Biogas Power Asia
Biogas power has high potential in the Asian countries due to the abundant availability of palm oil residue, industrial wastewater and livestock manure. The prospects of biogas power generation are likely to be high in India, China, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines due to their favourable renewable energy policies and targets.
The industrial waste water are mainly from palm oil mill, starch industry, ethanol plants, sugar mills, food industries, paper industry and livestock farms. In Asia, China has taken the lead by setting ambitious targets. Targets for biogas electricity power production with electricity export to grid are 0.8 GW by 2010 and 3 GW by 2020.
In SEA, especially in Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand, effluent from palm oil mills can be converted into biogas which in turn can be used to generate power through gas turbines or gas-fired engines. In Malaysia, there are around 400 palm oil mills producing around 45 million tons of palm oil mill effluent (POME). It is estimated that the existing potential for electricity generation from POME is above 300 MW.
In Thailand, the installed capacity of biogas power plants is above 40 MW in 2008 and the estimated potential is above 300 MW.
In India and the Philippines, availability of large amount of livestock manure provides investment opportunity for biogas project developers to develop captive units of biogas plants that can be used to produce electricity.
Invariably other Asian countries too have good potential to implement biogas power plants from industrial waste water treatment system. Until early 2000, most of the industries used open lagoon system as the most common approach to treat their waste waters. Some of the industries used aeration ponds. Once CDM started gaining momentum, the biogas power projects became more popular because of their high CER potential due to mitigation of CO2 emissions from two streams namely a) methane capture and b) electricity generation.
More and more CDM project developers, CER buyers and green fund managers jumped into this area which led to the very high growth of biogas power generation in the last 5 years.