The biogas industry in South Africa is still in its infancy, with lots of potential for further growth.
Through industry collaboration and concerted efforts, biogas can play a significant role in the country’s renewable energy space, delegates attending the Southern African Biogas Industry Association National Biogas Conference, in Pretoria, were told on Wednesday.
The number of biogas digesters in the country varies between 300 and 400, with the majority of these being used by households in rural areas.
Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) acting deputy director-general for clean energy Mokgadi Modise highlighted that biogas was an important element in the country’s transition to more renewable forms of energy, and also, had a part to play in the economic growth of the country.
In this regard, she noted that cities had been working towards energy sustainability, which was necessary as they account for the majority of energy demand and generate waste on par.
However, she emphasised that the potential of biogas could only be realised if key stakeholders played their part.
Currently, solar power is the dominant technology in the country’s renewable energy space, she noted, adding, however, that biogas could play a significant role in providing access to energy for cooking and lighting applications for those who still did not have access to electricity.
Meanwhile, should the biogas industry in South Africa expand, it could help to create more jobs.
DMRE director Noma Qase, meanwhile, pointed out that government was making progress in terms of the implementation of policy and regulatory frameworks to help grow the biogas industry, but said a lot of work still needed to be done to ensure the biogas market in South Africa is sustainably developed.