Currently, almost two-thirds of Europe’s renewable energy comes from burning biomass, and the industry employs almost half a million workers.
Thailand will use coconut husks to generate 9.5 MilliWatts of energy in a process believed to increase efficiency while reducing air pollution. The process turns coconut waste into electrical power thanks to a specialized power plant that burns biomass. Unlike other biomass plants, which can be designed to burn everything from wood chips to city waste, the plant being built in Samut Sakhon Province will be tailored specifically for coconut parts. Thailand produces over 1 million tonnes of coconuts annually, according to United Nations statistics, and by tailoring the plant to use just one form of widely available form of waste, officials of DP Cleantech, the corporation constructing the plant, believe they can increase efficiency while reducing air pollution.
The plant, which is expected to open in the next 18 months, will generate 9.5 MilliWatts of energy. Simon Parker, CEO of DP Cleantech, told Appleyard that the plant would be unusual because it would accept multiple forms of coconut fuel, including husks, shells, and leaves, adding: “We believe that the energy market in Thailand is ready to be at the forefront of the new generation of solutions for biomass to power, using higher efficiency, multi fuel and low emissions solutions.” Biomass is becoming an increasingly popular renewable energy source, although most current plants are fueled by wood chips.
In their 2015 report, the European Biomass Association estimates that Europe received 15 percent of its energy from renewable sources in 2013, the most recent year for which figures were available. Of that total, 61.2 percent came from biomass generators, almost two-thirds of the renewable energy generated on the continent. That same year, 494,550 people were estimated to work in the biofuel industry, generating wages of 56 billion euros. A 2014 study from the International Council on Clean Transportation estimated that Europe currently wastes 220 million tons of similar material which could be fed into a biomass plant.
Ben Allen, a senior policy analyst at the Institute for European Environmental Policy, said that biofuelbased approaches will have to be tailored to each individual region: “Context is everything when evaluating sustainability … because it determines the feasibility of a power plant, the availability of the resources, the conditions of supplying and the interaction with the wider business community.”
MintPress News Desk