North Korean Experts in Europe

Study-trip about renewable energy sources and energy efficiency takes place in March after much preparation: The experts, Mr. Jang and Mr. Pak arrived safely. Our intern, Dennis Matzka, met them at the Frankfurt airport. Although exhausted from their long journey, the group boarded a local train at rush-hour for the final leg of their journey on that day. The goal is to make the most of each moment during the study-trip: the next day begins with a visit to a wind turbine manufacturing company specializing in hybrid turbines. Mr. Jang is particularly impressed with the presentation and feels that this kind of turbine would be especially suitable for supplying electricity to rural areas of his country. After an enthusiastic discussion and time for the experts on both sides to talk shop, the group sets off for Switzerland. The North Koreans are amazed that there is no border control of any kind!

The journey takes them to Uster, the location of Sustech GmbH, owned by Mr. Werner Hässig, where they learned more about energy efficient building techniques and how to calculate energy usage levels according to Swiss norms. These standards are designed to promote reasonable and economical energy use for heating and hot water production. A model house using these techniques will be built on Duru Island in Pyongyang. Werner Hässig has already visited North Korea multiple times acting as a consultant and instructor. He again took advantage of this chance to share his expertise. One day later the experts travelled to the Appenzell region, where they visited various small hydroelectric power stations. In North Korea, nearly ten times as many homes could be supplied with electricity from just one of these power generators than currently in Switzerland! In Andelfingen (canton Zurich), two passionate inventors found one another: Mr. Jang is an engineer through and through, and the interaction with Mr. Wepfer was enthusiastic to say the least – pushing intern Dennis Matzka‘s translation skills to the limit and allowing two kindred spirits to share their fascination about all things technical. The next day they headed east to visit a house insulated with straw followed by a tour of the Minergie-Exposition in Lucerne that afternoon. This exhibition for energy efficient building techniques that do not compromise on comfortable living conditions is a visionary display created to appeal to lay people. You can learn about everything from new insulation materials to various construction options, from energy efficient homes to special windows and heat pumps! Sunday is a cultural day with a visit to the Swiss National Museum and lots of questions about Swiss history: for example, the date of the last war on Swiss soil. The answer: more than 150 years ago in 1847, a civil war called the „Sonderbund War“. The weapons exhibition was a source of fascination with examples from over the centuries. After a wonderful Chinese meal with a lot of rice and spicy flavors that were a taste of home and the best Swiss chocolate from Läderach, the group took a relaxed boat trip on Lake Zurich, a chance to stop and think about the impressions of the previous days. The visit to the North Korean embassy in Bern for a traditional „home-cooked“ meal was followed by another highlight: A visit to a unique greenhouse in Lörrach, Germany, which uses solar power and the help of a simple, two-cylinder Stirling engine to produce electricity from warm water and helps promote plant growth as well. With all these advantages, this greenhouse produces about four times more than a typical greenhouse. Mr. Jang is so fascinated by the Stirling engine that he would have loved to take it with him! The final stop on the tour is at the large German company juwi. This firm designs and operates systems for all kinds of renewable energy sources from hydroelectric power to solar energy to geothermal energy. This visit gives the experts a behind the scenes look as well as encouraging them to think big for the future. Nearly overloaded with new information, impressions and ideas for the future of their country, Mr. Jang and Mr. Pak fly home.

Warm Water for Orphanage

On our last visit to the orphanages in Hamhung, we decided the children needed warm water even in winter. Until now, the limited electricity or coal has been used to heat the buildings, but not to heat water. An ecological alternative is solar collectors designed to generate warm water. We are currently gathering a team to travel to North Korea for a 2-week project trip to install the solar collectors and all necessary piping as well as instruct local workers on how to use the system. I am very pleased to be able to help the orphanage directors in this way! We will also soon ship another container with thousands of jars of baby food donated by the Sunval company to North Korea through our partners at the Global Aid Network (GAiN). We hope to include the materials for the solar collectors in this container as well.

Concrete Help – support people in North Korea

There are many ways in which you can support the work in North Korea.
Make a donation for the following:

  • warm water collectors for the orphanages and the children‘s hospital in Hamhung
  • A solar-heated greenhouse, a biogas plant, or an energy efficient model house built on Duru Island
  • The next aid shipment for North Korea
  • Grass seeds for pastures
  • measurment equipment for the Renewable Energy Development Center
  • an additional wind turbine

Our goal is to provide sustainable help that will empower local citizens and show the citizens of North Korea God‘s love.
The unreliable energy supply is a huge problem.  We want to help the people of North Korea in this area. We promote projects that use alternative energy sources or focus on saving energy.
Thank you for your donations, which help provide the rural population of North Korea with electricity and improve their lives.
We greatly appreciate your partnership!