Volume 43: Energy Transitions toward Carbon Neutrality: Part VI

Barriers to successful implementation of small-scale biogas technology in Southern Africa: What can be learned from past initiatives in Mozambique? F. Mabecua, N. Dimande, A. Condo, P. Klintenberg, C. Lucas, S. Schwede



This paper examines common barriers limiting the implementation of small-scale biogas systems in rural Southern Africa through a literature study and a case study of six small-scale biogas digesters installed in Maputo province in Mozambique. The study strives to understand why the implementation rate of small-scale biogas systems in rural Southern Africa is so limited despite favourable conditions. The literature study identified several common barriers to the successful implementation of small-scale biogas in rural Southern Africa related to financial, technical, socio-cultural, and institutional issues. The case study results show that only one digester was operational, and five failed and were abandoned. Low technical ability of constructors results in poor-quality installations. Lack of technological know- how and local capacity for operation and maintenance of digesters are primary reasons for the failure of the digesters. Possible solutions are to intensify research, demonstration, dissemination and application of small- scale biogas; adapt the design of biogas digesters to the local context, meeting the needs of users and using locally available materials; sharing knowledge and information about small-scale biogas technology and its potential would contribute to improving the rate of successful implementation in Southern Africa.

Keywords small-scale biogas systems, anaerobic digestion, barriers, southern Africa, Mozambique

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