Development of community-based biomass power generation and land restoration with bamboo in Timor Island, Indonesia

06 Dec 2021

Due to huge locally based renewable energy potential, Indonesia is aiming for a 23% energy mix from renewables by 2025. The country has an extraordinary range of natural resources that can be harnessed for renewable energy, including unparalleled geothermal, immense local biomass potential, substantial hydro, solar irradiation, wind and even oceanic current flows.
Characteristics that make biomass suitable for substituting diesel power plants in Indonesia include a flexible power plant size and load-follower capabilities.

Biomass power generation can also be deployed anywhere where sufficient potential for biomass production exists, including in the rural grids of Timor Island. Moreover, as the biomass in Timor is only applied on degraded/non-forested land using fast-growing leguminous trees that can be harvested through coppice and do not require replanting for 15-20 years, planting trees at scale for biomass production can maintain reduce soil erosion, improve landscape fertility, sequestrate soil carbon, and stabilize hydrological cycles in the mid to long-term.
To enhance the benefits of biomass power plants more significantly, we propose a community-based business scheme, ensuring that the biomass is produced and harvested by local communities and sold to power generation facilities, considerably improving income as the sole biomass feedstock supplier.
Under this approach, biomass power generation can be a catalyst for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels (especially diesel) used in power generation, provide an income for communities supplying feedstock and restore degraded landscapes at scale.

Relevant Resource(s):

  • Clean Power Indonesia

  • International Network for Bamboo and Rattan (INBAR)