Biogas network grows in Cuba

A local engineer, Alexander López Savran, has used his bio-digester innovation to create a distribution network for biogas in neighboring communities in Cuba.

“A new bio-digester has been designed to obtain pressure, which means that biogas can be distributed more than five kilometres away without the need for a compressor or blower,” said Mr. Savran, “That is where the innovation lies.”

Such innovations, which follow the trend of biogas promotion, can help address the challenges which Cuba faces to create efficient distribution networks which effectively use ecological resources. This energy arises from the decomposition of organic matter, such as cattle manure. The technology therefore harnesses existing resources from a local pork-raising centre to provide and distribute energy to communities.

Most of the bio-digesters built by Mr. Savran were built as part of the Biomás Cuba project. This program is coordinated by the state-run Indio Hatuey Experimental Pasture and Forage Station, with support from the Swiss Agency for Development and Coordination. This initiative seeks to bring about energy sustainability in the Cuban countryside.

However, whilst there is a growing political and social support for this type of energy, and “participative activities in the context of local development”, as described by José Antonio Guardado, national coordinator of the Movement of Biogas Users, there is still work to be done as “materials in the market are not optimal, sufficient or affordable” and “there is a lack of institutional infrastructure to provide this service in an integrated manner.”