Cooking with gas: policy lessons from Rwanda's National Domestic Biogas Program (NDBP)

Landi, Matthew, Sovacool, Benjamin K and Eidsness, Jay (2013) Cooking with gas: policy lessons from Rwanda's National Domestic Biogas Program (NDBP). Energy for Sustainable Development, 17 (4). pp. 347-356. ISSN 0973-0826

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The Rwandan government, in partnership with international donors, began its National Domestic Biogas Program (NDBP) in 2007. The NDBP, with an initial budget of $14.1 million, was to develop a commercially viable Rwandan biogas sector and build 15,000 family sized biogas plants throughout the country by 2011. As of August, 2012, however, the NDBP had installed only 2600 units. This study explores what happened. It introduces readers to the rural energy situation in Rwanda, describes the history and benefits of the NDBP, and then discusses the barriers that explain its limited success. These barriers include lack of familiarity with biogas technology, and minimal institutional capacity following the Rwandan genocide. Other challenges include inadequate suppliers and maintenance personnel, limited financing and the bulk of biogas digester costs befalling households, and an inadequate marketing and awareness campaign. The study concludes by noting that government support and collaboration with all relevant stakeholders and the development of private sector capacity is vital to the successful implementation of renewable energy technology. It also notes that market-oriented approaches to renewable energy sector development require consistent and sustained efforts on behalf of the international community and the public sector, and that promoting and extolling the benefits of a new technology can be essential to overcoming societal resistance.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: University of Sussex Business School > SPRU - Science Policy Research Unit
Depositing User: Benjamin Sovacool
Date Deposited: 19 Jan 2016 10:07
Last Modified: 03 Jun 2016 10:23
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