The bio-electricity from palm oil produces sustainable benefits both economically, socially and environmentally
Fortunately, Indonesia has the largest oil palm plantation in the world. Palm plantation is one of the blessings from God Almighty for Indonesia. Various products and services are produced from oil palm plantations. Palm plantation itself is environmentally beneficial, serving as a part of
“lungs” for the environment. Carbon dioxide emissions are released into the air by motor vehicles, plant factories, including from human respiration, absorbed and purified by oil palms, and then they produce oxygen for human needs.
From palm oil, hundreds of products are made, starting from food (e.g. cooking oil, butter, shortening, specialty fat that are used in food industry, etc), cleaning agents (soap, detergent, shampoo, etc.), pharmaceutical ingredients (vitamins A, Vitamin E, etc.), lubricants, to energy (biodiesel, bio-premium, bio-avtur, etc).
Not only the main product that is beneficial, but the side products such as empty fruit bunches and liquid factory waste, have also been utilized to produce bio-electricity for rural electricity needs around the plantation. Palm oil factory waste is then processed using biogas tanks to produce methane biogas and then used to generate electricity. Currently, many oil palm plantations in various palm oil centers in North Sumatra, Riau, South Sumatra, Jambi and Kalimantan have produced bioelectricity from oil palm. And from now on, the development of oil palm bio-electricity still continues.
Based on the experience, palm oil factory with the capacity of 120 tons FFB / hour can produce about 2 Megawatts (MW) bio-electricity. That means for every 15 thousand hectares of oil palm plantation can produce 2 MW bio-electricity. Try to imagine, with the area of Indonesian palm plantation of about 11 million hectares, how many MW bio-electricity can be produced?
The production of palm oil bio-electricity creates double benefits. Utilization of waste for bio-electricity help clean up the environment, reduce palm carbon emissions, and preserve microbial life in biogas tanks. The availability of bio-electricity in the rural areas is a part of the rural energy security system, drives the regional economy, reduces fossil energy dependence, and reduces carbon emissions due to fossil energy use. The availability of this bio-electricity also helps the government with the ratios of electrification in rural areas.
These benefits will be enjoyed sustainably. As long as the sun is still shining, the oil palm plantations will continue to grow and produce, the wheels of the palm-mill rotate, and the double benefits will be enjoyed by the community sustainably.
In other words, palm oil bio-electricity is one example of sustainable energy supply that is economically, socially, and ecologically sustainable. Therefore, the government needs to facilitate, support and protect the national palm oil industry.
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