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Chapter 10  Management of a Biogas Programme

Lessons can be learnt from the way biogas programmes have been run in places such as China, India and Nepal. The way a programme is run depends on the local environment and, particularly the needs of local people for the technology.

One key aspect is a balance between central and local management. Biogas technology, as a renewable energy, attracts central political interest, which can often help an extension programme. However, the work of selling, building and follow-up of biogas units needs to be done by trained local people in any area. Such extension agents need to be identified and given a range of important skills. Programme finance is an important issue, especially if customers can receive subsidies and loans to enable them to purchase biogas units. Carbon offset finance has been used to provide extra funding, but there are issues.

Quality control of biogas units is essential and can be linked to the provision of finance. Many programmes need to include research and development work to enable the technology to be kept up-to-date and to take advantage of new opportunities for its use.  


Chapter 11  Starting a Biogas Programme

Starting a new biogas extension programme in an area requires information that should be gained from an assessment survey. People in the area need to know about the benefits of biogas, so publicity is required. A limited pilot programme allows staff to be trained and extension methods to be tested and established. As the programme moves into forward, standards should be defined that are used to encourage quality control. Follow-up surveys quickly identify areas in which the programme management can be improved. Staff need to be flexible, so improvements can be made and new opportunities recognised.


Chapter 12  Philosophy of biogas extension

The concept of the triple bottom line encourages the application of auditing to environmental and social aspects of a project, as well as the financial aspects. Biogas extension programmes have a high potential to demonstrate that they are sustainable in all three areas: environmental, social and financial, if they are properly planned and managed. Its use to process food waste allows biogas to change the lives of the poorest of the poor.  


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