The business case for biogas from solid waste in the Western Cape
  24/11/2017     Library, Document, waste, organic, GreenCape, energy, renewable, business, SABIA, biogas, biowaste, biofuels, investment, green economy, alternative waste, organic waste, Renewable Energy, Bioeconomy, Bioenergy, value-add to organic residues


In response to business interest and requests for information, GreenCape has developed a report on the business case for biogas from solid wastes in the Western Cape. The report highlights the current status of biogas in the Western Cape and explores the drivers for financial feasibility.

Current status

The report showcases 5 of the 21 biogas projects currently in existence or being planned. While the business case is highly site specific some general requirements for success are identified: 

  • Guarantee of consistent feedstock quantity and quality
  • Reduced waste management costs
  • Supplementation of electrical and thermal energy used on-site

Additionally, the economies of scale and cost of managing the digestate stream are key factors that influence viability.

Business cases

To examine the business case drivers,  two business cases were modelled using a spreadsheet tool developed by GreenCape, namely :

  1. A small biogas installation in a commercial context
  2. A medium-scale biogas installation in the agri-processing context

Our analysis suggests that small scale commercial biogas facilities (<50 kWe) are currently not financially viable for the generation of electricity.  However, medium scale (50 kWe to 1MW) biogas facilities at an abattoir, at the middle to high end of the size range, are financially viable. This is due to high waste management costs and energy demand on‑site.

Click here, the red banner on the left, or the image below to download the full report.

biogas report with border