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Biogas growth in Africa

"Biogas technology holds excellent potential for Africa’s economy, and especially for its bioresource economy. When considering that over half of Africa’s labour force is in the agriculture sector, the importance of the biogas sector becomes apparent. From agriculture to waste and wastewater management to electricity generation, AD technology connects the nexus that can usher in a new era of development across the continent" says A.D. Olabode, President of the African BioRenewable Association.

A.D. Olabode, President of the African BioRenewable Association (photo courtesy World Biogas Association).

According to Olabode, who will be speaking at the upcoming UK AD & World Biogas Expo 2018 in Birmingham next month, non-governmental organisations (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, said Olabode.

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, he said.

Olabode points out that 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 the industry at large.

A synergy of core areas such as agriculture, waste, wastewater 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 concluded.

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