Biogas growth in Africa: thinkpiece by A.D. Olabode
Ahead of UK AD & Biogas Expo 2018, African BioRenewable Association President A.D. Olabode gives his thoughts on the growth of biogas in Africa.
Biogas technology holds excellent potential for Africa’s economy, and especially for its bioresource economy. When considering that over 50% of Africa’s labor force is in the agriculture sector, the importance of the biogas sector becomes apparent. From agriculture to waste(water) management to electricity generation, AD technology connects the nexus that can usher in a new era of development across the continent.
Thus far, NGOs such as the African Biogas Partnership Programme (ABPP), SNV, Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development and many other nonprofit outfits have been the initial primary drivers of the development of this technology in Africa. The effects of these organizations are now beginning to take hold, as domestic biogas companies are now becoming the next drivers of biogas markets.
However, biogas still faces challenges. The obvious problems faced by many advocates of the technology are technical and financial capacity. Increasing participation from the private sector through greenfield investments and other forms of strategic partnerships will help bridge this gap.
Unique and enterprising business models abound for many African markets. For companies seeking to expand their presence, Africa presents opportunities for investors and technology purveyors. Using Levelized Cost of Energy (LCOE), parity achieved with fossil energy (in most markets), demand, and the abundance of natural resources as guides for engagement, the amplification of biogas technology in Africa presents numerous growth markets for industry at large.
A synergy of core areas such as agriculture, waste(water) management, electricity generation, biomass feedstock and government policies can help bring into a focus a technology with the potential to impact millions of lives across the continent, economically and socially.
A.D. Olabode will be speaking on global growth in biogas at UK AD & World Biogas Expo 2018, the world’s largest tradeshow dedicated solely to AD and biogas. You can find out more and register your free place for the show here.
This piece originally appeared in Bioenergy International.