Biomass Energy Seminar, Geres Cambodia. 04.11.2010

This seminar was an extremely informative day, with lots of information about the work of Geres, their successes, and also some of the barriers they encountered during their work. Here is a summary of the day’s proceedings:

Baseline scenario (Iwan Baskoro, Geres)
• 1995, >70% of energy sources in Cambodia were biomass
• 240,000 tons charcoal per year (100,000 tons for Phnom Penh)
• Reductions targeted at users (improve stoves) and producers (improved kilns)

Improved charcoal stove project (Iwan Baskoro, Geres)
• All users save a total >1 million USD annually through fuel savings
• 37,000 units / month are being sold
• >1 million stoves sold by March 2010
• Producers get approximately $431 per month
• Awards won include Ashden Award for sustainable energy, PCIA x2
• 2x cook stove designs; New Lao (designed in Thailand, for urban areas) – better for cooking > 1 hour and Neang Konkrang (a lower cost version for rural areas, best for cooking for shorter amounts of time as rural people do)
• 1x palm sugar design – Vattanak – includes secondary air injection under pot and separate combustion chamber, and elevated chimney.

Challenges and solutions (Iwan Baskoro, Geres)
• Professionalism of artisans – quality control, lack of financial management skills
• Integration with the National Wood Energy Policy, and other relevant policies
• Standardisation of stoves
• Fiscal / non-fiscal incentives to stimulate production and distribution
• Stoves being copied – however this is evidence that the design is good
• Trained stove producers were not always keen to join (the first two trainings were 30% success), so those who were making copycat stoves were found and offered training (these proved to be some of the most successful producers)

Green charcoal (David Beritault, Geres)
• Traditional kiln 6.5kg = 1kg wood, 3 weeks conversion time, inconsistent quality
• Improved Yoshemura kiln 4.5kg = 1kg. Calorific value increased from 26-30 MJ/kg)
• Total 50% improvedmnet
• Move from illegal production to legal production

Char briquettes (Carlo Figa Talamanca, Geres)
• Less ash (more homogenous) and therefore more valuable to make than charcoal, quicker to make
• Waste used includes coconut waste, char from garment factories, mixed organic waste, sugar cane, rice husk, some have to buy but most for free.
• Completely removes need for wood charcoal (therefore 1kg char briquettes saves 6.5kg wood)
• Uses tapioca binder

Biomass supply chain (Mathieu van Rijn, Geres)
• Potential to make 100% renewable wood supply
• Agroforestry options (not competing with land for food production)

Carbon finance (Marion Verles, Geres)
• Project now > 100% financed by C finance – extra used for R&D
• 1st improved cookstove in the world which received carbon finance
• Expect to generate 160,000 tCO2 annually from 2003-2010 (the project was verified in advance by Bureau Veritas in 2007)
• Verefied against the Voluntary Carbon Standard methodology
• Nexus set up – as a consortium of similar NGOs to reduce transaction costs of entering C markets – a difficult, expensive task for Geres (methodology development etc.)

Minister H.E. Suy Sem for ministry of Industry, Mines and Energy
• Renewables are encouraged, as catalysts for rural development
• Geres project is closely supported by the ministry
• Biomass energy being considered includes biogas and biofuels (Jatropha, Palm Oil and Sugar Cane)
• Biomass gasification is being undertaken in Cambodia by organisations including DEDE, Thailand, FONDEM and a host of RE organisations


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