Impact Hub Manila Fellowship

PowerGrass

  •  Lack of Access to Energy

    ·    Electricity Production

Our idea tries to solve the problem of lack of access to sustainable energy resource for cooking and heating purposes as well as electricity. The idea offers the solution to these problems starting from the basic use of cooking and heating to electricity production through which the demand continues to grow.

Who faces this problem?

The project is attainable and beneficial for rural areas. The product can be used as alternative for coal, wood, etc. Thus it can provide cheaper and sustainable energy material from basic cooking and heating to electricity which far flung areas and island parts of the country can access. It will give income to the land owners and it will generate employment for the community.  Customers may also include companies with boilers, coal factories in our country which like to replace the burning of coal by 20% in order to produce cleaner energy and helping them achieve carbon dioxide emission requirement through co-firing which is done by countries like Korea, China and Japan.


 

How does your idea address this problem?

Our business works by expanding plantation of Pakchong Super Napier Grass which we currently used for our dairy cows. Grass will be harvested every 90 days through which the stalk will be sun dried in order to produce fuel stalks and the grass be pelletize. These can be used for cooking, heating activities for homes, companies with boilers and coal power plants. The business eventually can transform or evolve to a renewable electric power plant as the grass produces biogas convertible to electricity.

  

What’s new and unique about your idea?

We offer a revolutionary idea which is we believe new to all of you. Looking online, the idea about the grass came only in 2013 in our country. An idea which will breathe fresh air to our energy sector bringing livelihood to communities and utilizing idle lands. We offer solution that can contribute to the reduction of wood consumption as we provide alternative and help our people’s energy needs from basic cooking to eventually electricity. Our idea continues to evolve and we believe to transform as a renewable energy (biomass) power plant which is greener (notion of being carbon neutral), cleaner, and requires cheaper investment than wind or solar power plants.

How are you going to earn money?

Our idea and company we would like to establish is different from them as we rely on a more sustainable way of producing products for Filipinos energy needs by utilizing our idle lands. We rely on grass which can be easily grown, more resistant to typhoons or changes in the climate. Unlike trees that take years to replenish and be used for energy and agricultural wastes which depends on seasonal harvest, the grass grows faster and can be harvested every 3 months. Given estimates according to Thailand authorities who encourages their farmers to plant the same grass, we believe that the business can earn Php898110-Php1257354 per hectare with just investment of Php220550.


Utilizing preferred 5 hectares plantation will be great as demand for energy continues to grow while the supply from the trees becomes scarce. 

Do you already have customers?

No, as we desire to plant idle lands before promoting the product to the market for it to be sustainable but requires more capital.

Who is in your team?

The team is composed of a veterinarian who uses the grass for the dairy farm he manages, civil engineer and BS Business Administration student from University of the Philippines-Dilman.

Have you already founded/incorporated your company?

No

What is the intended positive impact on the environment and/or society of your venture?

  • Promote sustainable energy resource from grass that can be considered carbon neutral
  • Reduce dependence on trees
  • Utilization of idle lands which generates income
  • Help coal power plants achieve desired Carbon dioxide emissions
  • Promote possible electrification in rural areas

How will the Fellowship Program enable you to achieve your ambitions?

The Fellowship Program on Sustainable Energy will help us turn idea into reality which promotes sustainable energy solution. It will help us  connect with people which can guide us on the journey The important milestone for the business will be the continued plantation of grass and utilization of  idle lands. In the next 2-3 years, professional guide on how to market, package and prepare products like grass pellets will be needed in order to realize possibly export aspect of the business. 

Are you living in the Philippines?

Yes

edited on 14th July 2016, 06:07 by Miggy Bautista

Deesha Chandra Jul 4, 2016

Interesting idea Miggy. Have you tested this concept on a small scale?

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Miggy Bautista Jul 5, 2016

We were able to use the excess stalks and dried it for our farm's cooking purposes. The picture I attached was taken before cooking. We believe that 500g-1kg of the fuelstalk can already cook 1kg of rice:)))

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Priya Thachadi Jul 13, 2016

Have not seen grass being used before. Very cool!

In the other models I have seen, it has been challenging to compete with the price of kerosene. I think the other challenge would be to convert customers from using wood or kerosene to something sustainable - a certain amount of consumer behavior change is required. Might be worth testing with a lean pilot with one or two communities.

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Miggy Bautista Jul 13, 2016

Thank you very much @PriyaThachadi for the interest in this idea. What you have said is one of the reasons we like to join the fellowship. We like to scale up our plantation in order to have sustainable and constant customers. I am optimistic to think that we can change customers' behavior as we are one of the countries commonly hit by typhoons caused by climate change. Also, the business can empower communities, thus can provide stable revenue source from idle lands unlike our forests, After all it is like a double-edged sword for agriculture and energy sector.

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Jérémy Callegher Jul 14, 2016

Hi Miggy!

Interesting. So you need about 500g to 1kg for cooking 1kg of rice, right? How many kilos/tons can you produce on your 5 hectares land and what's the cycle (does the land need to "rest"?). How is that solution more sustainable than coconut shell charcoal for example?

Cheers!

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Miggy Bautista Jul 14, 2016

Thank you very much for having an interest Jérémy. Regarding to the yield per hectare, it is already in the business model I have submitted to welcome@impacthub.ph. In relation to the cycle, the plantation will be replaced every 7 years. It is more sustainable as harvests is done every 3 months and for electricity through biogas in the future is every 2months. It is also suitable for idle lands not appropriate for high maintenance crops as it is a grass:))

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