Monday, August 8, 2011

Biomass Energy


Biomass Energy


Grarado Green Energy, Inc. has been inspired by small scale rural based factory producing non-food energy products based on models developed and executed in Holland and Honduras.

Studies in certain areas in Mindanao and Marinduque have been conducted by the company’s CEO, Ger Groeneveld, who is equipped with technical knowledge of the cultivation and processing of energy crops from seed to tank. Farmers are willing to plant and deliver high value energy crop with fairly cheap labor, he said. Also said to be present are an excess of other bio-waste, skills and materials for producing the needed equipment. Design, engineering and production of equipment have been found to be similar to economically comparable country like Honduras, plus the availability of land and growing conditions for the intended energy crop, Jatropha.

The jatropha tree produces seeds containing 27-40% inedible oil, which is easily convertible into bio-diesel.Widespread use of the seeds as oil has been considered in Nicaragua and other Central and South American locations as well as more distant places like Tanzania.

Initially, Grarado has tied up with FOMMCO, a local farmers cooperative in Marinduque for the production of high energy content biomass products for export to Europe and is also now eyeing his company’s potential to be part of the solution to Marinduque’s perennial power supply problem.

Biomass has achieved global acceptance as a long term renewable replacement for fossil fuels, it is a highly efficient form of energy conversion (especially relative to coal) and its use for power production contributes towards the reduction of greenhouse gasses due to its “carbon neutral” status, which due to the fossil fuel displacement, generates positive carbon emissions credits.


Recently, Clenergen Philippines Corporation, a subsidiary of Clenergen Corporation (USA) announced that it had signed a strategic partnership with PowerSource Philippines, Inc. to accelerate the installation of up to 30MW of rural “off grid “renewable electricity to both island communities over the next three years, with projected income in excess of $35 million per annum.

According to Clenergen, the majority of island communities are supplied with electricity from diesel generators at a cost of around 32 cents per KWh and continue to face up to 12 hour black outs due to inconsistent supplies of diesel. PowerSource has been granted a 15 year exclusive franchise to generate and distribute power to specified rural areas, and is reportedly the first Qualified Third Party (“QTP”) to be certified under the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA).

The strategic partnership will combine Clenergen’s proprietary plant science for the cultivation of energy crops to supply small biomass power plants that will be financed by PowerSource and then distributed though PowerSource’s transmission network. Both parties will proportionally share in the revenues generated from the cultivation of biomass and each party’s sale of electricity to both captive end users and the Philippine Government.

From a wide variety of plants that can be converted into electricity in an environmentally friendly and sustainable matter, the potential of bamboo and melia dubia as high value energy crops are eyed by Clenergen Philippines.


The species of bamboo selected for energy crops is from the Bambusa Balcooa family of grasses. After 10 years of breeding and fertilization programs, this species bamboo is now cultivated from tissue culture and then micro propagated. As a result, each tissue culture sapling is identical, asexual, non evasive, non flowering and has a density of 5 times greater than any other species of bamboo. It can be cultivated in all types of soil where there is sufficient water availability or where climatic conditions such as in the equatorial regions offer a natural environment for cultivation. The bamboo has the potential as an energy crop of yielding 20 tonnes per acre year three and 35 tonnes per acre year three. By year four, the bamboo can be mechanically harvested and produce on average, up to 65 tonnes per acre per annum, with a lifespan of up to 50 years.

Melia dubia

Melia dubia originates from the Meliaceae family and is an indigenous species of tree to India, South East Asia and Australia, where it has been cultivated as a source of firewood. The tree can be cultivated in all types of soil and requiring a low supply of water on a daily basis. Melia dubia has the unique feature of growing to 40 feet within 2 years from planting and can be mechanically pruned and harvested. As an energy crop, Melia dubia has the potential of yielding in excess 40 tonnes of biomass on average per acre per annum over a 10 year period (before replanting is required). it’s high calorific value makes it a viable source of feedstock for biomass power plants.

Neighboring Romblon is 'in'.

NPC has signed memorandum of agreements (MOA's) with two foreign power firms, Clenergen and Enertine in developing biomass power. Clenergen in particular is undertaking biomass feasibility studies for the off-grid areas of Romblon, Kalinga and Apayao under a cooperation program with NPC. It was also reported that Clenergen "is also assessing possibilities in providing electricity to the mining, coconut sectors through their respective industry organizations."

At least 42 MW of power are being eyed to be generated from the proposed biomass projects in the pipeline.