The acciona.org foundation and Action Against Hunger foundation have taken on the challenge of designing an energy model based on renewables to address humanitarian crises (natural disasters, conflicts, famine...) that require a rapid and effective response. Both organizations have launched a project co-financed by the European Union to develop a standardized and easy-to-use technological platform to quickly assess the overall energy needs in each emergency situation and to offer a catalog of technical and logistical solutions for the supply of renewable energy generation systems.
The project will cover the modeling of energy needs and renewable energy solutions, the design and development of technological tools to generate an accessible digital platform and a pilot test in a real environment with action in the Philippines. Both Action Against Hunger and acciona.org have consolidated teams in the Philippines, a country that also has a humanitarian coordination structure formed by numerous UN agencies and specialized NGOs, which would facilitate the use and evaluation of the tools in a real context. According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), an average of 22 tropical cyclones hit the region each year, of which at least a quarter cause significant damage.
The participation and collaboration of other humanitarian organizations in all the phases of the project will facilitate the collection of realistic data and information, as well as effective sizing for rapid and efficient on-site interventions. This ensures an adequate design for those who will ultimately be the end users: the various actors involved in emergency situations (government agencies, humanitarian agencies, NGOs, foundations, civil protection forces, health organizations...).
In humanitarian crisis situations that require an emergency response, it is necessary to provide energy both to the relief operations deployed on-site and to the affected people and communities. Due to the very nature of these crises, electricity supply is often covered through standalone solutions based on fossil fuels or firewood and vegetation from the surroundings, which has a negative impact on the environment and creates difficulties for widespread quality supply.
The partnership formed by Action Against Hunger and acciona.org brings together their skills in addressing humanitarian emergencies and in the application of renewable energy solutions to supply energy to complex environments.
Cristina Ruiz, manager of the Energy division of the acciona.org foundation, underlined the importance of this collaboration: "This project is another step forward for acciona.org in the development of innovative service delivery models adapted to each context; on this occasion, to the supply of energy for humanitarian emergency response. "
Amador Gómez, director of Research, Development and Innovation at Action Against Hunger, stressed the innovative nature of this initiative. "Energy is not fully integrated into the planning of humanitarian programs. We can improve our results and support crisis-affected communities by improving energy practices."