BIOGAS DIGESTERS AND VERMICOMPOST IN ARAKALAGUDDU, INDIA - CARBON OFFSET
CONSTRUITS EN 2010
To provide 755 rural families with biogas digesters and vermicompost units (vermicomposting is the use of worms to break down organic waste into compost) so they can meet their energy needs through the methanization of animal waste and the production of compost for farming.
Most of the families in rural India depend on wood and kerosene to satisfy their daily energy needs. Women and children are responsible for collecting wood several times a week, leading to the reduction of wood resources. The use of traditional cooking stoves also leads to a high chance of respiratory/ lung infections among users and the use of the various chemical fertilizers reduce the soil fertility and crop yields.
The construction and distribution of biogas digesters and the production of vermicompost are available options which might provide a real solution to these various problems.
The aim of this project is three-fold:
- Mitigate climate change through the use of biogas instead of wood, kerosene or LPG for energy
- Improve the condition of women and children in rural areas by completely replacing the need to use & collect firewood
- Convert animal waste into high quality organic compost that replaces the use of chemical fertilizer.
This project takes place in 5 taluks around Sidlaghatta (Bangalore Rural and Chikaballapur districts), in the Indian state of Karnataka. It integrates:
- Construction of a 2m3, anaerobic digester, with 20% contribution by the beneficiary in the form of either providing locally available materials like sand and by working as a labour during the construction;
- Construction of a vermicompost unit (vermicomposting is the use of worms to break down organic waste into compost);
- Training of the beneficiaries on effective use/ maintenance of the biogas digester and vermicompost unit.
Biogas is a combustible gas used for cooking in rural areas. The gas is produced by fermenting animal waste in the absence of oxygen in an air-tight reservoir. This allows for both the management and conversion of the waste to useful energy in the form of biogas.
Each biogas unit produces liquid residue that is mixed with other agricultural waste along with other left-over cattle feed to maintain the moisture. The earthworms are added at later stage to this mixture.
The worms can digest the agro-wastes equivalent of their own body weight in a single day and generate the same quantity in the form of compost. The compost is dried and stored for future agricultural use. The vermicompost unit has the capacity to produce eight tons of organic fertilizer per year. The unit is maintained by the women, who also receive the additional income generated by selling the vermicomposts. The total average cost of a 2m3 biogas digester and a vermicompost unit is €450.
Technical expertise and the materials are provided by SKG Sangha, with the help of their specialized technicians. A single biogas digester takes about an average of 4-5 days to dig the pit and another 4 to 5 days to construct the biogas unit and about another.
- Reduced pressure on forests and fossil energy sources
- Reduction in the greenhouse gas emissions (CO2, CH4)
- Better quality of soil which is enriched by the use organic material through vermicompost
- Reduction in poverty (fewer expenses related to energy and fertilizer)
- Improved access to energy, more time for beneficiaries
- Less in-door air pollution (reduction in the respiratory and lung infections)
SKG Sangha is an Indian NGO that has been engaged from the past 20 years in various economic, agricultural, social and environmental development activities in rural India since 1992, with an excellent track record of biogas reservoirs implementation (over 90,000 units have already been built). The association has received many international awards, including a Tech Museum Award in 2008 and an Ashden Award in 2007.
START OF THE PROJECT IN 2010
This is the third biogas project developed by Action Carbone and SKG Sangha in India (for 755 families). The local population was more and more interested with biogas. In fact, they were witness of the project in the same district of Hassan. The project started with the construction of 505 biogas digesters from February to April 2010.
GOLD STANDARD IN 2011
The project was registered as a Gold Standard (GS) “micro-scale” project in February 2011 (GS817). According to the results outlined in the Project Design Document (PDD), each digester installed in these areas will result in an annual reduction of emissions equivalent to 5 tonnes of CO2. Thus, approximately 4 tons of wood can be saved each year per household. The women and the children responsible for collecting firewood gain on an average of 2-4 hrs a day.
In 2011, 250 new biogas digesters have been build.
According to the surveys conducted among 109 randomly selected households, each family uses the biogas for about 2 and 4 hours a day, depending on their energy needs and size of the family.
In 2010, due to beneficiaries' inexperience to do compost, the production of vermicompost was low. Sangha decided to organize training programs to help beneficiaries to improve their practical knowledge on vermicompost.
The project is currently being monitored by the SKG team. Verification of the 2011 monitoring report by the GS is expected by early 2012.
In May 2011, the first carbon credits (2562 tCO2 for 2010) were issued for this project following the Gold Standard.
The collaboration between GoodPlanet and SKG Sangha further extended to a third "small scale " projects, in the neighbouring area of Chikaballapur and Bangalore Rural, thanks to a loan provided by the French Agency for Development (AFD), added to Action Carbon own funds.
GOLD STANDARD METHODOLOGY
A methodology developed by The Gold Standard (Indicative Programme, baseline, and monitoring methodology for Small Scale Biodigester) is applied to the project.
The methodology provides a systematic approach to explain the eligibility of the project in the Project Design Document (PDD). The methodology also explains the various methods depending on the local situation of estimating the emission reductions, which is based on comparing reference (baseline) scenarios and project scenarios while adopting statistical correction factors to ensure that the results obtained are conservative. Two sources of greenhouse gas emissions are studied: the fuels used by the beneficiary family and the waste produced by the animals belonging to each family.
The methodology also provides a monitoring plan to be put in place for rigorous follow-up of the parameters for calculating effective emission reductions throughout the duration of the project.
In this case, a minimum sample of 100 beneficiary households will be considered each year to calculate the reduction in emissions. The team in-charge of monitoring will focus specifically on evaluating the consumption of wood and chemical fertilizer use, as well as the management of their biogas and vermicomposting facility by the households that will be surveyed.
The project was registered as a GS “micro-scale” project in February 2011. In 2011, the project issued its first carbon credits (2562 VER) between April 2010 and December 2010, and January and December 2010.
Registered as a GS “micro-scale” project: GS817