Int'l group urges PH to invest in biomass

By Anna Valmero, loQal.ph

QUEZON CITY, METRO MANILA—Developing countries like the Philippines can tap biomass energy to reduce dependence on fossil fuels while adapting to climate change, according to a study by the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED).

Biomass energy, sourced from plant or animal matter, can be converted into major energy “carriers” such as heat, electricity, liquid and gas.

It can meet diverse energy requirements from powering irrigation pumps and agricultural processing to transport and telecommunications, said Duncan Macqueen, a senior researcher at IIED.

Macqueen is also the co-author of the report titled “Bundles of Energy: The Case for Renewable Biomass Energy”.

“The Philippines needs to be a bit more innovative in investing in renewable biomass energy because it is so accessible to rural communities, cuts emissions if produced sustainably, labor-intensive and creates job opportunities (compared with other renewable sources) and is flexible since it can be easily converted into traditional solid fuels, gaseous and liquid fuels and electricity,” he said, replying to questions via email.

Meanwhile, Department of Science and Technology (DoST) chief Mario Montejo said his agency is currently looking into biomass resources such as biodegradable garbage as a potential renewable energy source.

“There is a study proposal by a Cebu-based scientist about the potential of converting biomass into electricity such that 100 tons (of biodegradable wastes) can be converted into 750 kilowatts (of power),” he said in an interview.

“We are excited into the viability of this study but we have to meet first to check its viability,” he added.

Today, over two billion people depend on biomass for energy and the International Energy Agency forecasts global energy consumption to triple by 2050. At present, biomass energy makes up 77 percent or about two-thirds of total renewable energy production.

In Tanzania, a 2009 World Bank study showed that 80 per cent of the country’s energy needs are met by “fuel wood” and that the charcoal sector generates $650 million a year - ten times more than revenues from crops.

In countries like the Philippines, the production of biomass energy if often underreported, according to Macqueen.

Locally, biomass resources often consist of wood, dried branches, leaves and twigs, bamboo, coconut husk and rice hull, even manure from livestock and poultry and mostly agricultural wastes.

Charcoal is widely used in the Philippines, especially in the Southern region, according to the IIED report. Most Filipino charcoal producers use traditional ground-pit method of production, which is less efficient in terms of production than available modern technologies.

But this means that the production system and value chains are already existing, which makes investing on more efficient technologies the next step for the Philippines, said Macqueen.

The Philippines, he added, can also learn from India, which already invested in “gasification” technology that can convert wood and other biomass sources into electricity for small communities.

***

loQal.ph is a website owned and operated by Filquest Media Concepts, Inc. It works under the principle of giving voice to the voiceless, empowering Filipinos and uplifting the image of the Philippines by highlighting its unique culture. To do this, the loQal.ph team produces stories, video, photos and other multimedia content types to inspire and celebrate Filipino achievements, ideas, products and places.

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Philippines hits back at Beijing over South China Sea
    Philippines hits back at Beijing over South China Sea

    The Philippines on Saturday shot back at Beijing's criticism of its activities in the South China Sea, saying they were "in no way comparable to China's massive reclamation activities" in the waters. It also said accusations that Manila was being "hypocritical" would not distract people from Beijing's own actions which were raising regional tensions. "The Philippines' possible undertaking of necessary maintenance and repairs on its existing facilities in the West Philippine Sea... is in no …

  • Boxing hero Pacquiao is top tax-payer in Philippines: govt
    Boxing hero Pacquiao is top tax-payer in Philippines: govt

    Boxing hero Manny Pacquiao, who faces his biggest fight against unbeaten American Floyd Mayweather, already holds top spot as the number one taxpayer in the Philippines, government records showed Saturday. A list of top individual tax-payers for 2013, posted on the Bureau of Internal Revenue website, put the boxer-turned-congressman at number one with 163.84 million pesos ($3.72 million) in taxes paid. Internal revenue chief Kim Henares confirmed that Pacquiao topped the list but stressed …

  • Phl, Japan sign P9.6-B ODA projects
    Phl, Japan sign P9.6-B ODA projects

    The Philippines and Japan have signed agreements for six official development assistance (ODA) projects amounting to 22.289 billion yen or around P9.6 billion. …

  • Commission to launch glossary of Pinoy meteorological terms
    Commission to launch glossary of Pinoy meteorological terms

    The Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino (KWF) will release a glossary of meteorological terms in Filipino to help the Filipino people better understand weather forecasts and instill disaster awareness among them. National Artist for Literature and KWF president Virgilio Almario said yesterday the KWF produced the glossary titled Patnubay sa Weder Forkast to simplify scientific terms used in the weather bulletins of the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration …

  • Divorce bill good scapegoat for couples – CBCP
    Divorce bill good scapegoat for couples – CBCP

    Contrary to what romance novel writers would want their readers to believe, there are no perfect marriages in the real world. This was according to Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) president Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas. In a statement titled “CBCP Position Against the Divorce Bill and Against the Decriminalization of Adultery and Concubinage,” Villegas said that while it is not easy to make relationships last, learning how to work out differences – and …

  • DND holds off infra dev’t in Pag-Asa
    DND holds off infra dev’t in Pag-Asa

    The defense department is holding off repairs and other planned infrastructure projects on Pag-Asa Island, one of seven islets and two reefs occupied by Filipino troops in the disputed Spratly Islands. Earlier, Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario pointed out that the maintenance and repair of facilities in Pag-Asa Island are not covered by the Declaration of Conduct (DOC) of parties involved in the West Philippine Sea territorial disputes. “Repair and maintenance is okay but before …

  • Blackout to hit 5 Aurora towns
    Blackout to hit 5 Aurora towns

    An 11-hour power outage will hit five towns in Aurora on Tuesday, the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) announced yesterday. The NGCP said Baler, Dingalan, San Luis, Ma. Aurora and Dipaculao would be affected by the blackout. The NGCP said parts of Nueva Ecija and Aurora were hit by a power interruption yesterday due to the tripping of the Cabanatuan-Baler 69kV line. …

  • Rules set for climate change programs
    Rules set for climate change programs

    The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) and the Climate Change Commission (CCC) have released the revised guidelines to track and monitor climate change adaptation programs of the government. “The government of the Philippines has demonstrated leadership and strong commitment in implementing a comprehensive reform agenda to respond to climate change,” read the joint memorandum circular published in The STAR yesterday. “With the goal of using the budget process to plan, prioritize and …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options