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Durham University

Durham Energy Institute

Past Events

Find out about some of the previous events held by Durham Energy Institute:

Biogas at Altitude: a case from Nepal

27th October 2016, 13:00 to 14:00, E245, Engineering & Computing Sciences, Dr Ben Campbell

Energy transition in Nepal has for most people involved shifting from fuelwood to alternatives for domestic cooking. Biogas digesters have been very successful in the last twenty years in subtropical lowland zones. The policy pressure for this transition has come via international conservation organisations, and their promotion of biodiversity protection agendas, and to some extent from climate change concerns. Why is it so hard to extend anaerobic digestion uphill? This talk extends from the comfort zone of methanogens to open up the need for decentralised socio-technical innovation, that an energo-political regime committed to federalism could nurture.

Ben Campbell has worked with the Tamang-speaking communities of Nepal for 25 years. His original research was on labour relations and cooperation in mountain agro-pastoralism. His book on indigenous environmental knowledge and practice 'Living Between Juniper and Palm: Nature, Culture and Power in the Himalayas' was published by OUP in 2013. Ben received a DEI small grant to work on replacing fuelwood use with biogas for a yak cheese factory in 2011. He is a national coordinator of the Low Carbon Energy for Development Network, and with his LCEDN colleagues has written on 'Communities of Energy' in the journal Economic Anthropology 2016 vol 3: 133-144.

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