Exploration of finance and digital cooperation in the biogas sector –


Various countries are at different stages of developing biogas for energy technology. An international Digital Global Biogas Cooperation (DiBiCoo) project has been set up for emerging country markets to prepare for the adoption of sustainable biogas technologies and projects.

DiBiCoo, through national partner GreenCape, will host a second workshop for industry participants on October 20, following a successful first workshop with stakeholders in June.

Speaking to ESI Africa, Mandisa Mkhize, Senior Energy Analyst at GreenCape, said participants in the first workshop consisted of a mix of experienced biogas and newly interested stakeholders, covering both the private and public sectors, with some representation from financial institutions.

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She believes that the participants of the first workshop gained a much better understanding of the local market and the framework of biogas projects as well as the opportunities related to the potential of an online twinning platform currently being developed by DiBiCoo.

Mkhize explained that although many lessons were learned during the first workshop, his main takeaway was “it is very important to structure your project appropriately for the right kind of funding considerations”.

Create digital connections

Aleksejs Zacepins, Senior Researcher at Latvia University of Life Sciences and Technology, is working on the development of the digital biogas twinning platform DiBiCoo. Currently, in beta testing, this database for interested stakeholders will be used for networking, twinning and information exchange.

He said the platform is expected to officially launch in October, when they hope user registration will suggest the kind of functionality they need beyond basic browsing and matchmaking. , such as instant contact for businesses or special types of notification messages for platform users.

“African stakeholders can participate in the platform by creating a company profile describing the skills of the company as the field of activity, or our stakeholders can post a specific business need or opportunity that they are looking from a partner in another country, ”Zacepins explained.

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DiBiCoo demonstration case

The main objective of the Digital Global Biogas Cooperation (DiBiCoo) project is to prepare the markets of emerging countries for the adoption of sustainable biogas technologies and projects.

This program consists of five demonstration cases which all need to be guided up to the investment stage through the joint development of technical concepts, an impact assessment – including socio-economic and environmental aspects – and the development of business models for financially viable projects.

The five promising project opportunities in South Africa, Ghana, Indonesia, Argentina and Ethiopia will serve as examples of how to set up reliable biogas projects in cooperation with European technology providers. This is intended to support the development of a healthy biogas sector in developing countries.

The South African demonstration case of the DiBiCoo program is a landfill biogas project in Lanseria. The biogas plant treats excess sludge from the sewage treatment plant and organic waste from the housing project developing 50,000 housing units, near an industrial zone. Mkhize explained, “The design of the project is beneficial because the project can use organic waste from homes and add it to industrial waste as a raw material. In addition, there are opportunities for other buyers.

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“Once the project reaches the close of commercial operations, it has the potential to spawn in housing / commercial projects. While co-location with industrial estates is beneficial for this project model, it is not crucial to replicate this demonstration case in other parts of South Africa, ”said Mkhize.

Proof of this type of concept will be beneficial for South Africa, however, as the country moves towards a target of 40% biogas from organic waste to be produced by 2025, with the aim of diverting organic waste from landfills nationwide.

Coming soon: Explore biogas financing opportunities

A workshop of local actors focused on dissemination of information is scheduled for October 20, with the aim of presenting the DiBiCoo Identification of financing options for biogas projects report for South Africa.

“The aim of this local workshop would be to provide participants with a better understanding of how to identify ‘where’ to find appropriate funding options for their project at relevant stages of the project. The local workshop is aimed at all stakeholders who want to better understand the biogas financing options available in South Africa, ”explained Mkhize.

The increased interest of companies in exploring and using biogas and other bioenergy technologies to secure and reduce energy demand, improve water efficiency, and reduce and recover waste streams means a growing need for establish funding mechanisms to support these projects.

However, a majority of stakeholders do not know where and when to seek funding for biogas projects and are often discouraged because their timing may be wrong or they are going to the wrong funder.

Mkhize expects the second workshop to provide useful and practical information and lessons from the financial industry. ESI

Written by Theresa Smith, Content Producer, ESI Africa


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