Rajesh Bajpai and colleagues write that bamboo "with over 5000 applications, should be considered as the best amongst other known biomass resources, but, it is still not used extensively. This is the world’s largest grass and already known to us for its thematic uses like in construction work, furniture, utensils, fiber & paper. It has got huge potential to bring revolution as a bio-energy resource. Time has come to explore its usage as a renewable energy resource. But, it is not something newly explored; it is already tested but needs huge awareness buildup among the common people considering it's importance as a biomass energy resource, environment protector and poverty alleviator. This is Bamboo. Although a non-wood plant it is called as tree."

"As a bio-energy resource it can meet both thermal as well as electrical energy requirements and thereby can give energy security to the rural people. From the time immemorial we are heavily dependent on biomass resources for meeting our thermal energy requirements. We had a plenty of this resource and so, we used them indiscriminately without giving much thoughts on its conservation. And the result has been huge depletion in forest cover. In some areas the situation is so bad that poor villagers need to purchase fuel wood or walk miles to collect the fuel wood."

"Besides higher biomass, bamboo has other advantages over wood as a carbon stock. Unlike woody crops bamboo offers the possibility of annual selective harvesting and removal of about 15-20% of the total stock without damaging the environment and stock productivity. Over 90% of bamboo carbon can be sequestered in durable products such as boards, panels, floors, furniture, buildings, cloth, paper and activated charcoal. These products have a very long life span and may retain carbon for several decades. The annual biomass and carbon sink per hectare of many bamboo species are comparative to wood tree crops, such as eucalyptus or teak. It can sequestrate CO2 in the form of 12 T per hectare of plantation."

"Bamboo often grows on small plots on marginal lands managed by poor people. It is possible to group many small plots under one project. Such groups could qualify for carbon trading as small scale forest project."

"In ancient Chinese culture it was believed that a gift of living bamboo would bring good luck. So, lets start preaching this practice in our country also in order to bring good luck to energy, environment and people."

Read the article in full here Bamboo Energy Utilisation

Authors

Dr. Rashmi Tripathi, Lecturer in Brahmanand College,
Kanpur & Rajesh Bajpai, SPA,
World Bank Project Cell,
MNRE New Delhi
email ID –energy_raj@rediffmail.com