Pioneering green electricity from bio-digesters in Ethiopia

Pioneering green electricity from bio-digesters in Ethiopia

Image of the Ethiopia SNV team with a bio-digester

Ethiopia is pioneering the production of green electricity from a large-scale bio-digester under Biogas Dissemination Scale-Up Programme (NBPE+).

A 16-Kilowatt (KW) biogas generator with a 30m3 biogas storage balloon has recently been installed at Melkam Endale Dairy Farm and Milk Processing PLC, at Sululta, Oromia Region of Ethiopia. This generator converts the biogas produced from a large-scale bio-digester into electricity for use in both the cold chain and the incubation room of the farm. The generator can serve for over ten years, provided that operational guidelines are adhered to and regular servicing is provided.

Melkam Endale Dairy Farm is one of the companies benefiting from a dedicated programme regarding large-sized bio-digesters that is being piloted under the Biogas Dissemination Scale-Up Programme (NBPE+). The owner of the company, Melkam Endale, said: “I am very happy that I decided to invest in this technology. We no longer lose milk or milk products due to power interruption.” The experience gained in this project will help to further promote the technology in the commercial and institutional markets in Ethiopia, providing opportunities for the generation of green electricity.

Sanne Willems, Team Leader, Economy and Infrastructure at the European Commission in Addis Ababa recently visited the site. During this occasion, the NBPE+ team explained how the project was realised.

Tesfaye Alemayehu, Technical Expert in the NBPE+ team, revealed that the technology would be valuable for off-grid dairy farms in Ethiopia to generate electricity for productive use. He stated that “the knowledge developed from this project could make Ethiopia a leader in the dissemination of larger-sized bio-digesters in Africa.”

Image of the production of electricity from biogas

Producing electricity from biogas

Image of the Ethiopia SNV team with a bio-digester

The Ethiopia SNV team standing in front of a bio-digester

About the NBPE+

SNV Netherlands Development Organisation manages the Biogas Dissemination Scale-Up Programme (NBPE+) in collaboration with the federal and regional governments of Ethiopia. NBPE+ is funded by the European Union and the Government of Ethiopia. Apart from promoting the installation of household bio-digesters, NBPE+ is also piloting about 40 larger-sized units with a digester capacity of between 30 and 80m3. This pilot targets businesses such as dairy farms and public institutions like monasteries, who require the productive use of both biogas and bio-slurry. By April 2021, NBPE+ has completed the installation of 12,975 household and eight large-scale digesters

For more information, please contact Tesfaye Alemayehu, SNV Ethiopia