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FAO/UNEP/UN-Energy Bioenergy Decision Support Tool -
MODULE 7: Deployment and Good Practices
Box 4: Phytoremediation-willow in Sweden
Phytoremediation is the intentional use of living plants for remediation of contaminated soil, sludge, sediment and groundwater. It can
be used to clean up environmental contamination by heavy metals, pesticides, oil, and radio nuclides as well as organic pollutants in
agricultural soils. Poplar and willow (salix) are trees that have useful properties in terms of their ability to sue nutrients from wastewater
while also fltering organic materials and isolating non-organic pollutants. The case of short-rotation willow coppice (SRWC) systems
in Sweden offers an interesting example of how bioenergy crops can end up serving other purposes.
The original driving forces for research and development on willow in Sweden were a predicted shortage of raw material for the pulp
and paper industry, and later the energy crises of the 1980s. These motivations were later supplemented and to some extent over-
taken by agricultural policy, employment, and environmental remediation. Large-scale implementation of SRWC for biomass produc-
tion, in combination with environmental goals, is currently driven by the increasing need to incorporate organic waste handling into a
recycling concept. An important line of study has been the notion that SRWC may play a function in redirecting heavy metals from
the human food chain (Mirck, 2005 et al). There are now several examples in practice in Sweden and elsewhere of SWRC systems
serving the dual purpose of phytoremediation and bioenergy production.
Box 5: Nepal Biogas Programme
The long-running biogas programme in Nepal has aimed to provide improved energy and sanitation services in rural areas through a
comprehensive combination of technical support, social integration, fnancing mechanisms and cost-effective delivery structures. The
programme includes key features such as:
• quality biogas plant construction and assurance of proper operation in rural areas;
• comprehensive quality standards/control - ISO 9001:2000 certifcation;
• construction and connection of toilets with the biogas plants;
• bio-slurry from plants utilized as organic compost fertilizer;
• emphasis on a commercially viable and market-oriented biogas sector; and
• micro-credit facility for fnancing biogas plants in rural Nepal.
The programme has created a new economic sector by linking technical capacity to fnancing options, empowering entrepreneurs
and households in energy/economic choices.
Another useful method for accelerating deployment or improving
the economic feasibility of bioenergy systems is to take advantage
of effciencies in scale and employ technical learning across differ-
ent installations of similar systems. This might be accomplished at
the national or project/programme level, depending on the under-
lying economics and the goals of the strategy—or in the case of
the project level—the investment parameters. One example at the
project level was the wood energy programme in Belarus, which
was initially aimed at replacement of coal and natural gas boilers
with woody biomass at several sites, but was able to combine
additional technical learning to upgrade the quality of biomass
provided (Box 6).
At the national level, a bioenergy programme might be linked to
market restructuring or the economic rationalisation of a given
sector; the upgrading and investments required are thereby
reduced. One example at the national level was the bagasse
cogeneration programme in Mauritius, whose economic feasibility
was linked to the downsizing of the industrial processing side
of the sugar industry (Box 7). The greater scale effciency due
to the rationalisation facilitated the gathering and availability of
the bagasse at suffcient scale. The rationalisation of the sugar
industry and the establishment of a competitive independent
power production capacity at the factories were part of the same
package – neither would have been possible without the other.
The provision of appropriate fnancing can improve the uptake
of commercially-available bioenergy systems where demand
is clearly evident but is dispersed, such as in most rural areas.
One approach is to address business development directly by
Box 6: UNDP/GEF wood energy project in Belarus
A UNDP/GEF-supported project in Belarus was aimed at replacing coal and natural gas-fred boilers in and near Minsk with wood-
fred boilers. The project included technical and institutional support aimed at securing the biomass supply and insuring operations
and maintenance. The specifc objectives included:
• strengthening institutional capacity to support biomass energy projects;
• establishing track record for investments in supply and demand for sustainable bioenergy;
• developing straightforward fnancial “starter” mechanisms in a challenging investment climate;
• overcoming negative perceptions of biomass energy;
• addressing fnancial barriers by establishing revolving funds; initial capitalization: $1.54 million;
One of the sites employed an advanced technology for collection and processing of logging waste, based on procedure of leaving
collected wood waste in the forest for some time to get rid of fr–needles. Such a procedure after allows a special mobile machine to
make wood chips directly on site, which are then transported to a boiler–house (UNECE, 2004).