(SeeNews) - Jul 13, 2011 - The Asian Development Bank (ADB) unveiled on Monday a new project aimed at bolstering the use of biomass waste in Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam to meet the growing demand for clean energy in the region.
The project will be funded by a USD-4-million (EUR 2.8m) grant from the Nordic Development Fund. It also includes counterpart financing of USD 600,000 from the governments of Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam, which are part of the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS).
The initiative, to begin this month and last till December 2014, will include pilot investment projects for the installation of biomass technologies such as household biogas systems and biochar kilns. It will also involve different studies, the building of human and institutional capacity on biomass investment and the promotion of regional exchange among the nations in the GMS.
There are huge amounts of biomass feedstock such as rice husks and animal manure in GMS countries. Still, they are not used efficiently for power generation or as fertilisers. At the same time, large-scale biofuel crop production in the region represents a huge threat for the population's food security.
"Promoting more efficient use of biomass can simultaneously address the goals of fighting climate change and improving the well-being of the rural poor, which are often seen as competing priorities," Sununtar Setboonsarng, part of ADB’s southeast Asia department, said.
(USD 1.0 = EUR 0.709)