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Bioenergy Implementation in Indonesia Part 4

Updated: Jul 16, 2021

I hope you are doing well. Everyone! Indri's here from the research team. Today I would like to continue sharing about biogas implementation in Indonesia. I wrote about bioenergy products (biomass, biofuel, biogas) and how to convert biomass (feedstock) to be energy products in part 1. I continued to write about bioenergy policy in Indonesia in part 2, then in part 3, I wrote about biodiesel implementation in Indonesia. As I mentioned in part 2, I wrote a report on the biogas-to-electricity project in Berau, East Kalimantan, so I would like to share it with you.

As you know, most palm oil plantations in Indonesia are from Sumatera and Kalimantan Island. Especially in Kalimantan, palm oil can be found in each province. A few years ago, I lived in a palm oil site (a remote area without electricity, signal, and asphalt road) for 6 months when I worked in the Patriot Energi program of the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources (ESDM). So, I know and can see all activities on the palm oil site. I lived at the village head's house and interacted with local communities in my daily activities. I was alone in the village. One person was allocated to one village. My friends lived in different villages and districts. I could visit the palm oil mill and see palm oil processing. Also, I could see there were cows in this village. Based on that experience, I wrote a report on the biogas-to-electricity project and added a study of POME (Palm Oil Mill Effluent) and CM (Cow Manure) as the feedstock of biogas.

Biogas Plant at Palm Oil Mill in Berau, East Kalimantan

As I wrote in Part 2, the Indonesian Government focuses on bioenergy implementation on industrial scales (palm oil). There are some products in the bioenergy market in Indonesia, such as agricultural biomass waste, Palm Oil Mill Effluent (POME), Municipal Solid Waste (MSW), and biodiesel. Biogas plants are increasing all over Indonesia, especially in palm oil plantations. There is a government mandate for all palm oil mills to install palm oil biogas to improve their sustainability (ICESN, 2017). To complete my report at that time, I asked for some data from the Directorate of Renewable Energy and Energy Conservation for biogas power plants (palm oils as feedstock) in Indonesia. It can be seen below:

On-grid Biogas Plantation in Indonesia (EBTKE, 2016)

Based on the table above, most on-grid biogas plants in Indonesia come from palm waste or palm oil mills. There are 101.6 MW out of 119.6 MW of on-grid biogas in Indonesia. However, I could not find data for off-grid biogas plantation in Indonesia. In fact, there are issues if the power plant is on-grid due to feed-in-tariff and legal requirements. Based on the ministry of energy and mineral resources regulation number 50/2017, the purchasing power procedure of biomass and biogas power plant with up to 10 MW can be done. Moreover, regarding the generic cost of generation (BPP) of the national electricity company (PLN), electricity can be sold to a maximum of 85% of BPP cost. However, there is no incentives, tax exemption, the multitude of low-interest loans, and subsidy program for renewable energy generation in Indonesia. Besides, there is no natural gas grid in Indonesia. Therefore, biogas cannot be injected to the grid directly. Hence, there should be more off-grid bioenergy plants at the palm oil mill in Indonesia. Currently, the Indonesian government (ESDM) collaborates with GIZ to collect data on off-grid biogas plantation from palm oil mill.

Most palm oil plantation in Berau use the PKS (Palm Kernel Shell) and fibre (biomass process) to generate power which the mill uses. Also, in some current research studies, PKS can be converted to biochar. On the other hand, POME, as liquid waste, can be processed to produce biogas. As I mentioned before, I added another scenario in my report to compare two types of feedstock below:

I wrote a long report to compare these scenarios' economic, social, environmental, and technical aspects. I combined manual calculation (for economic and technical aspects) and software using HOMER (for technical, economic, and environmental aspects). The second scenario will give more benefits (economic, technical, and environmental) than in the first scenario.

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