      Distributed, renewable energy (microhydro, solar, wind, perhaps local geothermal, hybrid)

a.      General. 

     1. Microhydro. 

Chris Corsten (chriscorsten@hotmail.com, skype) has been installing microhydro power (MHP) systems in Nangahar Province for the past several years under the auspices of State Department’s counternarcotics (CN) program run through International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL).  In mid-August 2009 he identified 37 sites in 10 districts where MHP sites are operating in Nangarhar, and he and his team are preparing to start 24 more by October 2009.  All will be finished within about four months of breaking ground.  Snow will not affect them much as they will be working in the eastern districts that have lower elevation.  Only one or two projects may have some issues but there are ways to work around it.  The western districts are more affected by snow: Khogiani, Hesarak, Sherzad.


The existing sites (by district and sub-village) are: 

Deh Bala 6 (Koz Yaghi Band, Khanano, Dand Khanan, Charwazay, Said Kareem Khan, Jawdara)

Dari Nur 3 (M Yousef Khali (2), Dodarek, Janjapur)

Hesarak 2 (Naseer Zhernada, Budi Naw)

Achin 7 (Katar Tot Geranda, Kander, Kamki Kaly, Akundzadgan, Zal Mohammed, Lees Mohmand, Merjan Weyaleh)

Momandara 7 (Sultan Khil, Kar Khil, Hadji Choora, Akhund Zadgan, Landy Kaly, Ziart Kaly, Sultan Khil (2))

Kama 1 (Saheb Zadgan)

Dur Baba 2 (Shulgara 1 & 2)

Kuz Kunar 1 (Nowjo)

Surkh Rod 7 (Sardaran, Koz Kakokhill, Daria Kalay, Ghondy, Bar Kakrak, Baloss Kalay, Marwandina)

Behsoud 1 (Hada)


In addition, he has completed a survey of over 450 potential MHP sites in Nangarhar, with the following range of potential outputs:


- 238 sites have a potential output between 2 Kw-9 Kw

- 133 sites have a potential output between 10 Kw-19 Kw

- 48 sites have the potential output between 20 Kw-29 Kw

- 18 sites have the potential output between 30 Kw-49 Kw

- 10 sites have the potential output between 50 Kw-100 Kw

-  7 sites have the potential output over 100 Kw


A graphic depiction of these locations, their operational/construction status and their power potential is available as a Google Earth KML overlay (file available on request). He also has provided a spreadsheet with detailed locations of potential sites in all but one of Nangarhar's districts (link below).


The power in the operating sites (roughly 50W-90W/family) is enough for lighting and fans and small electronics but, as Chris notes, “when you build power, people get creative with it.  For example, one of the projects is powering a private computer center where a house has four computers and is teaching computer skills and English classes with it.  As another example we are building a system next month to power the Ghanikhel hospital with 25 kw.  This will allow for lighting and fans for the hospital as well as small electronics and will save them having to use expensive generators as much.  Another example is where a school computer lab is being powered by a microhydro.” 

The full eight-page conversation with Chris is at:  MHP in Nangarhar 9-6-09 Update to Aug 29 09 Chris Corsten Chat.doc.  Spreadsheets of his site locations are at Microhydro survey 15 Aug 09.xls, See also pp; 5-12 of Distributed Infrastructure in Afghan 2-21-09_1.doc and

     2. Solar.  See Scatec Solar and Solar Stik.   Also pp. 16-18 of Distributed Infrastructure in Afghan 2-21-09_1.doc

TonTony Woods (Sustainable Energy Solutions Afghanistan--SESA) has begun deploying containerized solar systems (15 KW) in Paktika province.  The cost for a system with two wind turbines, solar, diesel backup plus robust (3,000 AH) battery packs is variable depending on the mix of components.  Solar and wind is more expensive than micro hydro, but allows rapid and sustainable deployment of power networks into communities with no hydro potential.  The principal constraint is the lead time of getting equipment into country, which can run four-to-six months for equipment to be ordered and shipped.  There is solar-powered, container-based cold storage system ready for deployment now. It will be focused on pommegranites and melons and other high value crops to spread out deliveries to market.  A much larger solar PV system is under construction in Gardez now, and will be 105 kW and using 6 containers.  System configuration, cabling, etc., can all be done in Kabul prior to shipment.  SESA enlists the help of the local community to provide security before the project starts, and uses local contractors wherever possible.  Tony ensures that transmiossion and distribution systems are build to a high enough standard to allow immediate and seamless interconnection with the future national power grid once it aarrives in the area.  Tony is also piloting pre-pay household power meters to assist with revenue collection, critical to long term success of the project. Choice of villages is between govt and PRT, but PRTs sometimes aren't aware that there are contractors available to do the work.

A major problem so far has been that tenders for solar/wind/rural community electrification aren't being offered in Kabul.


SESA does feel that clarification is needed for renewable energy contractors to specify the standard of construction.  In the absence of specific instruction SESA will build to a standard that has an operating life of upwards of 30 years, and will allow the Afghan power network to be seamlessly interconnected with the islanded networks being built now.  This means standard voltages for transformers, correct pole heights and construction etc.  Clarification needs to be provided on the objective.  Is the goal to do build isolated power networks as cheaply as possible, and accept a higher rate of failure?  or is the goal to build to a standard high enough to survive for 20 or 30 years and merge with the main power network eventually?  This makes a significant difference to project approach and costs.


     3. Wind.  See pp. 13-15 of Distributed Infrastructure in Afghan 2-21-09_1.doc

To To be ready before the winter snows, concrete pads probably need to be in place by early December.

     4. Local Geothermal.  See p. 21 of Distributed Infrastructure in Afghan 2-21-09_1.doc

     5. Hybrid.  See pp. 18-20 of Distributed Infrastructure in Afghan 2-21-09_1.doc

     6. Overall.  See Afghanistan Renewable Energy Businesses.shtml and Agha Khan Green Energy 4-17-09 MWAI-7RB34A.htm

     7. Barriers:  Need to get village buy-in and revenuie streams.  Pilferability of solar components.  Not very attractive to outside investors.

b.      Each of four district  capitals

c.       Each of 25 villages (average 30kW). 

d.      Camp for refugees or IDPs

e.       Figures for below graph based on “Distributed Infrastructure in Afghanistan” report on page 13, which can be found at: http://www.star-tides.net/node/379



25 Generators

Engineers, Security, Vehicles etc.


Per Year Maintenance Costs

Total for Ten Year Period

25 villages







2.      Communications ranging from text messaging to cell phone voice, community/content applications to wide-band, high speed internet.

1.      Overall ‘physical’ extension / roll-out strategy & execution plan

a.       General

b.      Jalalabad

c.       Each of the four district capitals

d.      Each of 25 villages

e.       Camp for refugees or IDPs


2.      Overall ‘content’ / application development / strategy & execution plan

a.       General

b.      Jalalabad

c.       Each of the four district capitals

d.      Each of 25 villages

e.       1 refugee or IDP camp


3.      Refer to previous report by Lin Wells on  improving (ICT) in Afghanistan for reference: http://www.star-tides.net/node/381


3.      Information sharing, storage and retrieval regimes to give non-traditional participants access to the information they need and building trust for two-way communication where appropriate

a.       General.  Must include world class library functions and reachback support from outside the country to supplement those on the ground.   Camp Roberts experiences

b.      Jalalabad.  B4D program.

c.       Each of four district  capitals

d.      Each of 25 villages

e.       Camp for refugees or IDPs


4.      Reachback support from outside the country to supplement those on the ground.

a.       General

b.      Jalalabad

c.       Each of four district  capitals

d.      Each of 25 villages

e.       Camp for refugees or IDPs 


 Section D: Related Areas













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