SNV Domestic Biogas Newsletter, Issue 2

In this issue:
  • Production rate of biogas plants up almost 50% in 2009
  • International Workshop on Domestic Biogas in Nepal
  • Indonesia Domestic Biogas Programme
  • Mid-Term Review of the National Domestic Biogas Programme in Rwanda
  • Financial and economic performance of domestic biogas
  • International bio-slurry tour and training in Cambodia

Production rate of biogas plants up almost 50% in 2009

Cumulatively, 300.000 households benefit from SNV-supported programmes

In 2009, more than 53,000 biogas plants were installed through the country programmes supported by SNV – an increase of almost 50% on 2008. The largest numbers were realised by the Biogas Programme (BPII) in Vietnam and the Biogas Support Programme (BSP) in Nepal. The National Domestic Biogas and Manure Programme (NDBMP) in Bangladesh has also been doing well, with more than 5,000 units installed.

In Lao PDR, very few households decided to construct a biogas plant in the first half of the year under the Biogas Pilot Programme (BPP). However, the BPP managed to put various measures in place, resulting in more than 700 units being installed by the end of 2009. New programmes started in Pakistan in cooperation with the Rural Support Programmes Network (RSPN) and Winrock International (WI), and in Indonesia (see below). The first plants were commissioned and prospects look good for acceleration in 2010.

The total number of plants installed up to 2009 under SNV-supported programmes amounts to 300,000.

International Workshop on Domestic Biogas in Nepal

SNV calls for scaling-up biogas practices

SNV and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) organised an International Workshop on Domestic Biogas in Kathmandu, Nepal, from 10-12 November 2009. A total of 170 representatives of private and civil society organisations, government institutions, knowledge centres, development agencies and international donors from 25 countries in Asia, Africa, North and Central America and Europe participated in the workshop. The programme of the Workshop included: an inaugural session, four plenary presentations, six parallel sessions on different topics related to dissemination of domestic biogas technology, a field visit to a rural biogas village, an exhibition of biogas products and services in a market place, plenary reporting and evaluation sessions, and a closing session. After the closing session on 12 November, a special ceremony was organised to celebrate the installation of the 200,000th biogas plant in Nepal under BSP in the presence of the President of Nepal, Dr Ram Baran Yadav.

Read the report in full here

Indonesia Domestic Biogas Programme

Hivos, Government of Indonesia and SNV launch programme with Dutch financial support

In 2008, SNV conducted a study on the feasibility of a national programme on domestic biogas in Indonesia. The study was commissioned by DGIS and the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands (EKN) in Jakarta at the request of the Directorate General for Electricity and Energy Utilisation (DGEEU) of the Government of Indonesia. Its conclusions were positive. The technical potential for biogas was assessed to be a minimum of one million units, while no significant technical, financial or social limitations were found. The country has a history in domestic biogas, with about 6,000 units constructed. Before the year 2000, mostly fixed dome digesters were applied, but in more recent years the plastic bag digester has become more popular. The technical life of a plastic bag digester is rather short – on average two years under normal field conditions.

Read more here

Mid-Term Review of the National Domestic Biogas Programme in Rwanda

Barriers to sustainable biogas dissemination

The National Domestic Biogas Programme (NDBP) in Rwanda was initiated in 2007 with a total production target of 15,000 units. The Rwandan Ministry of Infrastructure is responsible for implementing the programme, which is co-funded by its own resources and by the DGIS-financed EnDev programme managed by GTZ. Capacity building services to the programme are being provided by SNV and GTZ. In May 2009, a loan agreement was concluded between the ‘Banque Populaire du Rwanda’, the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Netherlands households with a credit facility. This facility became effective in October 2009.

View the full Mid-Term Review report here

Financial and economic performance of domestic biogas

"Irresistible attractions"

In the opening session of the International Workshop on Domestic Biogas in Nepal, Mr. Felix ter Heegde gave a presentation on the financial and economic performance of domestic biogas plants in 12 Asian and African countries entitled “Irresistible attractions”. The investment costs of an average-sized unit varies between EUR 300 and 800, with the most expensive units produced in the African countries and Indonesia. There are large variations in the cost of the plants in relation to GDP: in Vietnam they cost less than 20% of GDP, while those in Tanzania almost cost 120% of the GDP. The total biogas costs (TBC) have been compared with the financial as well as economic benefits expressed in biogas substitution values (BSV). The following benefit areas have been taken into account: energy, agriculture, environment, employment generation and health and sanitation. For all countries, the economic benefits have proved higher than the financial benefits, justifying the provision of investment subsidies to farmers.

View the presentation slides here

International bio-slurry tour and training in Cambodia

Bio-slurry termed as "black gold"

In December 2009, SNV organised a five-day international bio-slurry study tour and training session, in association with the National Biodigester Program (NBP) of Cambodia. A total of 15 participants from six countries in Asia and Africa exchanged knowledge and experiences. In his opening speech, His Excellency Mr. Nou Muth of the Cambodian Ministry of Agriculture, Forest and Fisheries labelled bio-slurry ‘black gold’ to express its potential benefits for agricultural production. Country papers presented the status of bio-slurry research and extension activities on bio-slurry, and highlighted successes and failures. A field trip exposed the participants to biogas plants including farm-level bio-slurry management, as well as field and home garden demonstrations in Takeo and Kampot provinces. Training topics included application rates for bio-slurry and extension methods.

Further information

For more information about the activities of SNV on domestic biogas, please contact Mr. Wim J. van Nes, e-mail: wvannes at

For more information on SNV, please visit our website:

SNV is dedicated to a society in which all people enjoy the freedom to pursue their own sustainable development. We contribute to this by strengthening the capacity of local organisations.