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Biogas: A solution to meet electricity requirement

Published on 30th June, Edition 26, 2014


Biogas characteristically refers to a gas produced through the biological breakdown of organic matter in the absence of oxygen. Organic waste like animal material and dead plant, animal dung, and kitchen waste can be altered into a gaseous fuel known as biogas. Biogas originates from biogenic material and is a type of biofuel. Biogas can also be utilized in anaerobic digesters where it is typically utilized in a gas engine to change the power in the gas into heat and electricity. Biogas can be compressed, much such as natural gas, and utilized to energy motor cars. In the United Kingdom, for instance, biogas is predicted to have the possibility to replace almost 17.0 percent of motor fuel. Biogas is a renewable fuel, so it qualifies for renewable power subsidies in several parts of the world. Being one of the major and significant state globally in terms of textile, medicine, food products, nuclear and variety of other sectors, Pakistan is still facing power shortage from approximately previous seven years. This shortage will never end rather rise with every second being passed. Presently, Pakistanis has been ranked top most bright and gifted state worldwide but still they can’t find the way to meet their power requirements. The cause behind this is the lack of well leadership, illiteracy, great use of fossil fuels and other political problems. Now, in these circumstances the only way of survival and to overcome this issue is that we stop relying and blaming on the government or other private power sectors strategies and start thinking to resolve it by alternative techniques. These alternate power recourses are biomass, wind, solar, hydropower and waste. As the country having a population more than 186 million in which 65 to 70 percent are related with agricultural sector, so the handling of agricultural waste is also a big problem as well.

In these situations, biogas production is the well and only way to overcome such challenge. In Pakistan, the first biogas plant was been in operation during 1989 and presently up to 2-3 percent of total alternate power produced in Pakistan is produced through biomass. The percentage for production can be rose considerably if the 70 percent of total population of the country, which are associated with agriculture field utilize gasification method for biogas production. Up to 65 percent of them utilize direct combustion method, which collects shrubs, wood and other waste to produce power. The power produced utilizing direct combustion method is always less than the gasification method and hence causing more air pollution because of emission of excess amount of unburnt fuel along with carbon monoxide and other toxic elements in air. Much examine is also going on in this field in dissimilar parts globally to make it more efficient, surroundings friendly and in other applications also such as fuel in motors. In Pakistan the Biogas Support Program (BSP) was also launched through Government of Pakistan during 2000-01, in which approximately 12,000 biogas plants of dissimilar capacities were operated and commissioned but unluckily this sector is also affected because of corruption and negligence. The Pakistan Domestic Biogas Program (PDBP) has undertaken construction of 50 and 100 cubic meter biogas plants to enable the rural citizens efficiently deal with the on-going power shortfall. These plants will have the ability to run 5 to 10 kw generators. These biogas plants are being fitted for R&D to evolve future policies. Adepts say that biogas as against other fuels such as LPG, diesel and electricity is much cheaper and had numerous other advantages. It can be utilized to run tube-wells plants, decline labor work on women in rural regions and can be utilized for cooking purposes as a replacement of natural gas and LPG, assist protect from different diseases, have economic and environmental advantages. It is said that the installation of a biogas plant for operating tube-well cost Rs170,000, of which Rs40,000 subsidy was being given through PDBP and the rest was being managed through the user whereas installation of biogas plant for domestic cooking purpose ranged between Rs20,000 to Rs170,000. The clients are being encouraged to fit biogas plants and for this purpose 4 year’s free of cost services are also being given through the registered firms.


Since 2009 in Pakistan, SNV Netherland’s Development Organization has worked jointly with RSPN in the implementation of the Pakistan Domestic Biogas Program. This is a 5-year program being applied in 12-district of central Punjab by the RSPN in partnership with domestic and national stakeholders. The first 9-month of the program were financed through SNV, while the remaining 4-year after October 2009 till October 2013 were being financed through the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Pakistan, with technological aid from Winrock International and SNV. Within the framework of PDBP, RSPN gives overall program management, co-ordinates with the program participants and is accountable for planning, administrating and reporting, stakeholder mobilization, strategy dialogue, promotion, advocacy and communication. SNV will assume answerability for the effectual exchange of knowledge generated by its engagement in the local biogas sector in greater than 13-countries worldwide.

By the closed of 2014, PDBP aims at setting up 14,000 biogas plants by the development of a completely functional and market-oriented biogas sector. Getting a sector development approach, the program will mobilize the private sector, co-operatives, NGOs, government sector and MFIs, focusing on clusters of high-density livestock regions and aiming at farmers with at least 3-4 cows.


No doubt, power deficient label can be eliminated from the country, if the Government of Pakistan and the citizens independently pay grave concentration to resolve this issue utilizing biogas process.


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