Exploring sustainable use of biomass

03 June 2020 | Agriculture

STAFF REPORTER

WINDHOEK



Biomass from Namibian encroacher bush could be turned into a valuable and climate-friendly export product.

The German city of Hamburg is exploring the option of using Namibian biomass to partially replace fossil fuels in energy generation after the German government, NGOs and science institutions gave the impetus for the initiative.

According to the Namibia Biomass Industry Group (N-BiG), biomass could replace fossil fuels in energy generation in Hamburg.

“This is a great step forward in our ambition to upscale bush control and biomass utilisation in Namibia,” said Progress Kashandula, CEO of the Namibian Biomass Industry Group. The dialogue between Namibian stakeholders and Hamburg started in September last year when a delegation from Namibia visited the north German port.

The delegation was led by Ned Sibeya of the Namibian National Planning Commission and Josef Hailwa of the Directorate of Forestry within the agriculture ministry.



Social and ecological balance

“Energy from Namibian biomass could help us phase out coal faster for district heating. The condition for this is that a social and ecological balance is ensured across the entire supply chain.

“As much added value as possible should remain in Namibia and as many people as possible should benefit from it there,” said Michael Pollmann, state councillor of the Hamburg Authority for Environment and Energy.

Various studies will now explore how a reliable and long-term supply chain for the purchase of biomass could be built up and how it could benefit everyone involved.

A large part of the value addition is to take place in Namibia and the participation of large parts of the population is to be ensured. In addition to social aspects, the ecological balance of production, transport and use will also be considered.

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