Working Group Meeting on "Pilot Study of Sustainability Assessments of Biomass Utilization"
The Working Group on "Pilot Study of Sustainability Assessments of Biomass Utilization" gathered at the Joint Graduate School of Energy and Environment (JGSEE) in Bangkok, Thailand from 25 to 29 April 2010.
Biomass utilization such as that for biofuel is expected to enable reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the world and to contribute to socio-economic development of biomass rich countries. However, negative impacts on biodiversity and food security are pointed out. Researches on sustainable biomass utilization have been conducted by a WG of ERIA since 2007. In 2007, the WG discussed sustainable biomass vision in East Asia and produced seven policy recommendations. "Asia Biomass Energy Principles" endorsed by the recommendations were adopted at the EAS Energy Minister Meeting in Bangkok in Aug. 2008. Following the Minister Meeting, the WG expanded its discussion to develop and publish guidelines to assess the sustainability of biomass utilization in East Asia.
While performing the study, the WG is implementing the methodologies required for the assessment and produce policy recommendations based on the results obtained from the pilot study. The location of the pilot study is in Khon Kaen, Thailand. Khon Kaen province has a very strong agriculture base with abundant rice, cassava and sugarcane farming.
During the meeting, Environmental, Economic and Social Aspect Managers provide an updated briefing on the data that needs to be collected, method of data collection and sources of data. The group agreed to use the expanded system boundary in the calculation of GHG emission from the use of the by-products of the Pilot Plant such as bagasse for Power and Steam Generation, alcohol waste for biocompost and others. The group found the offset or substitution method for the displaced fossil fuel by biofuel.
The group agreed on the format of the report, assigned writers and deadlines of the Pilot Study report submission was discussed and agreed to be presented to ERIA for approval.
Pilot Visit to Khon Kaen Sugar Industry Public Co., Ltd., Khon Kaen Sugar Power Plant Co., Ltd. and Khon Kaen Alcohol Co., Ltd. were also conducted. The pilot visit provides an understanding of the various benefits from the utilization of biomass by-products. The pilot study area is a good example of an integrated scheme of biomass utilization