Increasing liquid fuel self-sufficiency in Indonesia through utilization of marginal land and appropriate technology for biofuel production : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Energy Management, Massey University, New Zealand
This study proposed a strategy for increasing self-sufficiency of liquid fuel in Indonesia. The novel approach not previously undertaken was to integrate the utilization of marginal land with innovative technology for drop-in biofuel (DBF) production. The strategy involves interdependent relationships, so a systems dynamics modelling approach was applied. The assessments generally cover the national scope, but also specifically used Sumba Island as a case study around the marginal land issue.
From a number of potential energy crops considered for growing on Sumba Island, Pongamia pinnata was selected. Metal soap decarboxylation was chosen as the preferable conversion technology for this oil crop, even though it has not yet reached full commersialisation.
A simulation framework was developed to explain the intrinsic interrelationship between elements. These comprised the preparation of feedstock from marginal land, preparation of more appropriate conversion technology, a liquid biofuel supply system, and liquid fuel import demands. A delay in any of the elements causes a delay in DBF uptake, and thus time becomes a crucial factor. Considering the time factor, this study assessed the political dimension of sustainability, which is lacking in other bioenergy studies.
A model, Assessment Tool of Biofuel Strategy through Utilization of Marginal Land and Innovation in Conversion Technology (ABMIC) was developed to test the strategy outcomes in some priority sustainability indicators. The model consists of ten sub-models containing two feedback loops invented in this study: a) between the “sense of urgency for action by the President” (SU) and liquid biofuel supply and demand; and b) between the conventional biofuel production from palm oil and the DBF production. The ABMIC model was tested and validated for structural validity, behaviour validity, and model usefulness.
The results from scenario-based simulations confirmed that a systems dynamics approach was suitable for assessing the strategy. It supported the hypothesis that a political element, namely SU level, critically affects the success in implementing a liquid biofuel strategy through marginal land use and conversion technology innovation to increase liquid fuel self-sufficiency, which in turn influences the political element itself. An increase in SU level leads to a significant increase in liquid fuel self-sufficiency, foreign exchange saving, gross regional domestic product, and CO2 emissions reduction. SU should be sustained by maximizing future vision intervention. With modifications, the SU structure could be applied in non-biofuel sectors.
Finally, this study outlines opportunities for further research to improve the model including through disaggregation, endogenizing variables, building functions of effects between variables, improving the variable quantifications, and further exploration of the variables.