Title: "Sustainable Islands" - identifying and addressing environmental pollution issues on small islands - a biogas project on Koh Rong, Cambodia
Language: English
Authors: Huber, Christina Maria 
Qualification level: Diploma
Advisor: Ortner, Mario 
Issue Date: 2020
Huber, C. M. (2020). “Sustainable Islands” - identifying and addressing environmental pollution issues on small islands - a biogas project on Koh Rong, Cambodia [Master Thesis, Diplomatische Akademie Wien; Technische Universität Wien]. reposiTUm. https://doi.org/10.34726/hss.2020.80652
Number of Pages: 51
Qualification level: Diploma
Globally, small islands face increased hardships in achieving environmental sustainability, due to unsustainable waste management practices and electricity provision heavily reliant on fossil fuels. This problem is exacerbated by tourism, which drives demand for energy and increases waste quantities. Renewable energy technology can be adapted to different locations and can be a valuable addition to not only diversify energy portfolios, but also provide partial solutions in waste management. To research the potential application of renewable energy technology on small islands, a case study was performed for the Cambodian island of Koh Rong. Organic waste is diverted from the typical waste management scheme of open burning to a biogas plant, where biogas is produced for usage in a hybrid PV-electricity net. Extensive literature research was performed to explore the dynamics between tourism, economic growth, environmental pollution and sustainability. The case study also relied on literature research for its technology analysis to inspect available options to manage organic waste streams. For the logistical evaluation of the project a research trip to Koh Rong was vital, where personal interviews with resort managers, the tourist association as well as the local authority were performed. A positive correlation between tourism and environmental pollution was confirmed. The main factors leading to increased pollution on small islands and their relations to diseconomies of scale, lack of awareness and financial restraints were discussed. Further, the economical, ecological and logistical feasibility of a biogas plant on Koh Rong was shown, thereby providing a synergistic solution to improve sustainability on the island with positive effects for locals, the environment and investors. While it is of utmost importance to note that due to very diverse local circumstances, sustainability solutions need to be tailored to each island individually, it can be argued that synergistic approaches can provide environmentally and financially more profitable outcomes. Especially the waste-energy nexus adoption of a biogas plant in the case of Koh Rong proves that creating a synergistic solution, where waste can be diverted from unsustainable practices and instead be harnessed to provide renewable energy on the island, leads to favorable results.
Keywords: anaerobic digestion; biogas; sustainability; islands; tourism
URI: https://doi.org/10.34726/hss.2020.80652
DOI: 10.34726/hss.2020.80652
Library ID: AC15678530
Organisation: E017 - Continuing Education Center 
Publication Type: Thesis
Appears in Collections:Thesis

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