Promoting Sustainable Bio-Energy Production from Biomass

About the biomass project

A fuel efficient wood stove. Photo: Nick Molyneux/UNDP TL. A fuel efficient wood stove. Photo: Nick Molyneux/UNDP TL

Timor-Leste’s history has left behind a country with a high incidence of poverty, poor infrastructure network, low capacity and a large dependence on natural resources. More than 90% households in rural areas uses inefficient three-stone, open fire cooking and fuelwood is the main cooking fuel source for both urban and rural areas. Current deforestation rate is around 1.7% and if this trend continues, Timor-Leste’s total forest resources will be vanished by 2071.

Based on various assessments including Global Alliance of Clean Cookstoves (2012), World Bank (2010), Mercy Corps (2011, 2016); it is evident that fuel wood is and for some time to come will continue, to be the cheapest and most popular cooking fuel compared to other alternatives like Kerosene, LPG and others. With notable development partner support nearing a decade, ICS with minor exception, have generally failed to penetrate the market to reach a critical mass production stage in Timor-Leste. The majority of cookstoves makers are in the informal sector with localized sales, substandard quality, and little consistency in stove quality. Previous studies on the ICS sector in Timor-Leste have identified many reasons and/or challenges which can be linked to the failure in the dissemination of ICS.

The Sustainable Bioenergy Production from Biomass (SBEPB) Project with the support of the Global Environment Facility (GEF), the Government of Timor-Leste (GoTL) the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and other funding partners focuses on the promotion and use of biomass energy resources for the provision of energy access and services in rural areas. Overall, the Project is expected to result in a reduction of annual biomass/fuel wood consumption in Timor-Leste through the gradual utilization of biomass-based energy systems and efficiency improvements in the rural areas of the country as influenced by the Project. The Project will facilitate the widespread application of biomass-based energy systems, particularly for economic and social uses in the country’s rural areas. The reduction of GHG emissions through the use of more efficient fuel wood technologies and sustainable biomass energy generation in the country will contribute to global GHG emission reductions.  The project is also facilitating entrepreneurship for biomass related businesses and creating employment opportunities for youth and women.

Project goals

  • Strengthen the policies, legal and institutional framework allowing for deployment of biomass energy technologies and the growth of biomass energy businesses
  • Increase investments in bio-energy
  • Improve visibility of proven technologies as well as the availability of financial support for rural bio-energy production and associated low-carbon technology applications
  • Enhance capacities of policy makers, financial institutions, entrepreneurs, project developers, communities and end-users regarding the development of the local bio-energy technology market


Budget Donor
USD 1,743,000 Global Environment Facility (GEF)
USD 620,000 UNDP
USD 34,672 Jeju Self Governing Province
Total budget: USD 2,397,672  

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