Biogas energy is one of the more underrated and underused renewable resource of energy in the country. In times of such energy crisis, biogas is certainly one of the more viable options for the country. In India, there are significant corners where many villages are dependent on this source of energy. Recently, two NGOs, namely Total S.A. and Good Planet Foundation, have announced their intention to set up 8,400 biodigesters in India. This is their attempt to tackle climate change and provide a source of clean energy for the state. Total SA is a France based multinational integrated Oil and Gas Company along with GoodPlanet, a France-based environment Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO). They have signed an agreement with the Telangana government.
According to an Economic Times report, Yann Arthus-Bertrand, President of the GoodPlanet Foundation stated, “Our projects are eligible for certified carbon credits and deliver positive outcomes for local communities that can be measured in terms of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals. I’m very pleased that Total SA will be working with us to measure, reduce and offset carbon emissions from its air travel in a project that will provide 45,000 people in India with clean energy.”
These bio-digesters are designed for household use, i.e. cooking and boiling water etc. They have a unique fermentation process to convert livestock manure into biogas. The material left after the process can be used as a nutrient source for crop fertilisation of the farmers. The company hopes to touch over 45,000 rural households through this project, who use wood as their fuel. This would greatly reduce the dependency of people on firewood for their fuel consumption. If deforestation is decreased even by a small percentage due to this process, there is a long list of benefits we will experience.
The company believes that this voluntary carbon neutrality initiative will avoid the emission of 50,000 tons of carbon dioxide equivalent a year for a period of 10 years, which is equivalent to all emissions generated by plane travel by Total employees.
In the twelfth five year plan (2012-2017) the Indian government of India had a target to set up 6.5 lakh biogas plants across the nation, under the National Biogas and Manure Management Program. It had a budget of Rs 650 crore, and it was estimated that 4745 lakh cubic meter biogas could be produced annually. Some state governments have started to implement this, on a very small scale. Biogas is the resource we can count on to make India economically and ecologically stable.