Reviewing Second Bio-energy International Workshop

07 July 2017 | Auditya Sari

The 2nd Bioenergy International Workshop

The 2nd Bioenergy International Workshop was held in Bali, Indonesia, 22nd – 24th May 2017.

This event was an advanced workshop to follow up on the 1st Bioenergy International Workshop, held in 2016. The aim was to identify potential feedstocks and their related technology that could be utilised for bioenergy development in Bali and East Java. Since bioenergy has several well-known feedstocks: biogas, biodiesel and bioethanol, it was thus important to specify the scope in the 2nd Bioenergy International Workshop. Several factors such as rapid deployment (technological dimension), encouragement from the government (social dimension) and available financial support (economic dimension) of biogas implementation in Bali led to biogas being the main focus of the 2nd Bioenergy Workshop. While the barriers and challenges of biogas deployment are well-known, this workshop aimed at shedding further light on the opportunities of biogas in Indonesia with critical reflections on the associated risks and barriers. Group exercises and discussions were facilitated on the topic of enhancing the deployment and identifying opportunities for biogas.

Fifty-five of the roughly 90 invited stakeholders attended the workshop. Among others were 5 policy makers, 27 international and national researchers, 7 university representatives, 8 NGOs, 2 cooperation representatives and 6 farmers. Participants included Indonesians stakeholders of national to regency level (i.e. Bali and East Nusa Tenggara/NTT Province), and researchers of TRANSrisk and GREEN-WIN regarding biogas implementation in Indonesia with a specific case study in Bali. 

The main discussions were:

  • Lesson learned about biogas deployment in other country: the Netherlands.
  • Assessing risks and barriers related to biogas deployment in Indonesia, particularly Bali, among various stakeholders.
  • Exploring sustainable, resilient, and scalable business models of biogas on the Indonesian market.
  • Identification of strategic plans and actions of biogas implementation in Indonesia.

Since the participants were locals and internationals coming from different backgrounds, it was important to engage all participants. For instance, bilingual slides (Bahasa and English) were provided and each discussion group was facilitated by local organisers to foster a conducive discussion. As a result, the participants did not hesitate to share their ideas and experiences working on the field including discussions about the risks and barriers not only in Bali but also the NTT Province.

A day before the workshop begun, GREEN-WIN Work Package 7 (WP7) and Work Package 3 (WP3) team members and the TRANSrisk project team did a field visit to Jembrana, West Bali. The aim was to picture how biogas supports the livelihood of smallholder farmers and to see the opportunity for incentivizing biogas usage by linking it to money-making activities through community-based projects with coffee and cacao farmers.The visit was completed by spending time with two farmers: I Gusti Chakra, a coffee farmer, and Ketut Windya, a cacao farmer, both of which are already using a biogas system for cooking and lighting. These farmers were selected using the “Championship Approach” method. It selects farmers that are already well-known in their living area due to their experience and performance and have a high influence on other farmers. As a result, this information regarding the benefit of biogas and the opportunity to link it with coffee processing could be widely disseminated among other farmers.

The farmers have different types of installations: I Gusti Chakra has a 4m3 fixed-dome biogas reactor, which was built in collaboration with the BIRU Program of Yayasan Rumah Energi. During the visit, participants also had the opportunity to roast coffee beans themselves using the harvested biogas: the more environmental friendly option when compared to conventional LPG or firewood. Ketut Windya has a removable biogas bag, designed by the GREEN-WIN Indonesia case and team with a similar size. These two different types of biogas systems were installed as pilot projects to experiment with a mix of feedstock of animal manure and organic waste. The cacao pod was chosen as a biogas feedstock because the farmer had problems with his waste management.

The design of the removable biogas bag has several benefits compared with a fixed-dome type: Easier installation, repair, removal. During the field visit, participants could observe that biogas can be used not only as an alternative for cooking and lighting fuels, but also as a way to provide additional income, in this case roasted coffee beans by biogas. This field visit was also an initiative survey for WP3 to further collaborate with WP7, on the diffusion of biogas in Indonesia.

The next step is to deliver a report that includes the results of the analysis and a set of recommendations to the invited stakeholders. Furthermore, a paper will be published in an academic journal publication to disseminate the results. 

The International Workshop on Sustainability and Resilience of Bioenergy for Climate Change 

The International Workshop on Sustainability and Resilience of Bioenergy for Climate Change is part of a series of annual bio-energy workshops, taking place from 2016 to 2018, which is organized as a joint initiative of the Ministry of National Development Planning of Indonesia, the Indonesian Climate Change Trust Fund, the European Commission, Udayana University and The general objective is to accelerate bioenergy development and promote climate change mitigation and adaptation pathways in Indonesia through the Horizon2020 projects: GreenWIN and TRANSrisk.

  • GreenWIN aims to identify green solutions that already exist at a specific location in specific sectors, help them spread to other locations and other sectors, and identify how incentive structures should be changed in order to create innovative business models. It will assess the practical feasibility of implementing green growth strategies to meet mitigation, adaptation and sustainability goals.
  • TRANSrisk aims to bring together quantitative models and qualitative approaches, focusing on participatory consultations with stakeholders as a link between the policy approaches. The Indonesian case provides an opportunity to analyze the sustainability and climate resilience of low carbon transition pathways comprising of biofuels made from wastes and residues that are technically and economically feasible and acceptable from a social and environmental viewpoint.

During the 1st Bioenergy International Workshop, an international expert and stakeholder group envisioned, scoped and prioritized the opportunity of bio-energy development in Indonesia, resulting in a commitment to further explore the potential of biogas on both regional and national level.

This year’s workshop aims to shed further light on the opportunities of biogas in Indonesia with critical reflections on the associated risks and barriers. Concrete pilot projects of the bio-digester developed by the Indonesian team will be showcased during a field trip. The risks and uncertainties on policy level will be addressed via stakeholder consultations and feed into the macro-economic modelling activities led by the European team. Finally, group exercises will be facilitated on the topic of future business models for biogas solutions.

In the 2nd Bioenergy International Workshop, risks and barriers within household biogas system implementation in Indonesia were identified by bringing up specific case studies in Bali and East Nusa Tenggara (NTT). The qualitative methods to identify the risks and barriers, included focus group discussions with different topics and individual exercises.
In summary, the main objectives of the 2017 workshop were:

  • Assess the risks and barriers related to biogas deployment in Indonesia for various stakeholders.
  • Explore sustainable, resilient, and scalable business models for biogas solutions on the Indonesian market.
  • Showcase the installation and use of a portable bio-digester with a specific focus on the market opportunities for sustainable coffee.

The methods were:

  • Q method (individual exercise) was done by selecting 49 statement cards related to the social perspective of the biogas system and arranging them into 7 columns of 7 cards. The “guide strip” above the columns, indicated the extent of agreement from -3 (most disagree) to 0 (neutral), to +3 (most agree).
  • A Technology Needs Assessment (TNA) was done in focus group discussions, which were specified into 3 groups: policy makers, researchers & academics, and farmers. These groups discussed about arranging priorities of biogas installation from their perspectives. 
  • The biogas business model canvas assessment was done also by focus group discussions, talking about alternative ideas of biogas businesses related to increasing farmers’ incomes. The participants were also asked to think about the business model within the scheme.  

During the workshop, each group discussed the key activities, key resources, and partners for each sector opportunity. The groups then proceeded to create a SWOT table based on their respective ideas to assess the risks and barriers related to biogas deployment in Indonesia for various stakeholders. The most rational discussion results were about fertilizer packaging to reach a wider market and fruit jam production using biogas technology. Furthermore, the groups designed business workflows for their value proposition. The process maps show that the groups identified various roles within the workflows that could facilitate business activation through funding, installation and user training. Such responsibilities either lie with a service organization, a bank or the government

After the analysis of the results has been done, a discussion related to the main topic and further scope study will be conducted for 3rd Bioenergy International Workshop.

Auditya Sari, National Project Leader, Peramina Foundation.