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Biomass Energy in Asia: A Study of Selected Technologies and Policy Options. S.C. Bhattacharya Ram M. Shrestha H.L. Pham Asian Regional Research Programme in Energy, Environment and Climate (ARRPEEC) Asian Institute of Technology, Thailand. Biomass Study Team.
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Biomass Energy in Asia: A Study of Selected Technologies and Policy Options
Ram M. Shrestha
Asian Regional Research Programme in Energy, Environment and Climate (ARRPEEC)
Asian Institute of Technology, Thailand
Institution, Project Team & Leader*
AITProf. S.C. Bhattacharya*,
Prof. Ram M. Shrestha,
Dr. N.T. Kim Oanh (Emission study),
Dr. H.L. Pham,
P. Abdul Salam, Dionel Albina
China Prof. Li Junfeng
Center for Renewable Energy
Prof. Y. H. Zhuang (Emission study)
Research Center for Eco-environmental
Institution & Project Team
India Prof. N.H. Ravindranath
Dr. H.P. Narang (Emission Study)
Malaysia Dr. Hoi Why Kong
Forest Research Institute Malaysia
Philippines Dr. Jessie C. Elauria
University of the Philippines Los Baños
Institution & Project Team
Sri Lanka Dr. A.G.T. Sugathapala
University of Moratuwa
Thailand Dr.Boonrod Sajjakulnukit
Department of Energy Development and Promotion (DEDP)
Dr.Monthip Tabucanon (Emission Study) Department of Environmental Quality Promotion
Vietnam Prof. Pham Ngoc Ho (Emission Study)
University of Science, Hanoi
A study was conducted to assess: i) land availability for biomass plantation, and ii) potential of further energy supply from biomass plantation in such land.
The energy potential of plantation biomass is 5-6%, 5-24%, 0.2-0.8%, 2-11%, 7-35%, and 3-31% of the projected total energy consumption in 2010 in China, India, Malaysia, Philippines, Sri Lanka and Thailand, respectively.
Biomass production is found profitable in all countries, even at low to moderate productivity.
Table 1: Energy potential of plantation biomass
Resources assessed include: agricultural residues; animal wastes; municipal solid waste (MSW) and landfill gas; industrial waste water; and black liquor, biomass fuels that can be saved through efficiency improvement and their substitution by other fuels.
The energy potential of non-plantation biomass is estimated to be about 18%, 44%, 18%, 27%, 31%, 17% of the projected total energy consumption in 2010 in China, India, Malaysia, Philippines, Sri Lanka and Thailand, respectively.
Table 2: Total non-plantation bio-energy potential (PJ)
The estimated cost of CO2 abatement through substitution of fossil fuel and traditional biomass systems by selected modern/improved biomass energy systems ranges from negative to moderate positive values.
Some Asian countries have come up with clear mission/policy objectives statement on renewable energy (RE).
China: Raising efficiency and reducing cost in order to boost the share of RE in national energy supply.
India: Meeting minimum rural energy needs, provision of decentralised energy needs and grid quality power generation and supply.
In all study countries RE is now recognised as important for providing energy services, particularly in remote and rural areas.
China: several government entities are involved in renewable energy planning and development; these include the State Development and Planning Commission (SDPC), the State Economic and Trade Commission (SETC) and the Ministry of Science and Technology (MoST).
India: a separate Ministry (MNES) for overall planning and programme formulation.
Malaysia: a number of organizations are responsible for formulating policies for RE development.
Philippines: Department of Energy (DOE) formulates energy policies. The Non-Conventional Energy Division of DOE is responsible for RE development in collaboration with a number of other national energy related agencies.
Thailand: National Energy Policy Office formulates policy on energy, including renewable energy while the Department of Energy Development and Promotion (DEDP) implements the policies.
Sri Lanka: There is no specific government body responsible for promoting renewable energy in Sri Lanka. Ministry of Irrigation, Power and Energy (MIPE) and Ministry of Forest and Environment (MFE) mainly deal with Biomass.
Fiscal and Financial Incentives
Investment subsidy is provided to all major renewable energy technologies and is also available to a lesser extent in China and Thailand.
In India, 100% depreciation in the first year is allowed for certain equipment. Other fiscal incentives available in India include exemption/reduction in excise duty, and customs duty concessions on imports. Tax incentives for biomass energy projects are also available in Malaysia, China and Thailand.
Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs)
Provisions for PPAs are quite well established in India, China and Thailand. Wind farms in China have a right to sell electricity to the grid at a price giving them a reasonable profit even if the price is higher than the grid’s average price level.
Research and Development
Improved cookstove programs have been undertaken in practically all countries.
Relatively less has been done regarding traditional biomass energy systems in rural industries. In Asia, only India and China have achieved some success in R&D efforts on modern biomass energy systems.
Not much is being done in areas of high technology in biomass energy, e.g., flash pyrolysis of biomass, production of ethanol from lingo-cellulosic materials, and integrated gasification combined cycle.
Modern biomass energy technologies (BETs) face a number of barriers: technical, institutional, informational, and financial.
Some of the modern BETs need further R&D efforts.
Other barriers include: lack of standardisation, lack of local expertise/manufacturers/agents, lack maintenance service, and technology-specific problems.
These include lack of co-ordination among concerned government agencies, poor state and capability of national research institutes, and lack of micro-credit financing mechanisms.
Main barriers are lack of enough information on national biomass resource base, and lack of information on currently commercial/mature BETs.
Main barriers are lack of investment in the field of bioenergy, and perceived risks of bioenergy systems.
The ranking of BETs helps policy makers to focus better on a few most important technologies. Developing a suitable strategy for promoting bioenergy would involve removal of the most important barriers to these technologies.
In this study several BETs were ranked using Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP) based on the following criteria:
·Potential to make socio-economic impact,
·Potential to meet overall national energy needs, and
·Potential to attract investment (domestic and external)
Improved and modern biomass-based cooking and electricity generation technologies have been found to be the most important BETs.
BGC: Biogas for cooking;
BGP: Biogas plants;
BGPG: Biogas for power generation;
BIGCC: Biomass integrated gasification combined cycle;
BMG: Biomass gasifiers;
BMSPP: Biomass fired steam power plant;
GBPH: Gasification based process heat;
ICS: Improved cookstoves;
ICSPH: Improved stoves for process heat;
IK/S: Improved kilns/stoves
Table 4: Overall ranking of barriers to the spread of improved cookstoves
DGL: Difficulty in getting loans;
HIC: High Intial Cost;
LoA&I : Lack of awareness/information on improved stoves,incentives, subsidies available
LoCAGA: Lack of coordination among government agencies;
LoLAHPD:Lack of local availability of high performance devices;
LoLE: Lack of local expertise/know-how, skills;
LoMCFM: Lack of micro-credit financing mechanism;
LoPA: Lack of Performance assurance/standards;
SFF: Subsidy to fossil fuels/electricity;
New plantations and non-plantation sources can potentially significantly raise energy supplies from biomass.
RE sources are now recognised as important in meeting growing energy demands, particularly in remote and rural areas.
Improved and modern biomass-based cooking and electricity generation technologies are the most important BETs in the study countries.
Modern BETs face a variety of barriers; the most important barriers in the case of improved cookstove are high initial cost, lack of performance assurance/standards, and lack of micro-credit financing mechanisms.