Africa|Construction|Energy|Financial|Gas|Industrial|Power|Projects|Renewable Energy|Resources|Solar|Technology|Training|transport|Waste|Waste Management|Infrastructure|Waste
Africa|Construction|Energy|Financial|Gas|Industrial|Power|Projects|Renewable Energy|Resources|Solar|Technology|Training|transport|Waste|Waste Management|Infrastructure|Waste

Sabia tackles biogas promotion with new vigour

17th October 2022

By: Marleny Arnoldi

Deputy Editor Online


Font size: - +

The Southern African Biogas Industry Association (Sabia) has laid out its industry advancement priorities after undertaking an in-depth review of the industry’s challenges over the last 18 months.

Some of these challenges include government direction on biogas, access to funding, regulations and feed-in tariffs, developing the market and limited available research.

Sabia is strengthening its operating model to better serve the industry, including through the appointment a permanent CEO and industry analyst, who Sabia secretary general Alberto Borello said would be announced soon.

He spoke during the association’s Vision 2030 conference hosted on October 12.

The association has, since its establishment in 2013, been lobbying for the industry’s advancement. Biogas currently does not have the regulatory, policy and market financial support that solar photovoltaic or wind power has, despite its immense potential, the association states.

Recently, it established six working groups to advance various objectives. The working groups will focus on the financial sustainability of the biogas industry, creating industry standards and policies, the promotion of biogas in feedstock production, technology commercialisation and developing training material, besides other objectives.

Sabia ultimately aims to treble its membership in the next 30 years, advance the growth agenda of biogas in Southern Africa, build industry entrepreneurial, management and leadership capacity and capabilities, and more effectively serve as a collective industry voice.

Borello said the biogas sector could contribute to reaching important goals such as meeting Paris Agreement goals and creating 30 000 permanent jobs within the next five years in South Africa, as well as another 140 000 temporary jobs in respect of the construction of infrastructure.

Biogas can also effectively minimise waste going into landfill, as envisioned by the South African National Waste Management Strategy of 2021, which has introduced targets for waste diversion from landfill of 45% in five years and 70% in 15 years.

Biogas is an effective energy carrier widely used in combined heat and power production, as well as vehicle fuel. It is produced from a range of biomass sources and waste, while the digestate, in turn, is an organic fertiliser.

Borello considers biogas a key transition fuel in the switch from fossil fuels to renewable energy and a perfect example of the circular economy.

Biogas can be created from municipal waste such as garbage, sewage and agricultural waste to produce energy, as well as reduce the amount of material waste in the world.

Biogas can be further processed to produce biomethane, which is equivalent to natural gas, but is considered carbon neutral. Biomethane could power compressed natural gas vehicles and thereby reduce transport sector emissions.

According to Sabia, biomethane has no mixing restrictions or special infrastructure requirements and is the easiest fuel to produce on a large scale.

At its full potential, anaerobic digestion and biogas can deliver a 15% reduction in South Africa’s greenhouse-gas emissions by 2050, Sabia states.

Sabia is promoting the production of biogas as a climate change mitigator for all levels of government, the inclusion of biogas in the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) of South Africa, and is creating a roadmap for biogas to get to 1.25 GW of energy generation in five years’ time and to a 10 GW potential thereafter.

The association believes there to be 4.7 GW of energy generation potential in the chicken industry alone, followed by 2 GW of potential in the municipal solid waste industry and 1.1 GW in the agricultural sector.

South Africa currently has about 30 MW of installed biogas capacity, across various industrial projects in the country, of which most comprise anaerobic digestion.

Borello confirmed that Sabia was engaging with the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy to ensure biogas was included in the next revision of the IRP, which was due in March next year.

Edited by Chanel de Bruyn
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online




Rentech provides renewable energy products and services to the local and selected African markets. Supplying inverters, lithium and lead-acid...

Environmental Assurance (Pty) Ltd.
Environmental Assurance (Pty) Ltd.

ENVASS is a customer and solutions-driven environmental consultancy with established divisions, serviced by highly qualified and experienced...


Latest Multimedia

sponsored by

Magazine image
Magazine round up | 12 July 2024
12th July 2024

Option 1 (equivalent of R125 a month):

Receive a weekly copy of Creamer Media's Engineering News & Mining Weekly magazine
(print copy for those in South Africa and e-magazine for those outside of South Africa)
Receive daily email newsletters
Access to full search results
Access archive of magazine back copies
Access to Projects in Progress
Access to ONE Research Report of your choice in PDF format

Option 2 (equivalent of R375 a month):

All benefits from Option 1
Access to Creamer Media's Research Channel Africa for ALL Research Reports, in PDF format, on various industrial and mining sectors including Electricity; Water; Energy Transition; Hydrogen; Roads, Rail and Ports; Coal; Gold; Platinum; Battery Metals; etc.

Already a subscriber?

Forgotten your password?







sq:0.439 0.5s - 211pq - 2rq
Subscribe Now