Last month, I dug into a project in Vietnam that built biogas production units for rural farmers in Vietnam. I remember thinking that using biogas production from farm animals to produce electricity was a pretty big jump forward: technically, it can be done, but most in the developing world, you’re more likely to find biogas being used for things like cooking. Turns out I should’ve trusted my instincts.
A representative of SNV, the NGO that now runs this program, reached out to me about the information I’d shared – it turns out that Climate Friendly’s information was inaccurate and out of date. They’ve updated their information, and Dagmar Zwebe, the representative who reached out to me, shared a ton of good information on the program. According to SNV’s information,
- This program – like others – doesn’t produce electricity; it produces cooking fuel (which is still a huge step forward for rural Vietnamese). These units simply don’t produce enough fuel to generate electricity.
- It’s not run by Climate Friendly; rather, they’re a purchaser of carbon credits from the program. The program was started by the government of the Netherlands, and now funded by donors and carbon credit sales.
- As we’ve seen before with other upgrades to cooking technology, this program creates reductions in work time for women: the installation of a methane digester results in 4.76 hours of saved work time per week for rural Vietnamese women.
- The program’s also a job creator: it’s resulted in the training of 1,668 masons and 1,064 technicians.
- It’s also an effective tool against climate change: it results in a 5 metric tonne reduction in greenhouse gas emissions per digester (or 5.5 “short” tons).
Not bad for a system that’s run on pig poop, huh? I apologize for not digging further into Climate Friendly’s details, or confirming with them, and thank Dagmar for reaching out. If you’d like to dig more into the details of this innovative program, take a look at SNV’s detailed overview of the program.
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