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close this book Application of biomass-energy technologies
close this folder VII. Perceived problems, solutions and policy options
View the document A. Environmental impacts
View the document B. Food or fuel?
View the document C. Land availability
View the document D. Raw-material supply
View the document E. R&D and technology transfer
View the document F. Social factors
View the document G. Economics
View the document H. Policy
View the document I. Institutions

I. Institutions

The following institutional constraints have been identified: "regulatory, financial, infrastructural and perceived" (USDOE, 1990 p. 15). Despite the fact that a large range of organizations have been created to promote the development of small-scale production which is especially relevant to biomass energy, such institutions have generally not been very effective, if at all, mainly due to the lack of finance and trained personnel, and lack of influence and follow-up. Success and failure also depends very much on the understanding of local incentives and barriers to change and involvement of local people at all levels; these are invisible barriers that development people often fail to see such as culture, local bureaucracies, lack of incentives, and so on.

Development planners and workers often want things to be done their way rather than the way people might prefer. Many new innovations are introduced not because they are needed but because they interest the introducer rather than answering people's needs as shown in sections on the Philippines and the South Pacific. This is an especially detrimental attitude towards biomass projects which require very careful planning and long term implementation (Barrett, 1990). Furthermore, when projects that are funded through foreign-aid sources are not followed up, there is often no real commitment or incentive on the part of the endusers to utilize the technology and keep plants operational. Therefore, such projects have to be far more carefully planned to ensure that they are actually of enough benefit to endusers that they will wish to maintain them, and that the infrastructure support is available to enable them to do so.