A Digital Global Biogas Cooperation (DiBiCoo) project has been launched to facilitate capacity building, technology transfer and market development in Ghana.
The three-year project is being implemented by the Institute for Sustainable Energy and Environmental Solutions (ISEES) and a consortia of 12 other partners from nine other countries.
It is under the auspices of the European Union Horizon 2020 Social Challenge "Secure, Clean and Efficient Energy," under the call; "Market Uptake Support" and is being coordinated by GIZ – Germany.
The DiBiCoo project, which is being funded by the European Union, was launched at a national stakeholders' workshop in Accra.
Dr Mutala Mohammed, a Programme Director of the Bioenergy Unit of ISEES, and a Research Scientist at CSIR-IIR, in an interview with the Ghana News Agency, said the project would explore market development and knowledge exchange between European and Ghanaian partners.
It would be facilitated through a digital matchmaking platform and classical capacity development mechanisms for improved networking and information sharing, he said.
"The innovative online digital platform will facilitate exchange of information on available and adaptable European technologies as well as on the framework conditions, market opportunities, research needs, financing opportunities and project ideas in the potential importing countries including Ghana".
"The implementation will involve mapping of all actors in the biogas sector in Ghana including project developers, municipalities, industries, feedstock processors, feedstock producers, technology providers and financial institutions..."
"They will be profiled on the platform in order to connect them to European partners to assist in growing their business and provide market and financial access to them."
Dr Mohammed said the online platform would be rolled out globally to enable various countries to participate in it, adding that there would also be a non-digital support tools and actions, knowledge transfer and capacity building for European and Ghanaian biogas companies, and practitioners to improve capacity for large-scale biogas projects in Ghana.
He said the project would help mitigate greenhouse gas emissions and increase the share of global renewable energy generation and would also contribute to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG-7), for affordable and clean energy.
Mr Lovas Owusu-Takyi, the Director of ISEES, said the Institute was poised to developing the biogas sector through capacity building, research, training and technology transfer to help empower biogas practitioners.
He called on project developers, district assemblies and industries that seek to develop biogas projects to address sanitation and energy access to link up with the Project Office of ISEES at Madina in Accra for assistance.
Mr Owusu-Takyi called on Government and development partners to prioritise investments into the biogas and biomethane industry since it has the potential to provide sustainable energy for domestic use, methane for transportation fuel and to help the country to address its climate change situation and achieve the SDGs.
Mr Wisdom Togobo, the Director of Renewable and Alternative Energy at the Ministry of Energy, welcomed the DiBiCoo project and said its ideals fell within the Government's energy policies to promote biogas technology for households and industries.
He said: "One of the biggest challenges confronting biogas development in Ghana is the lack of technical know-how in the installation and maintenance of biogas technologies as well as advanced technologies for biogas, thus the DiBiCoo project is a welcoming idea if it seeks to build capacity of biogas practitioners to gain access to markets both locally and internationally."
Mr John Yeboah, the Principal Programme Officer at the Renewable Energy Directorate of the Energy Commission, made known the regulations that companies need to go through for licensing of renewable energy projects and indicated that the Commission was working to develop standards and regulations for the biogas industry to streamline its operations and guidelines.
Mrs Elizabeth Rianawati, the Director of Resilience Development Institute of Indonesia and an implementing partner of the project, said the Indonesia's partnership with Ghana would help develop the biogas sector in Ghana.
The participants at the workshop welcomed the project as it would provide potential knowledge exchange, access to technology and capacity building that would help transform the biogas industry.
Participants include representatives from the Energy Commission, Ministry of Energy, Safisana, GIZ, PFAN, Zoomlion, Sewerage Systems Ghana Limited, Waste Segregation Limited, Biogas Association of Ghana, and CSIR-Institute of Industrial Research.
Mr Enoch Boadu, the Assistant Secretary of the Biogas Association, expressed gratitude to ISEES, the GIZ and the European Union for bringing the DiBiCoo project to Ghana and said the Association would collaborate and work together to address the challenges confronting industry partners in implementing biogas projects.