Great Energy Challenge Grantees

The Great Energy Challenge grant program, in collaboration with a distinguished group of scientists acting as the board of advisors, awards roughly a half-dozen grants per year. The goal of the grant program is to hasten the growth of promising, global energy solutions as a response to climate change, energy resource constraints and environmental limitations. The projects in this gallery have received Great Energy Challenge grants in 2011.

Project location: North Sulawesi, Indonesia; Village Hub Testing Unit in Tomohon.

Project goals:

  • Create a village hub installation containing a sugary juice conversion module and a lower grade  ethanol fermentation and distillation module for biofuel production;
  • Follow the societal impact of job creation for the local farmers who are tapping the sugar palm trees
  • Test the social cooperative model in rural areas in North Sulawesi.

Forester and conservationist Dr. Willie Smits has collaborated with local organizations to develop a small-scale facility to sustainably harvest juice from the Arenga sugar palm.

(Related Story: “A Rain Forest Advocate Taps the Energy of the Sugar Palm“)

The entire process generates a low-grade ethanol without diverting or competing with food crops for biofuel through a sustainable, low-carbon method. At the same time, it produces a premium organic sugar. A key project benefit, the preservation of existing native rain forest, is paramount to Indonesia, which is a leading greenhouse gas emitter due largely to deforestation. The first Great Energy Challenge grant will provide funding for a module to test the production of low-grade ethanol.
Project participants:


~ by FSVSF Admin on 16 November, 2011.

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