Submitted by: Foundation TERRA Mileniul III
Implemented country: Romania
Title: Biomass Replaces Fuel Wood
In Romania there are still villages that are not hooked up to a gas grid. Traditionally, people use wood-burning stoves for heating. Now a biomass project has been introducing the use of straw normally burned as waste in the fields.
In the Romanian town of Vlad Țepes, a pilot project was initiated that utilizes agricultural waste, especially straw, from which briquettes are made for heating. The project is supported through training sessions, public discussion forums, and information material about straw and straw briquettes. Currently, 1147 households would need approximately 2,000 tons of wood per year for heating, plus 60 tons for heating public buildings. The briquette plant can cover the entire village’s needs and will be able to post a profit after only one year because the price of briquettes is less than that of wood.
Since the entire community is involved in the project, the project is feasible in the long run and easy to replicate. There is also a purely charitable aspect to the project as well because part of the briquette production will go towards heating the local school for two years. At a production rate of approximately 2,500 tons of briquettes per year, the plant also provides opportunities for starting a new local business enterprise.
"Be the change you want to see in the world." - Mahatma Gandhi