The Africa Biogas Partnership Programme (ABPP) is a partnership between the Dutch government, Hivos and SNV in support of national biogas programmes in Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, and Burkina Faso. This partnership is geared towards constructing 100,000 biogas plants that will enable half a million people to access a sustainable source of energy by 2017.
Already on its second phase, the programme has established a viable market for domestic biogas through effective credit schemes and cost reduction.
Hivos acts as fund and programme manager from our regional office in Nairobi, while SNV is providing capacity-developing services in the six priority countries and knowledge management at supra-national level.
The overall objective of the ABPP is to work towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals by developing a commercially viable, market-oriented biogas sector that will support the use of domestic biogas plants as a local, sustainable energy source. Domestic biogas plants helps individual households to sustainably reduce dependence on firewood and expensive fossil fuels, saving them time and money. Broader advantages include reduced deforestation and greenhouse gas emissions, and improved public health - women and children‘s health in particular - as cooking on biogas is smokeless.
ABPP has also integrated the Biogas Business Boost Benefiting Farmers (4BF) programme. Funded by the Energising Development (EnDev), the programme aims at accelerating demand for the domestic bio-digesters through providing incentives for the service providers in order to improve quality. Through a five-year Results Based Financing (RBF) initiative in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda, this will go a long way in improving the functionality of bio-digesters and bolstering access to finance for resource poor farmers. RBF's objectives are the following:
- To strengthen investment subsidy on bio-digester markets in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda;
- To provide sophisticated quality control and after-sale service mechanisms, lowering the cost of provision of these services;
- To reduce transaction costs for developing and marketing biogas loan products by Micro Finance Institutions, ensuring biogas credit penetrates to the poor;
- To enhance regionalization for cross-border cooperation and knowledge transfer.
The initiative is implemented through two types of RBF incentives, namely the Credit Sanctioning Incentive (CSI) to Financial Institutions for stimulation of availability of affordable credit and Quality Plant Incentive (QPI) to Biogas Construction Enterprises (BCEs) for stimulation of good after-sales services and customer care, combined with regional exchange and learning and business development support.
The excellent results of the programme show that biogas plants truly meet the needs of the rural population and that people are wiling to pay for them. Though, during the first phase of the programme, ABPP provided a subsidy of 30 percent of the construction cost, to act as an incentive to households to adapt the biogas plants. Our approach of brokering partnerships between existing organisations and institutions and creating new biogas plant construction companies is bearing fruit.