In many parts of the developing world, electricity generation is often non-existent, or at best unreliable. In Nigeria, for example, a vast nation of 150 million people, has a generating capacity of 4,000 MW. By comparison, New York City alone has a generating capacity of 13,000 MW.
This shortfall is persistent and structural, and the amount of capital required to fix it is tremendous. Therefore, this problem will not be resolved anytime soon with the usual approach to centralized generation and distribution.
Currently, businesses and households that can afford it resort to using diesel generators. Since diesel is sold at world prices, the electricity generated is very expensive, as high as US$0.50 per kilowatt hour or more.
The lack of electricity is by far the largest impediment to development in many parts of the developing world, and resolving this problem will reduce poverty, enable progressive wealth creation and unleash enormous potential of putting carbon-negative biomass power at work, empowering people and transforming communities
Happily, there is an available, affordable tool that is highly optimized to use local fuels to make on demand energy: biomass gasification. The ALL Power Labs Power Pallet is now being used in projects around the world to provide affordable, reliable, renewable energy. They are being used both as stand alone systems and as parts of micro-grids, combining power from numerous sources and supplying the transformative power of electricity to whole communities. (To learn more about microgrids, read this excellent report co-authored by our board member Prof. Dan Kammen. )
Genia Global Energy, a sustainable energy company located in Valencia Spain, has added a PP30 to their Smart Hybrid Microgrid project site in Honduras. The project’s goal is to solve the trilemma of food, water and energy poverty in a rural Honduran community. They selected a PP30 to be installed at Puerto Castillio in Honduras as a base load component of their microgrid which includes a large 60 kW solar array and a battery storage system. A community resource, the microgrid powers a water pumping station to supply water to households and businesses in the community as well as to supplement local agriculture.
Two of the last PP20s we manufactured were installed at the Masarang Foundation. They have been an early adopter of APL technology which they have deployed to sites where power is needed to support their biodiversity activities. These two PP20s will be using biomass waste as feedstock collected as part of Masarang’s reforestation projects in Indonesia. Masarang is committed to finding solutions for the most urgent global problems of our time: deforestation, biodiversity loss, climate change, poverty, and underdevelopment, goals that are strongly supported by APL.
APL provided a new PP30 to the University of Costa Rica. Their School of Agronomy is committed to carrying out scientific and technological research in agriculture, contributing to the development of society, and that promotes transformations needed for the future health and success of the environment and society. We are hopeful that their use and study of APL equipment can help them further these goals.
Ambermacs added one of our upgraded PP30s to their nut processing facility. Its heat and power they will be using to support their privately-owned macadamia processing plant situated in the heart of South Africa’s largest macadamia growing region. Their factory dries, processes, packs, and supplies raw macadamia kernels for international export to customers in the UK, Europe, and North America.
The University of Guyana installed a PP30 to use for research in their Forestry and Agricultural schools on their Turkeyen Campus in Greater Georgetown. The staff and students of the schools aims to contribute to generation of knowledge and develop policies, techniques and skills to make a positive contribution in the management of forest and related resources and support the creation of innovative businesses in the sector.
We installed a PP20 at UTM to be used for research into sustainable technology. UTM is a leading innovation-driven entrepreneurial research university and the largest postgraduate research university for technology in Malaysia. It has also established a reputation for innovative education and cutting-edge research, with a vision towards the development of creative human capital and the advancement of technological innovation.
The Rwanda Girls Initiative operates the Gashora Girls Academy of Science and Technology – an upper-secondary girls’ boarding school located in Bugesera District an hour south of Rwanda’s capital city of Kigali. APL’s tapped into its long-established relationships in Africa, especially with the Booker Washington Institute in Liberia, to place a PP20 at the Gashora campus. The school has an active agricultural program, operating a successful 14-acre farm on campus where they hope to perfect techniques for running the locally plentiful macadamia nutshells as feedstock.
The Center for Scientific Research of Yucatán (CICY) has installed a PP20 Power Pallet at their campus in Merida, Yucatan. CICY is a public Research Center of the CONACYT (Mexican National Council of Science and Technology) focused on conducting basic and applied research to develop and transfer technology that promotes the development of a society in harmony with the environment. CICY has a strong focus on climate change due to the Yucatan’s extensive forests and abundant resources that can be used for bioenergy, such as wastes from the agri-food industry. Part of the CICY’s mission is to become a key entity in Mexico’s transition to a sustainable energy economy, and APL is proud to help them achieve this goal with the help of our technology.
Yudistira is committed to projects and developments which contribute to a sustainable environment and society. Begun as an engineering and construction company, they have become one of Indonesia’s most renowned energy sector investors. We applaud their goal of meeting the demands of clean and sustainable energy, while still maintaining their core values of integrity, customer satisfaction, employee welfare, and performance excellence, and hope our equipment helps them achieve these goals.
Kwendin is a remote village in Nimba County in central Liberia. It has a population of about 2000 inhabitants, and no access to the very limited national electrical grid. With funding from a USAID grant, APL, in partnership with Stable Outcomes are building a microgrid to supply electrical power to about 250 homes, public schools, churches and small businesses. Three PP20 Power Pallets are energizing the village’s new and comprehensive microgrid which will also provide street lighting. This is an exciting project which builds on our BWI REC project and expands our commitment to addressing global energy poverty.
Green to Energy (G2E) is a renewable energy company located in Mexico City that specializes in gasification for energy production. They have added one of our PP20s to their demonstration center, which features a wide range of solutions for biomass energy, all the way from our portable 20 kW unit to small-town sized 2.2 MW systems. They share the same goals as APL: to help make energy from waste through gasification available to everyone. APL is excited by this new partnership with our neighbors in Mexico.
Their first Power Pallet was installed at the Centre Songhai, which will eventually be operating four PP20 Power Pallets at their headquarters at Porto-Novo in the Republic of Benin. In addition to their work with biomass gasification, Songhai is focused on sustainable agriculture as well as microenterprise and IT for rural communities. The center trains young Africans to become responsible citizens in their communities; supplying knowledge and expertise in a variety of sustainable technologies and practices. The facility integrates a large variety of power generation equipment as well as diverse agricultural techniques. We look forward to making the Songhai Centre a regional locus for the demonstration and development of our technology.
Operating as a socially committed private enterprise, Limyè Pa w has been making and distributing renewable, low-carbon power in Haiti since the beginning of 2015. Running their upgraded v5 PP20 on plentiful local corncobs, they currently operate 10 hours a day, six days a week, serving dozens of rural households. In Haitian Creole, Limyè Pa w translates to ‘Your Light’ – a reference not only to light as one of the most important uses of electricity, but also how their service can lead to many more powerful benefits for their customers’ families and communities. Working in Haiti since 2013, they launched their rural electrification pilot early 2015 using Lumeter mini-grid meters to monitor and bill for customer usage. They have also installed an LPG dual-fuel system to allow increased grid uptime and reliability.
Two PP20 Power Pallets were installed in the José Celestino Mutis botanical garden. Located in Bogota, the Jardín Botánico is Colombia’s largest botanical garden and serves both as a recreation and research center. Our biomass gensets are part of a program to create a sophisticated demonstration site featuring multiple forms of renewable power generation integrated into a micro-grid, which ties the PP20s to a solar array and an energy storage system. Their lovely facility is the focus of educational outreach surrounding environmental and conservations issues, as well as general science education for both children and adults. APL is pleased to be a part of this excellent program.
Our PP20 Power Pallet was Installed in Green Island, a small village island located about 14 kilometers off the coast of Roxas, Palawan, in the Philippines. The project is being developed by Solutions Using Renewable Energy (SURE) who are building a microgrid system tying a 2.5 kW solar array and a 5 kW wind turbine to our 20 kW Power Pallet. This grid is supplying power not only provide light and amenities to the village with its rural fishing and farming collective, but the PP20, running on locally abundant coconut shells is critical to the plan by supplying the high power loads that are needed to run a desalinization plant for their local brackish water supply, as well as an ice plant that will allow local fisherman to preserve their catch during the long and formerly impossible trip to more lucrative markets on other islands.
Booker Washington Institute (BWI) is one of the premier trade schools in West Africa. Three of our very first v.5 gasifiers to come off the line were installed at BWI’s Renewable Energy Center (REC). Located in Kakata, Liberia, the historic center of Liberian rubber production, BWI is surrounded by over 100,000 acres of rubber plantations, whose trees need to be regularly replaced. These rubber trees that have outlived their productive lives are a vast biomass resource that can support our project indefinitely. APL has a deep commitment to, and very productive partnership with the BWI REC to help assure the success of this transformational project.
Our PP20 was Installed at Chelinda Lodge, a remote eco-lodge. Like so many eco-resorts, Chelinda faces enormous costs getting diesel to their remote location above Nyika ridge in the center of the largest national park in Malawi. With electricity costing over $.50 kWH, and a location adjacent to a large pine plantation that is being cut to restore the endemic grassland ecosystem, a bioenergy solution like a Power Pallet was the sensible choice for their site. The Power Pallet not only displaces dirty fossil fuel power and helps deal with their waste management, but its ample and affordable on-demand electricity sustains the more comfortable lifestyle eco-tourists prefer, insuring that these sorts of sustainable projects can continue to help Africa develop both economically and ecologically.
Installed for testing at the Polytechnic University of Catalonia in Barcelona, Spain, this PP20 is destined to be transported to the village of Goundi, Chad in Central Africa. The project is being done through the University, also known as Barcelona Tech, with support from Misión y Desarrollo para Goundi, a Chad based NGO. One of the reasons they chose to develop a biomass-based power system is that the fabrication, operation and maintenance of gasification technology is more accessible in less developed sites, and allows for increased employment with decent paying jobs that feed into the local economy rather than draining resources out of the community as cash payments to petroleum or solar companies.
The Masarang Foundation Integrated a PP10 Power Pallet into their sustainable Village Hub system for palm sugar harvesting on the Island of Suliwesi in Indonesia. Running on waste by-products from the palm plantations, the Power Pallet provided electricity not only for the Village Hub, but also for 40 homes in the area. A Power Pallet is an ideal addition to such integrated community agro centers, and we hope to expand our support for these transformative enterprises.
A PP10 was installed at the Turkana Basin Institute, Richard Leakey’s remote archeological field station in northern Kenya, the energy from a 10kW Power Pallet is intended to offset their high diesel fuel costs. A world class research facility, centered in an area with some of the most extensive deposits of remains of ancient human predecessors, Turkana provides support for researchers from all over the world. APL looks forward to helping them upgrade to one of our more advanced PP20 to assist them in continuing their important work.