Ending energy poverty in low-income communities in the Philippines will receive a boost this month with Green Fuels Research’s (GFR) participation in the Energy Catalyst International Brokerage mission to Manila, which will take place from 11th– 18th March.
To address the challenge of equality of access to electricity for low-income households and businesses, GFR aims to integrate its innovative FuelMatic distributed-scale biodiesel refining technology with used cooking oil (UCO) collection and state-of-the-art biodiesel generators under a circular economy model. Collection will be from large concerns in the food processing and retail sectors, family restaurants, cook stalls and households, valorising waste as a tradeable asset and thus benefitting all levels of the Filipino economy. This will be game-changing in the Philippines; an opportunity for rapid adoption of renewables to provide energy independence and transition from reliance on expensive, imported diesel and coal. This solution is equally applicable off-grid in remote or island communities as it is in grid replacement and peak shaving for businesses with intermittent or precarious power supply.
GFR’s vision in the Philippines is the creation of an innovative, integrated biofuels to distributed power generation value chain, by refining biodiesel from UCO, to address the three Energy Trilemma challenges:
- Energy Security – meeting energy demand and withstanding system shocks without disrupting supply.
- Energy Equity – universal access to affordable domestic and commercial energy.
- Energy Sustainability – the transition to avoidance, and indeed reversal, of environmental harm and climate change caused by fossil fuels.
In his remarks following the announcement, GFR Business Development Director Julian Beach commented “Establishing a decentralised waste-to-biofuels-to-energy generation model for low-income communities, as opposed to large, centralised facilities and expensive, imported fossil fuels, dovetails with one of the major components of UN Sustainable Development Goal (UNSDG) 7; ensuring universal access to affordable, sustainable and clean energy by 2030. UNSDG 7 also targets a substantial increase in the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix.”
Aside from the decarbonisation and energy equity dividends that such a project can deliver, there will be reductions in PM10 particulate matter emissions when compared to fossil fuel. Additionally, the project will help tackle the common practice of filtering and reusing UCO, which should be avoided as it releases harmful, carcinogenic toxins, notably acrolein, into the oil. The most effective, most sustainable means of combating this is recycling UCO into biodiesel, locally sourced and locally manufactured.
About Energy Catalyst
Energy Catalyst accelerates the innovation needed to end energy poverty. Through financial and advisory support, and by building strategic partnerships and uncovering new insights, Energy Catalyst supports the development of technologies and business models that can improve lives in Africa and Asia.
Energy Catalyst is an Innovate UK programme with co-funding from the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, Global Challenges Research Fund, The Department for Science, Innovation and Technology (formerly BEIS) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.