The new blessings of climate change for the palm oil industry.
Climate change mitigation measures are bringing surprising new opportunities and benefits to the palm oil industry – strengthening the bottom line and nudging it towards a more positive image.
Although climate change supporters continue to highlight the shortcomings regarding practices of the palm oil industry this has not deterred the world demand for palm oil from growing. Ironically today it is the same “climate change” call, that has surprisingly turned the industry into a beacon of hope. Among a barrage of measures climate change is driving, one is for traditional fuels to be replaced, at least partially, by biofuels as a source of clean energy to reduce carbon emissions. And it is this growing world demand for biofuels that has today made the world realise that the palm oil industry is not all bad news. Nay, it may well hold an important key to combat global warming. Continue reading “Surprise blessings from Climate Change challenges – for the image of, and new opportunities for, the Palm Oil industry”
Biomass Residue and Renewable Energy, Resource Efficiency at Palm Oil Mills
Apart from palm oil, biomass residue and the renewable energy derived therefrom are among two important products, sometimes overlooked, of palm oil mills in the oil palm industry. It is imperative that palm oil mills are recognised in the context of national resource efficiency for efficient utilisation of these products in order to maximise their contribution to the industry and national economy.
Despite the energy-efficient cogeneration technology currently employed at palm oil mills, most of the prime biomass residues at palm oil mills is presently consumed merely to provide heat and power to its processes. A truly energy-efficient design of a palm oil mill incorporating readily available innovative technologies can reduce its biomass residue consumption to less than half of the present consumption. The biomass thusly saved could be utilised elsewhere for useful purposes. In addition to large quantities of surplus prime biomass conserved at the mill for export, surplus electricity can be more efficiently generated within the mill for export to the grid, where grid access is available. Continue reading “Palm Oil Mills, in the Perspective of National Resource Efficiency”
Malaysia’s Policies on Renewable Energy and Global Warming that Went Awry
The Fifth-Fuel Policy under the Eight Malaysia Plan (2001- 2005) identified renewable energy sources as the fifth-fuel to be included into the national energy mix and more specifically, biomass residue from the palm oil mills as a major renewable energy resource. The policy pushed for optimising the use of renewable energy resources as a way to achieve maximum reduction of carbon emissions in the atmosphere. The fifth-fuel policy delved further to encourage co-generation as a suitable method to extract electricity and usable heat from biomass resources, mainly for in-house consumption. In this respect, the implementation of the policy faulted on two accounts:
- Firstly, by narrowly interpreting the policy direction as renewable for electricity generation the other important aspect, i.e. the simultaneous production of usable heat for in-house use was disregarded; and
- As a result of (1) above, standalone biomass-based power plants incinerating empty fruit bunches (EFB) remains from palm oil mills were promoted. This led to the second neglect, namely, prime biomass resource in the palm oil mills, which comprises mesocarp fibre and palm kernel shell that has tremendous renewable energy potential. The neglect of this prime biomass resource continues till today resulting in leaving their inherent renewable energy potential largely underutilised.
A downside to the two neglects mentioned above is that the standalone-small-scale-low-efficiency-electricity-only power plants burning empty fruit bunches, as forecast, demonstrated to be financially not viable and this unattractive economics continues to hamper biomass renewable energy development in Malaysia till today.
Continue reading “National Policies on Renewable Energy Utilisation and Abatement of Global Warming”
Sterilizer Technology Affects the Overall Energy Efficiency of Palm Oil Mills
The type of sterilizer technology utilised in the palm oil mill greatly affects steam and power demand, and performance of the sterilization process. With the growing demand for energy efficiency at palm oil mills, the selection of sterilizer is based mainly on its relevance to steam and power consumption because this will influence the overall energy efficiency of the palm oil extraction process.
The efficient use of energy at a palm oil mill is a major factor that reduces the carbon footprint of palm oil and impact on global warming trends and thus helps prevent climate changes. Utilizing biomass residues generated from the palm oil production process for its energy yield efficiently and productively further determines carbon emissions levels and the sustainability of palm oil production. Continue reading “Selection of Sterilizer Technology for Energy Efficient Operation of Palm Oil Mills”
There is more to Malaysian B5 biodiesel than meets the eye!
Believe it or not. Read on…
Palm Biodiesel Is Not Clean or Green! The Malaysian B5 Biodiesel program is set to release even more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than petroleum diesel intensifying global warming. But, it need not be. Tech savvy solutions are already available to confront the Carbon Footprint of Palm Oil, a base feedstock for the Biodiesel, and preserve the environment against global warming effects but the will to adopt appears to be entirely wanting. Continue reading “Carbon Footprint of Palm Oil and the Palm Biodiesel Dilemma”
Your Local Solution to Curb Global Warming via Efficient Energy Use
Energy is fundamental to the quality of our lives. We cannot conceive of development without supply of sustainable energy. But it is becoming increasingly clear that we need sources of energy that have no adverse impact on our environment. The prospect of irreversible climate change coupled with energy security issues necessitate an urgency to shift rapidly to low-carbon, efficient and environmentally-friendly energy systems, regardless of the industry involved.
In such energy systems, energy will come primarily from renewable resources, which are naturally replaced. Thus it is not surprising that the search for energy alternatives involving locally available and renewable resources is one of the main concerns of governments, scientists and business people worldwide. Usually, however, technological innovations are required to harness these renewable energy resources. Continue reading “Innovative Technologies and Sustainable Solutions to Overcome the World’s Biggest Challenges – Energy & Climate Change – at Your Palm Oil Mill”
Recovering Lost Energies in the Malaysian Utility Power Stations
Everyone in the know of renewable energy agrees that the best investment and what should be done first is energy efficiency. Energy efficiency is the low hanging fruit in the economy’s transition to less greenhouse gas emissions. Let’s look at it from the perspective of our Utility Power Stations. Continue reading “Picking the Low-Hanging Fruit of Energy Efficiency”
The Renewable Energy Bill 2010 was introduced in Parliament by the Hon. Minister of Energy, Green Technology and Water on 15 December 2010 for its first reading. This bill was drafted to become the stated regulatory framework to achieve the government’s Renewable Energy (RE) Policy vision, which is stated as “Enhancing the utilisation of indigenous renewable energy resources to contribute towards National electricity supply security and sustainable socio-economic development.” Continue reading “Renewable Energy Bill 2010 Misses the Mark by not setting Efficiency Standards for Harnessing Renewable Energy!”
Greenhouse Gas Emission Control is the Need of the Hour
Back in the 70’s there was a wave by countries to promote energy savings and energy efficiency driven by economic reasons following a hefty rise in oil prices. Today again there is another wave, and even more vigorous, but this time exerted by environmental considerations. The call is for sustainability, and more specifically to reduce harmful greenhouse gas (GHG) emission urgently to protect the world against climate change. Reducing greenhouse gas emission also goes hand in hand with enhancing our energy security, i.e., reducing dependence on fossil fuel and diversifying energy resources. Continue reading “Optimising the Utilisation of Renewable Energy Resources in the Oil Palm Industry”