Energy & Biogas

Description Industries generally look at waste as burdens for which they need to find solutions. However, with the right technologies, waste can be utilized as raw material for generating energy. Both liquid waste (e.g. dung, liquid manure and other bio-waste such as Palm Oil Mills Effluent (POME)) and solid wastes can be processed into gaseous fuels, which can in turn be used for energy generation, while avoiding the GHG emissions related to the use of fossil fuels.

Biogas–a mixture of methane and carbon dioxide–is created during anaerobic fermentation of liquid wastes and serves as a high-energy, renewable fuel that can be used as a substitute for fossil fuels. High-quality fertilizer is a by-product of this process.

Syngas is produced through gasification of solid wastes and can be likewise be used for rural electrification. Typically, one to two kg of solid waste can produce one kWh of electricity.

What is the issue? The domestic energy demand of the HoB countries has been largely met through fossil fuels in the last few decades, notably oil, coal and, more recently, natural gas. Energy use is the second largest source of GHG emissions, following emissions from land use changes, including deforestation and peat fires. It is also one of the fastest growing sectors.

In the HoB, many communities are not connected to the national grid, instead getting their electricity from generators which run on fossil fuels. The fuel has to be bought and transported from the cities.

Furthermore, waste from palm oil mills and plantations is abundantly available in the HoB and can be part of a comprehensive solution to a complex waste problem, combining regulatory implementation, industrial burden, energy conservation, community income, standard of living, regional economy and environmental protection.

Who is the seller? Many combinations can be envisioned depending on the business model.

Who is the buyer?Many combinations can be envisioned depending on the business model.

Steps towards
successful business model

  • Stricter law enforcement on waste handling policy;
  • Incentivize companies to partner with specialized waste handling companies to handle waste in accordance with regulation;
  • Technology provider offers comprehensive solutions;
  • Developer/investor commences commercial piloting and conducts capacity building;
  • Community seizes opportunity of conducting business as small power producer cooperative, or as waste/raw material logistics cooperative.
What can banks/investors do? Financial institutions can channel ‘green and clean’ energy funding into appropriate technology initiatives.

What can the private sector do?
  • Abide by waste handling regulations;
  • Piloting and building capacity in local communities;
  • Establish corporate social responsibility (CSR) program to channel result of waste processing initiative for the benefit of community.
What can the Government do?
  • Stricter enforcement of regulations;
  • Awareness raising about available renewable energy incentives.

Contribution to…
  • Securing natural capital: Finding solutions to waste problems in the HoB (including effluent from palm oil plantations and mining) contributes directly to improvement of natural capital;
  • Poverty reduction: The poor can benefit from these green solutions through rural electrification and income-generating opportunities; their quality of life is also enhanced through better environmental quality;
  • Economic growth: Both industries and local communities enjoy new economic opportunities;
  • Climate change: Providing green alternatives to energy generation directly mitigates emissions.