Biogas is a renewable energy generated from the decomposition of organic matter. To promote the use of biogas, a number of key sector stakeholders recently held an event entitled "Creating resilience to climate change and granting greater productivity to the dairy chain”, to raise awareness of the benefits of biogas technology.
At the event, which was organised by the Multilateral Investment Fund (FOMIN), the Nordic Development Fund (NDF), SNV and HIVOS, the benefits of using biogas in productive applications for the dairy chain was also explored.
The event was attended by national and international renewable energy and biogas specialists who shared their experiences in terms of how this technology has impacted agricultural units and Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) making them more productive and competitive and how it can help adapt to climate change.
Biogas is a renewable energy generated from the decomposition of organic matter. In this case, livestock manure is deposited into a bio-digester without air, generating biogas and bio fertilizer - organic biol. Biogas, in addition to household uses such as cooking and lighting it can also be used to fuel engines for milking systems, farm machinery and water pumps, among other uses.
The representative of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) in Nicaragua, Mr. Baudouin Duquesne, indicated that renewable energy technology represents an alternative for rural families and farmers who do not have access to electricity. In addition, it can significantly contribute to a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.
The SNV Country Director for Nicaragua, Emmanuel Bejar, outlined that the experience of the Biogas Market Development Programme Nicaragua (PBN) has shown that farmers and SMEs using biogas in productive applications, such as mechanical milking, save approximately US $ 2,000 per year. At the same time, they recover their investment quickly thanks to savings on gasoline purchases, reduced electricity costs and the substitution of chemical fertilizer with biol. In addition, there are beneficial health and environmental impacts.
Engineer Benito Martínez, Coordinator of the of the Universidad La Salle Research Centre, announced progress in the use of biogas for milk chilling, which will provide the dairy industry with a technological solution based on a renewable energy source to meet this need.
Mr. Martijn Veen, Global Energy Coordinator for SNV, revealed that the national biogas programmes supported by this organization have installed 793,000 bio digesters worldwide, which have in turn, contributed to the mitigation of climate change and to a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions of 28 billion tons of CO2.
In addition, biogas specialists from Mexico, Colombia, Bolivia, Costa Rica, and Nicaragua shared their experiences and lessons learnt during a panel discussion called “Countries Challenge to Encourage and Take Advantage of Renewable Biogas Energy”.
This international Biogas event was held under the framework of the Biogas Market Development Programme Nicaragua (PBN), executed by SNV Nicaragua, in partnership with HIVOS through an investment of US $ 6.2 million, funded by the Multilateral Investment Fund (FOMIN) the Nordic Development Fund (NDF), and local contributions.
SNV expert Martijn Veen speaking at the event
The event was chaired by Mr. Emilio Rappaccioli Baltodano, Presidential Counselor on Energy, Mrs. Susan Kolodin, Chief of Operations of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) in Nicaragua, Mr. Emmanuel Bejar, Country Director of SNV Nicaragua.
Some PBN results
More than 1,100 Nicaraguan rancher families and dairy SMEs have adopted biogas systems, which have directly benefited 6,000 people in rural areas. The installed systems have allowed a reduction of 8,606 tons of CO2 emissions. As well as the substitution of 6,283 tons of firewood.