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Bali - bamboo and energy PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 24 May 2009 07:08
I'm just back from a vacation in Bali, while I was there I spent some time talking to people running interesting projects, and as usual its interesting to see the perspective of people working in a totally different environment.

One interesting thread was the use of bamboo - several projects are working to show that Bamboo can be a high-end material, not just something used by those who can't afford wood.

green school time lapse videoI visited the "Heart of School" building at the Green School - 2000 sq meters, and 20 meters high, designed by "PT Bambu", watch the time-lapse of its construction.

I visited Indo Bamboo who are also working on making bamboo into a high-end material.

Conversations with local (balinese and ex-pat) permaculture and development professionals varied significantly from their western counterparts. In particular the emphasis on local materials was key, given that local wages are about US$2-5 per day, Imported materials incur a duty of 50-100% which in many ways it reminds me of working with Brazil 20 years ago, where a duty supposedly imposed to foster local development created real hold-ups for anyone wanting to use computers. It makes components of a project which would already be expensive into unaffordable.

I was particularly impressed by some work to use low-head hydro, which would be particularly appropriate in Bali.

Some key requirements that need to be met include: low-cost water storage and filtration; fuel-efficient stoves and micro-credit.