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close this bookCriteria for the Dissemination of Biogas Plants for Agricultural Farm and Household Systems (GTZ, 1993)
close this folder5. The project
View the document(introduction...)
View the document5.1. The tasks of a demonstration phase
View the document5.2. Tasks during the pilot phase
View the document5.3. Tasks in the dissemination phase

(introduction...)

Principally, biogas projects or biogas dissemination programmes should only be initiated where the technology corresponds to the geographical, economic and in particular to the agricultural background conditions, and where the projects can concentrate on key tasks. Biogas programmes should only be carried out where sustainable dissemination of plants can be expected and where the public expenditure is in a reasonable relationship with the benefits expected. Unfavourable conditions and half-hearted involvement of the public sector only waste the resources of the partner country and of development cooperation which are in short supply anyway. Projects of development cooperation normally contain an orientation and an implementation phase. For biogas dissemination in contrast, three phases are typical: the demonstration phase, the pilot phase and the dissemination phase. Which of these is part of the implementation or orientation phase depends on the project purpose in each case.

Experience has shown that the transition from one phase to the next is very difficult as certain structures quickly become firm. Whether this is the integration of the technology in the counterpart organisation which only partly succeeded because speed had priority over cooperation in the initial phase, or whether high direct subsidies for demonstration plants prevent plant prices being adapted to market prices step by step. If the sense of a dissemination programme is to be judged in a preliminary study, one has to be conscious of the difficulty of this transition. The decision on how long the pilot phase should last or may last, has to be made. Which costs are related to this and who is to bear these costs for how long. To abruptly end a pilot phase which has a good background of funds and then to pass on dissemination to the counterpart with only minimum funds has often led to the destruction of successful bases for dissemination in the past. Project concepts cannot be set up stiffly or as stereotypes. As has already been described, the introduction of biogas technology is rarely carried out in one step. E.g., it can be quite feasible to maintain a pure demonstration or pilot programme for some years if one assumes that the transition to dissemination will not be probable until after a second "attempt". Assuming this, the biogas programme has to be structured accordingly. In this case, motivation and advertising do not stand in the foreground, but the production of as high a number as possible of absolutely immaculately operating biogas plants. The costs for direct subsidies will definitely be equal to the costs for a long and hard advertising campaign. Planning plants to conform to the locations and the most perfect execution of construction combined with slurry and gas utilisation concepts tailor-made to the individual user are then the defining yardsticks for the success of this demonstration phase. It is the purpose of such a project to present biogas technology associated with a positive image in this region - no more, but mainly, no less!