Leaping Time, Space, & Traditional Cultures Through 21st Century Innovations, Technologies, and Services in Conflict Zone Communities[4.14.19]

Guest: John Gerlaugh, Executive Director, Team Afghan Power (TAP)

Segment 1 Segment 2
Segment 3 Segment 4 

Program Summary:

The world-wide EmeraldPlanet International Foundation movement is linking millions of professionals and citizens around the globe through a practical community-by-community identification, evaluation, broadcasting, and promotions weekly television program and selected The Emerald Mini-Treks.

EmeraldPlanet International Foundation has continually expanded its outreach and service to all sectors of countries and local communities. It is actively identifying the “best of the best” technologies, services, products, and processes. This is the “high touch” portions of the EmeraldPlanet global movement featuring the “high technologies” through The Emerald Mini-Treks, while creating The Emerald Mall to match those inventing, creating, experimenting with, and manufacturing needed technologies. with those individuals and communities needing such technologies, services, products, and processes for sustainable, resilient, and adaptive living in closer harmony with natural surroundings..

WELCOME to join in this world-wide movement by watching The EmeraldPlanet TV programs, participating in planning for and joining in various The Emerald Mini-Treks, and linking your “best practices” to those in need on The Emerald Mall. MANY BEST WISHES as together we create The EmeraldPlanet…Dr. Sam Hancock

Our featured guest is:

  • Segment ‘1’: John Gerlaugh, Executive Director, Team Afghan Power (TAP), (In-Studio); Theme: “TAP’s Approach to Ending the War in Afghanistan: A Theory of Change”
  • Segment ‘2’: John Gerlaugh, Executive Director, Team Afghan Power (TAP), (In-Studio); Theme: “National Model Program: The Panjshir Valley”
  • Segment ‘3’:John Gerlaugh, Executive Director, Team Afghan Power (TAP), Theme: “TAP’s Current Status with its National Model Program: Challenges & Opportunities Moving Forward”
  • Segment ‘4’: John Gerlaugh, Executive Director, Team Afghan Power (TAP), (In-Studio), Theme: “Lessons Being Learned, Solutions, & Evolving ‘Best Practices’ of Working in Afghanistan”

Program Overview:

Despite the past two decades of international effort, Afghanistan remains an energy poor country as defined by The World Bank. Out of a population of approximately 32 million, 24.6 million are located in a rural environment with almost no access to grid-connected electricity. For those who are connected, outages on the grid are so frequent that supplemental power sources must be found. As reported by The World Bank Afghanistan’s annual per capita kilowatt per hour (kWh) usage, a key measure of a nation’s energy health, is 154kWh/yr, which compares to the world per capita average of 3,100kWh (2012 figures).

“Energy starvation” in Afghanistan is a major contributor to the continued impoverishment of its rural communities. This has implications not only for citizens’ quality of life and health prospects, but for national economic potential as well. In the “World Bank Group’s “Doing Business Report for 2017”, for example, Afghanistan ranked 159 out of 187 countries for the ease of getting electricity -— a huge impediment for businesses and entrepreneurial activity.

American military veterans and civilian experts are well positioned to partner with the Afghan people to improve the quality of life in rural Afghan villages, and to begin the long process of connecting their youth to their nation. Team Afghan Power (TAP) seeks to solidify the hard-won gains made by the Afghan government. Using a balanced application of U.S. technology and commercial development practices applied through the prism of Afghanistan’s cultural heritage, TAP seeks to thoughtfully socialize simple renewable power projects with village, district, and provincial leadership. Its Afghan field representatives use a go-slow approach to permit village leaders adequate time to socialize this potential program to their constituencies. Town hall meetings, known as Shuras, allow TAP to gauge village atmospherics and receptivity.

TAPs holistic approach includes all village members in a series of focused dialogues that cover planning, funding, training, employment, and maintenance of renewable power. Training programs are an important first step and provided as a precursor to help select Afghan candidates for follow-on employment opportunities that come from survey, design, installation, and life cycle operation.

US military veterans and civilian experts are at the heart of TAPs operation. It utilizes the massive body of reconstruction and stabilization experience represented in the 2.5 million Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans. This body of experience is invaluable to helping America and Afghanistan achieve the original aims of a peaceful, independent, self-governing country.

New technology is emerging that will provide affordable power in these communities. The market driving these new technologies is spreading from Africa, India, and China as impoverished rural communities begin to invest in local development of affordable renewable power. Tapping into the same small micro economic conditions that allowed cell phone to take hold, Afghan rural communities are now able to afford low volume power generated by mini-grid renewable devices.

New off-the-grid energy services are rapidly emerging that may provide low-cost power to rural communities in Afghanistan. This new, for-profit energy service is based upon a community lease-to-own business model powered by renewable energy with battery storage. The system takes advantage of all three forms of renewable energy generation – wind, solar and water, and is purchased by users through cashless digital banking using cell phone applications. Growth of these micro energy businesses in Africa, China, and India have shown promise. In addition, villages who invest in such systems enjoy a positive effect on their community’s economic development.


Thank You Production Crew and Program Team for your commitment, dedication, and goodwill as we continue to expand our “best practices” solutions identification and reporting in our second decade. We would like to acknowledge that equipment and facilities are provided by Fairfax Public Access, Fairfax, Virginia. We thank our many viewers, supporters, and the general public for weekly feedback, ideas, and suggestions as together we create The EmeraldPlanet….Dr. Sam Hancock, Creator & Host, The EmeraldPlanet TV