Forest waste in Georgia has vast potential
Biomass has potential as an energy source in Georgia, according to Natia Turnava, the country’s Deputy Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development.
Georgia Today reports that at the closing conference of the EU Public Service Twinning project ‘Strengthening Sustainable Forest Management in Georgia’ Turnava said, “In Lithuania, biomass is recycled highly efficiently to produce heat energy. We can use this alternative technology of biomass processing in different villages where, for various reasons, it is difficult to introduce natural gas.”
The project as a whole was financed by the EU Social Services Programme and cost €840,000 ($952,696). Georgia today say that the project has consisted of more than 120 visits to Georgia made by international experts, six study visits of Georgian government officials to Lithuania and Hungary as well as dozens of seminars and round-table discussions.
Recommendations have been developed to assist Georgian authorities to accelerate the process of reconciling practices related to the forestry sector with EU standards.
The compression of biofuel made from dehydrated wood chips and agricultural waste makes for biomass briquettes. After the biomass is collected, the goods are shredded and then pressed under high pressure without glue or other artificial additives. Georgia Today say that biomass briquettes have become a popular alternative to wood due to the long-lasting blaze it produces, its low negative impact on the environment and its more affordable price.
Turnava said on the use of wood as biofuel in Georgia, “We are now actively working on special research in forest cover areas on how to make and apply policies in recreation areas so as not to damage the green cover and offer the population a very affordable alternative so that they do not need to cut down trees for heating purposes.”
Since 2015 the EU has been supporting green energy projects in Moldova. A total of 75 towns and villages have switched to green energy, which has included the installation 19 new biomass-heating systems within the first half of 2018. Also operating in Georgia is the EU’s, EU4Energy Initiative.