The aim of this study is to examine the energy used in Malaysian oil palm plantation operations, especially on fuel consumption in farm mechanisation practices. This benchmark study was conducted based on the energy input-output methodology. The results found that 258 GJ of input energy was required to produce 20 t ha-1 yr-1 of fresh fruit bunches (FFB). The energy was dominated by chemical fertilisers (66%), followed by labour (21%), machinery (10%), fuel consumption (2%), and chemical herbicide (0.5%), with an energy– use efficiency of 62%. A survey on the fuel consumption in the mechanisation practices was conducted at several oil palm estates. The results showed that almost 2.5 GJ ha-1 yr-1 of diesel fuel was consumed, which is equivalent to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of approximately 133 kg CO –eq ha-1 yr-1. The economic indicator was also studied to consider the types of energy improvement initiative that should be taken. This study suggested utilising renewable energy and greener energy technology such as electric powertrain charged via renewable energy source for farm mechanisation operations. It is expected that almost 9.8 kg CO –eq ha-1 yr-1 of GHG emission saving and a significant amount of improvement in operational costs 2 could be achieved by utilising the technology.
* Malaysian Palm Oil Board, 6 Persiaran Institusi, Bandar Baru Bangi, 43000 Kajang, Selangor, Malaysia. E-mail: email@example.com
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