Energy from agricultural waste in Peru

Two workers wearing safty helmets cleaning solar panels on a rooftop

Example of a biogas plant in rural Peru; Photo: SNV

In February a project of the International Climate Initiative (IKI) presented pilot projects for renewable energy sources in Lima. Business models for household access to biogas, for rural regions and major population centres were presented to stakeholders in the energy sector, including high-ranking representatives of government, development cooperation, research and financial institutions. The pilot projects aim to support the use of bioenergy in Peru.

In rural areas of Peru, where the poverty rate is often high, the electricity supply for the population is very expensive. Consequently, access to affordable, renewable energy for families and communities not only plays a role in mitigating climate change, it also contributes to rural development. The IKI project Development of a Strategic Bioenergy Management Model to Support Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Action for Energy in Peru (also known as Qanchary Llaqta in Peru) of the Netherlands Development Organisation (SNV) has been working to establish a comprehensive management model for the bioenergy sector since March 2016.

The event highlighted the use of renewable energy in Peru’s development and the joint international cooperation efforts. Identifying available energy production alternatives and promoting the launch of the bioenergy market through projects like Qanchary Llaqta are crucial elements in achieving the climate mitigation targets. These include, for example, strengthening technical and financial capacities at local level as well as implementing measures for renewable energy production and energy and resource efficiency.

Qanchary Llaqta has developed four business models – presented in pilot projects – that aim to make it possible for farms and forestry companies to use locally produced bioenergy.

The business models were presented particularly with a view to two markets. Partnerships with 20 members and cities with populations of up to 30,000 benefit from investments in the range between USD 30,000 and USD 1 million per partnership for a regional bioenergy plan. The mid-range investment benchmark of USD 8 million is suitable in large metropolitan centres with more than 30,000 residents. The smaller-scale models focus on household access to biogas and electrification of remote, rural towns and regions with biogas. For larger cities, what are known as bioparks can be established that produce electricity with an output of up to 3 MWh from residential waste. At the same time, the reuse of waste contributes to improving the city’s appearance and the hygiene situation.

The Peruvian Government also recognises the potential of using bioenergy. Through public investments such as Invierte Perú, sustainable infrastructure projects can be financed that contribute to environmentally and climate friendly development. Support is provided to municipal administrations to develop incentives for optimisation of waste management and waste recycling.

Projects like this create a more reliable energy supply, while reducing dependency on fossil fuels such as diesel or oil. In isolated or remote regions access to electricity produced from renewable raw materials is also made possible for the low-income population. In addition to the social aspects, a proper waste management system that uses residual materials as an energy source mainly helps reduce greenhouse gases and thus benefits our climate.

Qanchary Llaqta for support of bioenergy in Peru; photo: SNV