Biogas systems as alternative to mortal smoke

January 2017

News

From this year, 1,350 rural families, dairy and livestock SMEs will have access to clean energy with biogas systems through the Biogas Market Program in Nicaragua (PBN).

The PBN will benefit people with the delivery of an incentive bonus that covers 20 to 40% on the investment of the biogas system at small-scale. Likewise, it will provide a rigorous quality control in the construction and operation of biogas systems, training and technical assistance in uses and applications of biogas for domestic and productive purposes, use and applications of biol, and in Good Farming Practices.

The PBN will invest more than 8 million cordobas in incentive bonus for making acquisition of bio digesters more accessible. Until the end of 2016 the Program delivered about 11 million cordobas in incentives bonus.

Up to date some 5,262 people have abandoned the harmful use of firewood as a source of energy for cooking their food and kerosene to light up their homes, and instead, they are using organic waste (cow dung) through the adoption of biogas systems , which have reduced air pollution in their homes, have improved their quality of life and are developing resilience capabilities to face the climate change.

I used to spent US $ 1,000 in collecting firewood per year for the restaurant, the family with allergies problems because of the smoke and I also spent 10,000 cordobas (US $ 344) monthly for medical treatment and I was told that the only definitive treatment was to remove the smoke, now I am happy with the biogas system, "pointed out Mr. Freddy Sevilla, farmer and owner of El Oasis restaurant, Municipality of San Miguelito.

Asimismo, medianos productores están siendo más competitivos y productivos pues están aprovechando el biogás en motores para iluminación, picadoras de pastos, sistemas de ordeños, bombas de agua, entre otros usos

Likewise, medium-sized producers are being more competitive and productive as they are taking advantage of biogas on engines for lighting, grass choppers, milking systems, and water pumps, among other uses.

Impact on the environment

The adoption of biogas systems in Nicaragua are reducing emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs) in farms. When cooking foods with biogas instead of firewood, it allows to stop issuing 5 tons of Carbon Dioxide equivalent C02e, which is equivalent to annual wood savings on consumption produced by each biogas system.

According to the Biogas specialist of PBN, Engineer Carlos Bueso, while cooking food with biogas stoves they have stopped consuming an average of 3,324 tons of firewood and have reduced CO2 emissions by 4,553 tons.   

The PBN is implemented by SNV Nicaragua, in partnership with HIVOS through an investment of 6.2 million dollars funded by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) through the Multilateral Investment Fund (FOMIN), the Nordic Development Fund (NDF), SNV, HIVOS and local contributions.

What is biogas?

Biogas is a type of renewable energy that helps agricultural producers and rural households to meet their energy needs.

Biogas plants are closed compartments where organic waste (manure, agricultural waste, etc.) is broken down and in the absence of air produces biogas, which combustion can generate electric and thermal energy; as well as liquid and solid high-quality organic fertilizer to improve soil and increase crop yields and pasture. This allows to obtain multiple economic, environmental and social benefits.

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A biogas installation

Expert

Judit Vanegas Ferrey

Advisor - Communications