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Home » Industry News » Renewable Energy & Alternative Energy Solutions » SABIA – promoting biogas as a vital part of SA’s future energy mix

SABIA – promoting biogas as a vital part of SA’s future energy mix

THE South Africa biogas sector is represented by SABIA, a Non-Profit Organization, that leads the industry discussions with relevant governmental departments and institutions, international organisations, NGO’s and other industry associations to promote the sector, lobby for relevant legislative change, policy development and assisting members in gaining exposure. SABIA currently represents more than 50 members and actively keeps our members up to date on the industry through webinars and monthly newsletters, which is also shared with more than 1,500 stakeholders.

SABIA has adopted a global strategy for the development of a local biogas industry and is working with the South African Government to:

  1. Include the production of biogas as a climate change mitigator in all levels of government including national, provincial, municipal and individual cities’ energy plans
  2. Include targets for the recycling of biodegradable wastes and feedstocks to produce biogas in Nationally Determined Contributions to the UNFCCC by 2020
  3. Build a Circular Economy in which organic wastes, residues and feedstocks are recycled into renewable biogas and valuable organic nutrients for use in the agricultural sector
  4. Adapt the flow of financial support to the biogas sector, which is not only an enabler of a low- carbon based economy, but is also the quickest and most cost-efficient CO2 reduction pathway.
  5. Use the fuel produced by biogas production facilities for power generation, publicly owned transport and waste collection trucks. Carbon neutral fuel for electricity generation and for transport, contribute to improved air quality in cities worldwide using biogas as a clean fuel.

The SABIA strategic vision has developed a set of guidelines/roadmap for Government and policy makers that focus on:

  1. Diversion of organics/food waste from entering a landfill site through the introduction of separate organic waste collection for treatment in biogas facilities across South Africa. 
  2. Setting of targets and implementation strategies for the recycling of biodegradable wastes and feedstocks 
  3. Development, support and creation of the SABIA Biogas PES tariff (Payment for Ecosystem Services or Payment for Environmental Services) to stimulate the recovery of organic residues 
  4. Production of biogas through the installation of biogas technologies at a. agri-industry processing facilities, b. urban wastewater treatment plants c. livestock farms 
  5. Adoption and implementation of the Organic Waste Norms and Standards developed by SABIA and partners in 2016 
  6. Drive the creation of an enabling market environment for the capture and utilisation of landfill gas at both private and public landfills 
  7. Ensure all municipalities and Eskom to buy-back surplus electricity generated from biogas plants at published Mega-flex rates from IPPs (Independent Power Producers) 
  8. Incentivise the energy generation and use from livestock manure via targeted policies such as specific rural schemes for micro-scale digestion that result in energy security and independence, reduced use of solid fuels for domestic cooking and heating, and reduced deforestation whilst improving agricultural security through the recycling of nutrient and water 
  9. Development of standards and certifications for safe trading and application of digestate

SABIA in the last five years has worked very closely with public institutions and achieved very important results like the implementing a standard for the re-use of the organic waste, that need to be adopted, the development of Norms and Standards for biogas projects, the exclusion of biogas plants from air emissions license requirements. SABIA’s next goal is to unlock the full potential of the South Africa biogas market through the approval and adoption by the Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries (“DEFF”) of the SABIA Biogas PES tariff (Payment for Ecosystem Services or Payment for Environmental Services) to stimulate the recovery and beneficial utilisation of organic residues.

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