Analysis of alternative uses for biogas in CambodiaThe Global Environment Facility (GEF) project “Reduction of GHG emission through Promotion of Commercial Biogas Plants”, jointly implemented by the Cambodian Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), aims at promoting investment in biogas based rural electricity enterprises at commercial pig farms for increasing rural electrification in Cambodia.
The project intends to utilize biogas as a clean energy source to reduce greenhouse gas emissions related to: i) the use of diesel generators on pig farms; and ii) methane emissions from pig manure. The objectives aim at demonstrating and promoting biogas-based energy services as a financially viable, reliable, effective and sustainable mechanism to address on-farm animal waste management while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Feasibility studies on the production of biogas were carried out at 12 pig farms in 7 provinces all over Cambodia. It included farms of different types, sizes (1,200 – 15,835 heads) and energy supply situations (on-grid / off-grid). The assessed pig farms currently face certain barriers for the implementation of biogas energy systems:
- Only very few of the assessed pig farms show a good potential for producing biogas at a commercial level and are financially viable – due to limited captive energy demand.
- Only one pig farm has a licence to feed electricity into the grid.
- Some pig farms apply an all-in, all-out pig movement that causes substantial fluctuations in the availability of dung and hence biogas. A constant utilization of biogas power plants is therefore not possible; this again, influences financial viability of the biogas energy system.
This project analyzed alternative concepts of biogas distribution, namely biogas pipelines, biogas backpacks and high-pressue gas cylinders, as well as alternative uses of biogas like cooking, as vehicle fuel and for thermal applications plus the different business models that make all these options economically feasible.
Furthermore, biogas trainings and field missions with the members of the local Biogas Technology and Information Center (BTIC) were part of the activities implemented in Cambodia as part of the knowledge transfer component of the project.