TreeHugger reader and author of the South Asia Biz Blog , Razib Ahmed, recently chided us a bit about paying so much attention to developed nations spinning their wheels over renewable energy. He sounded frustrated that so little recognition was given to the significant progress with biogas production by Nepal and other developing nations. We checked and he's right. In Ahmed's words: "You will be amazed to know Nepal has passed both China and India in terms of number of biogas plants per capita. Biogas Sector Partnership (BSP) Nepal has been extremely successful in pursuing the people living in rural areas to use their cow dung and other waste materials to produce biogas and now there are 145,000 biogas units in the country (roughly 15% of Nepalese households have biogas).Biogas Sector Partnership (BSP) is planning to install 83,500 more biogas units in Nepal by 2009. Use of biogas in Nepal is saving the country 400,000 tons of firewood and 4.75 million liters of kerosene every year. Use of biogas means that Nepal is having less CO2 emissions and if a very poor country like Nepal can use biogas so successfully there is every reason that China and India can do it too".
Apparently, investors and designers from Germany and the Nederland were early supporters of this grass roots biogas project. Looking further we found that the World Bank is adding support.
Via SciDevNet "[KATHMANDU] A project that is bringing clean, efficient energy to rural communities in Nepal received a major boost this month in the form of a deal that rewards it for reducing the country's greenhouse gas emissions. The deal is Nepal's first under the Kyoto Protocol's Clean Development Mechanism, which allows industrialized nations to offset some of their emissions by investing in clean energy projects in developing nations.
Under an agreement signed on 3 May, the World Bank's Community Development Carbon Fund will pay Nepal to reduce its emissions by one million tones over the next seven years by increasing the use of biogas units. Khagendra Nath Khanal, senior quality control officer of Biogas Sector Partnership Nepal, the nongovernmental organization implementing the project, says the new deal will bring the project US$7 per ton of avoided emissions.
The money will be used to build more digesters, which will be sold for no profit to poor households The project will bring additional benefits by attaching latrines to the biogas units to improve sanitation. Farmers will be able to use the residual material from the digesters as a fertilizer, and women and children will not have to collect firewood anymore".
Next up: Vietnam:
Via VNAnet: Ha Noi — "The Dutch Government will provide a non-refundable official development aid worth 1.15 million euros for the building of 9,500 biogas facilities in Viet Nam in 2006 The project will include the transfer of technology relating to construction and usage of biogas facilities. Under the MoU, the MARD will also work with SNV to devise a project to support the biogas program for the animal husbandry sector in the 2007-2010 period, which sets a target of building as many as 150,000 biogas tanks in 58 cities and provinces. The Dutch Government earlier granted 2 million euros for the construction of 18,000 biogas facilities in 12 provinces in Viet Nam between March 2003 and December 2005".
Then in Chile, we noticed that: "German consulting engineering company Lahmeyer International plans to start construction of large biogas projects in Chile The projects will utilize the anaerobic digestion of a native Chilean crop to produce biogas, which can generate electricity or be enhanced to natural gas quality and then feed into the existing natural gas pipeline network,".
And finally, in Bangladesh we saw that "Infrastructure Development Company Limited (IDCOL) will install 36,450 domestic biogas plants in 19 districts by December 2009. IDCOL, an energy and infrastructure finance institute, has signed an agreement to this effect with SNV, Netherlands Development Organization for implementing the project. Director general for International Cooperation of the Netherlands through SNV will also give 4.5 million euros to the project titled 'National Domestic Biogas and Manure Program'.
We got to thinking that since so many of the original inhabitants of Wisconsin were Dutch and German and since also Texas has a large German heritage, perhaps some European relatives would be kind enough to show the US how it's done. Lot's of cows in both states and huge feed-lots can be found in Texas. There's got to be some natural gas trunk lines nearby a few of them.