The aim of the project is to accelerate agribusiness within Benin and Tanzania by implementing biomass clean energy technology, targeting the oil palm and other agricultural subsectors. On top of this the project will also improve access to modern energy for 50 communities and produce an increased awareness of clean energy and its importance to the economy.
The lack of access to energy services slows the adoption of modern agricultural techniques, which leads to lagging food production and poor economic growth. As well as this there has been a growing trend between fossil fuel and food prices, causing soaring living costs and unpredictable pricing; the way to break this link is by introducing local energy sources to take the pressures off food prices. Creating local biomass plants will allow communities to develop and manage their own energy resources, giving them energy security and creating new jobs across the entire supply chain. The new biomass plants will promote growth through the selling and generation of biomass electricity as well as from businesses that buy and sell the power. Not only will the agricultural sector benefit from the biomass mini grid project but so will the telecom sector as well as social and ICT services.
To achieve these goals Gazogen Inc. will install 50 biomass plants, in partnership with local Beninese and Tanzanian technology manufacturers, which will generate electricity for more than 5000 families. The biomass plants will run primarily off palm oil, with the look to expand into other materials such as maize, rice, coffee or cashews. The 50 bio-mass plants will be rolled out over a period of 3 years, and will come with complete training and create an African rural ESCO business model which will be shared among the plants. A marketing campaign will run alongside the clean energy development in order to increase awareness of the project and the benefits of using clean energy.
The bio-mass mini-grid project will reduce green-house gasses in a number of ways. First and foremost the biomass systems will be replacing fossil fuel based generators with carbon neutral energy. Secondly a large amount of methane, which is 25 times more polluting than carbon dioxide, is produced during the decomposition of agricultural waste; when this waste is used in a biomass plant this methane production is eliminated. The biofuel created can also be used to replace kerosene lanterns and firewood, further reducing the production of greenhouse gases.
This project has been made possible through the support of the Powering Agriculture: An Energy Grand Challenge for Development. Partners: the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Swedish Government, Duke Energy, and the German Organisation for International Cooperation (GIZ). It was prepared by Camco Clean Energy and does not necessarily reflect the views of the Powering Agriculture partners. Further information about Powering Agriculture can be found at www.PoweringAg.org
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