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Sustainable Energy Successees

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Traditional Examples


Traditional Ways of Using Alternative Energy Sources

Naturally, not all uses of renewable energy are recent inventions. For centuries, people have used it in their daily work, as the following two cases show.

Water Mills in
Apuseni Mountains, Romania

There is a tradition of using water mills in the Apuseni mountains in Romania to power the milling of the local wheat. The mill in the village of Uileac processes a max. capacity of 800 kg of flour a day, depending upon the level of water behind the dam. Previously, the mill was pressing oil from sunflowers and pumpkin seeds as well. Some water mills in the Apuseni mountains are still working, but most of them have stopped production. Nevertheless, there is great hydropower potential in the waters of many mountain rivers. Improving the roads to and from the mills, as well as providing a better distribution system for the flour, would help to preserve this traditional, local, environmentally gentle way of milling.

(Contact:ARIN ph/fax: +40 39 67 03 76)

The "Valyavitsa"
in Zheleznitsa, Bulgaria

In the village Zheleznitsa near Sofia, they have a valyavitsa, a traditional, non-electric washing appliance. Here, local people wash their clothes and carpets in the local stream. The power of the falling water and the centrifugal force within the system, which is a cone-shaped keg, agitate and clean the clothes. The system works without using washing powder that could spoil the water of the stream. Similar projects can be seen in many places around the country, as they are relatively cheap to build.

(Contact:AMEK, Ph/fax:+359 2 659 024e-mail: