Live Phuket The Phuket News Kata Rocks The Phuket News Outrigger Koh Samui Beach Resort
The Phuket News Thailand News
The Phuket News Phuket | Thailand | World | Business | Q&A | Weird World XML, RSS, Feed
The Phuket News The Phuket News
The Phuket News

Thai villagers using poop to power homes

PETCHABURI: Nestled in a deep pocket of forest that lies off Thailand’s electrical grid, villagers in Pa Deng have become early adopters and evangelists for an unusual alternative energy source: cow poop.

environment, natural-resources,


AFP

Sunday 4 September 2016, 04:00PM


Balloons fill up with methane gas after microbes break down the animal manure and other organic waste packed inside. Photo: Lillian Suwanrumpha/AFP
Balloons fill up with methane gas after microbes break down the animal manure and other organic waste packed inside. Photo: Lillian Suwanrumpha/AFP

After successfully lighting up their homes with solar panels and stoves fuelled by cow dung, the villagers are now clean energy crusaders in a gas-guzzling country that overwhelmingly relies on fossil fuels.

It was a friend from Myanmar who first told 44-year-old Wisut Janprapai that faeces could be used to power a cooking stove.

“At first we didn’t believe it,” he said from outside his wooden home, which is surrounded by fruit trees and under the shadow of a mountain range that lines Thailand’s western border with Myanmar.

But with no access to state power lines and plenty of cow manure to go around, Wisut and his neighbours reasoned it was worth a try.

Now nearly 100 families in the rural network have small stoves running on blue bio-gas balloons they crafted after years of experimenting.

The balloons are hulking polyester sacks that fill up with methane gas after microbes break down the animal manure and other organic waste packed inside.

The fuel source is healthier and more sustainable than burning wood, and also saves villagers from having to venture into the forest for kindling.

“It’s nothing complicated, just put the food and waste in,” explained Kosol Saengthong, the leader of the network. “And then the gas will come”.

While Pa Deng is powered solely by green energy sources, the rest of Thailand runs chiefly on oil, coal and natural gas – much of it imported.

Successive governments, including the current junta, have warned that the country faces an energy crisis on current consumption trends unless new power sources are embraced.

The kingdom is the second largest consumer of energy in Southeast Asia after Indonesia, according to US government data from 2013, and the 22nd biggest user in the world.

Consumption is also heavily skewed. Most of the power is funnelled to sprawling Bangkok, where some of the capital’s luxury malls suck up more energy than entire provinces.

But compared to its impoverished neighbours, Thailand is a leading investor in renewables and plans to increase its reliance on clean-burning fuels from 12 per cent to 25% in the next five years.

Groups like World Wildlife Fund say it could be setting its sights much higher, with a recent report laying out a future that would have the country operating on 100% renewables by 2050.

Phirat Inphanich, a policy analyst at Thailand’s Energy Ministry, agrees the kingdom could be making better use of its resources.

“Thailand is the land of renewable energy,” he said. “You can walk anywhere, especially in rural areas, and you will see things that can be turned into energy.”

Unit - 27

But changing mindsets is difficult, said the 38-year-old, who travels around the country urging communities to generate more of their own power in the footsteps of Pa Deng.

These small-scale efforts will not overhaul the sector but they can make a dent, plus help villagers cut down on energy costs.

“If any Thais are still hesitating to make their own energy, just look at (Pa Deng) as an example,” he said.

Villagers in Pa Deng saw their first flash of electricity when former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra donated solar panels nearly a decade ago.

But the panels started breaking after a few years, and no one came to mend them.

“So we decided to send our own villagers to learn how to fix the panels ourselves”, said Kosol, the group’s leader.

The villagers reached out to academics and travelled to factories and research centres, where they offered fruit from their gardens in exchange for lessons on how to harness other forms of renewable sources – like the biogas tanks.

Now unlikely experts in solar panels and other green technologies, they are teaching other rural communities how to generate power while minimising their ecological footprint.

“I was surpised at how kind and eager people were to share knowledge with me. Now that it’s my turn to teach, I will do the same,” Kosol said during a recent seminar held in the village.

But not everyone in the area is sold.

So far only a fifth of families in the Pa Deng area have bought into the network, which requires members to contribute money for a maintenance fund and a welfare pool used to cover medical emergencies.

“Those who aren’t interested in our ideas still want electric poles from the government,” said Kosol, who believes that would waste unnecessary money and energy.

Wisut, who has several solar panels hooked up to a fan and a television plus a bio-gas balloon powering the stove, says he is perfectly content.

“I don’t think we need air conditioning or a refrigerator,” he said, adding that he sees little to envy about life in noisy, bright Bangkok.

“There is no night time there,” he said.

 

 

The Phuket News
The Phuket News
Comment on this story
* Please login to comment. If you do not have an account please register below by simply entering a username, password and email address. You can still leave your comment below at the same time.
Comments Here:
Username:
Password:
E-mail:
CAPTCHA
    Forget your password?

Concerned | 07 September 2016 - 12:00:11

Biogas that’s the way in the right direction Thailand has a lot biodegradable trash to produce cheep environment friendly power resources, if the use solar power too on it there might be a bright light on the horizon, thumps up from me!

The Phuket News

slippery snake | 04 September 2016 - 17:21:40

Great and innovative, I will sell them my poop if they want it ??  

The Phuket News
Matches 2 result(s)
The Phuket News
The Phuket News
The Phuket News
The Phuket News The Phuket News The Phuket News
The Phuket News
Share this
The Phuket News
Have a news tip-off? Click here
The Phuket News
Related stories
The Phuket News
Phuket community

Recent Comments


Phuket sea gypsies stave off court-approved demolitions

Kurt,you are using the word racism quite often.You are some kind of -Herrenmensch-that you think you can question every law here?Day in day out you qu...(Read More)


French tourist in ICU in Bangkok following deadly Krabi crash

Kurt,our lonesome warrior for justice.Who cares how long his jail time or how high the fine could be .Important is how long the jail time or how high ...(Read More)


Phuket sea gypsies stave off court-approved demolitions

Why is landownership in Thailand so many times not secured? Many different kind of deeds/ownership documents, all 'readily dressed' for possi...(Read More)


Female Russian tourist arrested for feeding fish off Phuket

B100,000 fine for foreigners and a slap on the wrist for Thai's. It is very normal in Thailand for officials to target Foreigners and milk them...(Read More)


Thai man, 96, found hanged in Phuket property

Poor gentleman. Why do we have to go through this when we are in terminal pain?...(Read More)


BBC journalist faces five years jail for Thailand reporting

Kurt,it took me only a few minutes research on the internet to find out that BBC reporter are not always honest and non corrupted as you said.Also you...(Read More)


Suvarnabhumi loader nabbed in B100,000 theft

@Jogi, not at all mate, and certainly did not say or imply that. Checkin bags are liable to be lost or damaged, as well as being broken in to. You s...(Read More)


French tourist in ICU in Bangkok following deadly Krabi crash

A Russian woman: Feeding fish. Locked up several nights, wait for court, can get 1 year prison + 100,000 thb fine. Out on bail. A thai man: Kille...(Read More)


Phuket sea gypsies stave off court-approved demolitions

Oh dear. They won control of a piece of land with their recent victory in court, but now it seems the sea gypsies have taken that to mean that they ca...(Read More)


BBC journalist faces five years jail for Thailand reporting

Kurt...defamation laws are prevalent in all civilised countries. In uncivilsed countries they just chop your head off regardless. Just because this cl...(Read More)

The Phuket News
PHUKET NEWS
Phuket
Thailand
World
Business
Q A
Weird World
ARCHIVE
POLL
CURRENCY
WEATHER
PHUKET TIDE TABLE
The Phuket News PHUKET LIFE
Phuket Arts
Phuket Community
Phuket Culture
Phuket Dining
Phuket Education
Phuket Entertainment
Phuket Environment
Phuket Health
Phuket People
Phuket Technology
Phuket Travel
Photo Galleries
COLOURING BOOK
The Phuket News PHUKET SPORT
Phuket
Thailand
World
SURF REPORT
PREDICTIONS
The Phuket News PHUKET CLASSIFIEDS
Phuket Buy and Sell
Phuket Jobs
Phuket Property
Phuket Cars and Boats
Phuket Community
Phuket Services
SEARCH CLASSIFIEDS
POST CLASSIFIED
The Phuket News The Phuket News PHUKET EVENTS
Phuket Event listings
Phuket Event calendar
Buy Tickets
POST EVENT
The Phuket News PHUKET DIRECTORY
Phuket Bars, pubs and clubs
Phuket Hotels and villas
Phuket Restaurants
Phuket Yellow Pages
POST LISTING
The Phuket News BARGAINS
The Phuket News ABOUT US
The Company
Distribution points
Subscribe
Advertise with us
Pay for advert
Contact us
CONTESTS
Content Google Map
Site map
Australian Visa Services
 
Currency - The Phuket News   Weather Report - The Phuket News   Surf Report - The Phuket News
LinkedIn - The Phuket News   Twitter - The Phuket News   YouTube - The Phuket News   Facebook - The Phuket News
Copyright © 2017 Class Act Media. All rights reserved. | Website usage terms and conditions | Privacy and Confidentiality Statement.