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Biogas as LPG Alternative Can Be a Solution to Organic Waste: Think-Tank


Jakarta. Biogas as an alternative to liquefied petroleum gas, or LPG, will not only help meet the national demand for the latter, but also comes as a solution to Indonesia's alarming organic waste, according to think-tank Purnomo Yusgiantoro Center (PYC). Over the past five years, there has been a gap between the high LPG consumption and its production. Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry data shows the national production of LPG in 2019 was only enough to meet 25 percent of the demand. Indonesia had to import the remaining 75 percent or around 5.73 million metric tons. Because of this, the government has to look for a substitute to the gas.

According to PYC advisory board member Luky A. Yusgiantoro, biogas as an LPG alternative can promote energy security and help Indonesia overcome their organic waste problem.

"The composition of biogas is similar to natural gas. The difference is produced from organic matter such as animal waste and agricultural waste," Luky said in his official statement on Thursday.

Indonesia produces the most municipal waste out of Asean member countries. The archipelagic nation's annual waste production reaches 64 million tons, of which 60 percent is organic waste. This results in the massive news coverage on riverwater pollution from cow manure and other organic waste that eventually leads to protests by affected communities.

"Indonesia has had issues in waste management particularly in remote areas where the organic waste come from. This problem becomes a concern for several institutions like the United Nations Development Programme, Hivos, and PYC," Luky said.

Luky hopes there will soon be a biogas development program because biogas does not inflict as much fiscal burden on the government.

"The ministry who would be in charge [of the program], along with the relevant ministries and regional government, can map out all of the potentials for the master plan and technical regulations," the energy expert said.

Technical regulations can encourage both the public and private sectors to play a role in the biogas development process.

In preparing the master plan, Indonesia can also team up with various institutions and leading biogas producing countries, including China and the United States. This can help attract more investors, boost knowledge transfer, and accelerate technology advancement, Luky said.

"Without these actions, biogas development in Indonesia will remain stagnant amid the declining LPG supply and poses a challenge for remote areas to handle organic waste," he added.


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