Biogas for climate change mitigation & adaptation in Nicaragua


The Biogas Programme in Nicaragua (PBN) has recently reached a new milestone. By the end of August 2016, the programme facilitated the delivery of more than 9 million cordobas ($325,557) in bonds incentives, aiming to increase the accessibility of biogas systems among small and medium Nicaraguan producers. One incentive is $480 and covers between 27% and 46% of the investment in a small-scale biogas system.

Climate change mitigation

4,506 people in NIcaragua are now benefitting from the use of biogas. Switching from a traditional cookstove to a clean one has helped reduce air pollution in their homes, improving their quality of life and positively impacting the environment. 2,390 tons of firewood have been spared, reducing CO2 emissions by 3,274 tons. Cooking with biogas instead of firewood helps abate around 5 tons of CO2 per year/biogas system and due to the proper disposal of organic waste, methane (CH4) emissions are also reduced.

Climate change adaptation

Biol, the bio-fertiliser produced by bio-digesters, contributes to climate change adaptation. The 800 bio-digesters installed through the PBN programme produce approximately 45,000 cubic metres of biol per year. This helps increase soil water and the availability of water facilitates adaptation to climate change in times of drought. The 800 systems can produce 1,110,000 pounds of nitrogen, 160,000 pounds of phosphorus and 325,000 pounds of potassium per year, aiding nutrient circulation within agricultural units.

Eco-efficient and competitive

Biogas also increases farm productivity. The PBN programme facilitates the installation of medium-scale biogas systems which can power engines, grass choppers, milking systems, water pumps and more. It has been proven that biogas power generation shows return on investment in 2 or 3 years, which is very profitable since the lifespan of a biogas system is 20+ years.

The Biogas Programme Nicaragua (PBN) is being implemented by SNV Nicaragua in partnership with Hivos through a $6.2 million-fund from the Multilateral Investment Fund (FOMIN), the Nordic Development Fund (NDF), SNV, Hivos and local contributions. The PBN programme aims to provide clean energy through biogas for 3,000 small and medium agricultural businesses and rural households in the provinces of Boaco, Matagalpa, Chontales, Jinotega and Rio San Juan. The programme provides rigorous quality control for the construction and the operation of the bio-digesters as well as training and technical assistance on the use of biogas and biol for domestic and productive purposes and good livestock production practices.