Philippines: Harnessing Biomass for Off-grid Rural Electrification E-mail
Saturday, July 18, 2009

Biomass is a versatile source of energy; it can produce electricity, heat or fuel for transportation and is storable. It is the world’s fourth largest energy source and contributes to at least 14 percent of the world’s primary energy demand. In developing countries, the contribution of biomass to primary energy supply is at least 35 percent. In developed economies, such as the European Union, its contribution ranges from 2 to 14 percent.

The Philippines has abundant agricultural residues that are suitable for power generation. The EC-ASEAN COGEN Programme estimated that the volume of residues from rice, coconut, palm oil, sugar and wood industries is 16 million tons per year. Bagasse, coconut husks and shell can account for at least 12 percent of total national energy supply. The World Bank-Energy Sector Management Assistance Program estimated that residues from sugar, rice and coconut could produce 90 MW, 40 MW, and 20 MW, respectively.

Philippines: Harnessing Biomass for Off-grid Rural Electrification

Prepared by the Society for the Advancement of Technology Management in the Philippines with the support of the Department of Energy and U.S. Agency for International Development as part of the Technical Assistance to the DOE for Enhancing Private Sector Participation in Renewable Energy.

According to Agrilectric, U.S., burning one kilogram of rice husk can generate as much as one kilowatt of electricity. This is made possible by improving the burning efficiency in which rice husks
are ground or pulverized and fired as powder fuel.

The Philippine Energy Plan for 1999-2008 forecasts that the country’s aggregate biomass fuel supply will grow from 247.9 MMBFOE in 1999 to 301.5 MMBFOE in 2008, an annual
growth rate of 2.2 percent. Bagasse is projected to account for almost half of the contribution of renewables to energy supply to the commercial and industrial sectors. Municipal solid waste is expected to contributes 10 MW in 2005 and 50 MW in 2008.

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