UNDP Participates in China Biomass Energy Forum 2017

May 19, 2017

Patrick Haverman, Deputy Country Director of UNDP delivers remarks at the Forum, Photo by China Biomass Energy Association

UNDP China participated in the China Biomass Energy Forum, held in Beijing on 19th May 2017. This was also the first high-level biomass energy forum held in China since the establishment of China Biomass Energy Association.

Biomass is the industry term for getting energy from burning wood, daily sewage, urban waste and other organic matter. Compared with other renewable energy sources such as solar, wind and hydro, biomass is more closely linked with farmers’ livelihoods. Resources including straw, animal waste and other forms of biomass have been used as fuel sources for cooking and heating in rural China for thousands of years.

The forum, organized by China Biomass Energy Association, brought together government representatives and key companies from the biomass energy industry to explore implementation of the government’s strategy, plans and policies for developing the new energy and biomass energy industry. Enhanced efforts for realizing the sustainable development of biomass energy industry, preventing air pollution and combatting climate change were also discussed.

Giving remarks at the forum, UNDP China Deputy Country Director Patrick Haverman emphasized the importance of biomass energy development for achieving the SDGs in the new energy era, and for bringing benefits to farmers in China. “As biomass materials can be easily acquired and utilized in the rural area, biomass energy is considered as a strong tool for targeting poverty alleviation. Farmers still constitute a large group of low-income workers in China, so biomass energy development has huge potential for bringing positive impacts to their lives... UNDP recognises the importance of the biomass energy market for driving the SDGs, specifically in promoting poverty alleviation, improved energy access and action on climate change.”

China has laid out plans to increase the proportion of biomass energy in the national energy mix up to 15 percent by 2030, setting a total installed capacity target of 30GW for biomass power generation.

Mr. Shi Yuanchun, an academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Engineering, and also known as “The Father of Biomass Energy in China”, pointed out in his opening remarks that by the end of 2016 annual electricity production using biomass energy had reached 63.4 billion Kwh, showing great progress already towards the 2030 target.

“This number is a milestone for biomass energy development in China, since it nearly equals the annual electricity produced by Three Gorges Dam Hydroelectric Power Plant,” Said Mr. Shi, “This achievement is mainly attributed to agricultural leftovers and urban waste. Furthermore, by producing clean electricity, the process also helps to solve existing environmental problems.”

In line with the SDGs and China’s blueprint for bio-energy development, UNDP has been partnered with Kaidi New Energy Group since 2014 to pilot biomass sourcing from eucalyptus energy forests, energy grasses, and cassava plantations in rural areas of Guangxi Province. The partnership aims to explore sustainable models of a biomass-supply system, while developing the capacity of local farmers in China and driving action towards poverty alleviation in some of China’s most deprived areas.

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