Main content area

A methodological approach for assessing potential of sustainable agricultural residues for electricity generation: South Asian perspective

Rahman, Md. Mizanur, Paatero, Jukka V.
Biomass and bioenergy 2012 v.47 pp. 153-163
anaerobic digestion, bioenergy, biomass, combustion, crop yield, crops, developing countries, electricity, energy, livestock, livestock production, rural areas, sustainable agriculture, Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka
Lack of electricity is widespread in the rural areas of developing countries. Extensive production of agricultural crops and livestock in the rural areas simultaneously provides abundant amounts of residues every year. Although often utilized, much of the residues are left unused. They have diverse characteristics and they lay in scattered places. To explore the ways to utilize these residues in an innovative and sustainable manner, it is essential to systematically assess the actual resource availability beyond their current other uses. This paper proposes a method to quantify the residues with so-called residue characteristics factors data along with their processing techniques. This method determines the energy potential of the residues for anaerobic digestion (AD) processes instead of combustion, and correlates data directly with annual crop yields and livestock productions. The proposed method has been applied to five South Asian countries for estimating their potentials. The results show that the available agricultural residues in the rural areas of Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka have annual electricity production potentials 680 kWh, 820 kWh, 720 kWh, 1200 kWh and 480 kWh per rural household (HH) respectively. Village-level utilization is found to be financially attractive (having per unit electricity generation cost 0.040 € kWh⁻¹) there to utilize the residues for electricity generation.