By Kimbowa Richard, Uganda Coalition for Sustainable Development / INFORSE East Africa-Member of the Renewable energy CSO Network hosted by Environmental Alert.
Uganda has a huge potential to exploit the large quantities of crop residues and animal wastes generated by farmers. It is on this basis that some households and institutions have embraced biogas as a renewable energy option to meet their energy needs. However, since its introduction in Uganda in the 1950’s, biogas technology is still not universally accepted and penetration has remained relatively low (Uganda Domestic Biogas Programme, 2010).
Biogas plants are vital to convert bio-wastes into cooking gas (mainly methane), providing a viable alternative for firewood or charcoal. Biogas generation can be done at any scale and can be owned by individual households, institutions and even villages. These plants are an environmentally friendly way of disposing of organic waste materials which would otherwise be dumped anywhere including in wetlands and landfills.