EFFICIENT WASTE MANAGEMENT: Plantation firms tell
PALM oil millers in
Millers capture the gas from the sludge before it enters the atmosphere, and turns it into renewable energy using biogas plants. These anaerobic digesters behave like our stomach. They contain friendly bacteria that feed on organic matter to produce flammable gas called methane and digestate that can then be turned into fertiliser.
In an interview with Business Times,
Apart from producing renewable electricity, the biogas anaerobic digestion process also converts environmentally polluting sludge into organic fertiliser that can be used to increase the yield of planted crops. By running a large combined steam and power generator, a palm oil mill becomes a self-sustaining powerhouse that lights up houses, places of worships, schools and sports facilities, Franki added.
Palm biodiesel is responsibly produced with environmental protection in mind.
If palm oil mills are located near
Seda facilitates supply and renewable energy usage in
The fund is given to biogas, biomass, small hydro and solar photovoltaic on a quota basis. To date, biomass and biogas projects are allocated 222 megawatts (MW), or 37 per cent, of the total 601MW renewable energy quota.
Biogas plant operators which have successfully bid for the quota and accorded licences by Seda will receive
At the current FiT for qualified biogas plant operators, one can only expect minimal returns after 10 years.
Franki said a more targeted package of government incentives could spur more palm oil millers to invest in waste-to-energy projects.
She suggests that the cost of laying the cable be shared between TNB and the renewable energy producers. "Apart from the formidable cost of cabling up, there is also the logistical and technical challenge if there is a fault or sabotage of the connecting cable. This is too taxing on millers."
Low urges the government to consider revising the nation's electrification master plan. One can look to
"A joint study between the
It is common knowledge that solar thrives on a few hours of intense sunlight while biogas power plants are able to run 24 hours a day, seven days a week. At current technology, solar conversion to electricity efficiency is only around 15 per cent while for biogas, it is close to 60 per cent. This means the conversion of biogas to electricity is four times more efficient. Besides, compared with biogas, the solar sector is highly dependent on foreign technology and imports.
Given the relatively limited FiT budget, which is funded by a 1.6 per cent levy on electricity bills of heavy users in Peninsular Malaysia and
Currently, first-generation biogas plants take about a month to generate a reasonable amount of biomethane, but going forward, as highlighted by Low, second generation know-how could speed up the digestion by 10 times to just three days.
"The current package of tariffs for biogas plant operators of
"If a higher quota allocation is accorded to biogas plant operators, it can help light up more energy-starved places in
"Apart from its relatively high energy conversion efficiency that makes payment from the renewable energy fund worthwhile, palm oil millers' investment in biotechnology initiative leads to cleaner air and creation of more high-skilled jobs," Lim said.
KLK has a biogas plant in
Not all 368 palm oil mills throughout the peninsula and
Going forward, Lim noted that there is still much potential in biogas because millers can leverage on the local know-how to purify biomethane and sell them as compressed natural gas to industrial users such as oleochemical producers, taxis and express buses. There is also an option of compressing it into cooking gas.
"By 2020, we aim to push this to 51." In theory, biogas plant operators are accorded a maximum FiT incentives of up to
"We're not able to benefit from the
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