By Azin Ghabelrahmat (Uni Hohenheim, Biogas Workshop participant)
The “Domestic Biodigesters in Developing Countries” workshop, organized by the Postgraduate Programme Renewable Energy (PPRE), University of Oldenburg, was conducted from 20th to 23rd April 2016 at both Hanse-Wissenschaftskolleg (HWK) in Delmenhorst and University of Oldenburg, Germany for the 11th time.
The workshop’s objective was to intensively exchange knowledge and experience between practitioners, experts and policy makers on the dissemination of domestic biogas plants. The core question of the workshop was: “How to improve and scale up practices?“
The first workshop day was kicked-off with an opening speech by Andreas Guenther. The workshop started with an expert seminar inviting participants to exchange their practical or scientific expertise from the biogas sector with posters and presentations.
SNV Netherlands’ experienced experts discussed a wide range of topics. They have been working in domestic biogas programs in several Asian and African countries for more than 25 years. The course content covered an introduction into biological and biochemical processes in biodigesters, different types of domestic biodigesters and appliances, the use of biodigester outcome as fertilizer and animal feedstock as well as the SNV approach to mass dissemination and biodigester sector development.
The workshop was followed by lab experiments: Participants had the chance to experience the functioning and efficiency testing of different biogas stoves, handed in knowledge about financial aspects of biogas plants and software of biogas which help with data collection. The participants also got a chance to visit a local domestic biogas plant. The day closed with a Cooking Event where the participants could enjoy international dishes prepared on biogas stoves and improved cook stoves.
The main topic of the last workshop day was the mass dissemination of domestic Biogas Digesters, covering the SNV model, the development through the market as well as economic aspects and financial schemes.
The main outcome of this workshop was that practitioners gained knowledge about how domestic biodigesters can disseminate on a large scale and therewith help overcome problems in relation to unsustainable (biomass) fuel use and food security. The course was based on active participation of practitioners and open discussion about related topics. The feedback obtained from the participants, is used to constantly improve the course. The participants received detailed course materials, where all topics are described in detail. Also all presentations were made available on cloud.
So all in all, if you are searching for a place to meet people who make big changes in human society, do not forget to register for next workshop which will held in April 2017.