From Waste to Fuel: Improving Agriculture and Livelihoods in Mexico

RENEWABLE ENERGY

Project Type: Livestock Methane Emissions Avoidance
Standard: Gold Standard
Estimated Emissions Avoidance: ~385,000 tonnes over 10 years
Location: Mexico

Project Description

The project provides small-scale and subsistence farmers with cookstoves, biofuel, and organic fertilizer that generate savings, increase crop yields and incomes, helping improve livelihoods. Over the course of 4 years, 3000 farming households across Mexico will participate and contribute to the reduction of carbon emissions over 20 years. 

The cookstoves are fueled by the transformation of organic waste into methane-rich biogas that connects directly into the home. Similarly to how a cow’s digestive system works, the organic inputs are broken down anaerobically. The resulting gas is captured for use in a variety of applications in the home and on the farm. The transformation also produces a byproduct of organic material that can be used as natural fertilizer for crops, compost, and more. 

The carbon revenue for this project subsidizes the installation of systems which include the cookstoves, the biodigester, fuel lines, and additional infrastructure. This makes the technology economically accessible to low-income farmers, helping to better meet demand for and expand the scale of biogas technology in this region for more families.

The project reduces emissions in two key ways. First, the systems reduce methane emissions from organic waste by capturing and burning the gas, preventing emissions that would otherwise come from the decomposition process. Secondly, the farmers participating in this project currently rely heavily on fuelwood or liquid petroleum gas to meet their energy needs. These systems displace those former energy sources with biogas. Most often used to fuel cookstoves, the biogas can also be used for heating the home, heating water or running mechanical equipment on the farm such as generators and fertilizer spreaders. 

Farmers participating in the project are supported by technical engagement teams in their area, thanks to our implementation partner Sistema.bio, that offer information and education, provide installation and support to operate the systems, and also help measure usage. This video from our partner Sistema.bio demonstrates one of these systems in action on one family farm.

Impacts & Benefits

The installation of these systems on subsistence farms can lead to multi-faceted benefits:

  • The use of biogas powered cookstoves and water heaters protect forests and biodiversity and improves indoor air quality by displacing the need for firewood in some homes.
  • Families have an increase in income from the money they save on energy by displacing the use of liquid petroleum gas with biogas.
  • Farmers and their families benefit from a reduction in agrochemical pollution and save money on inputs with organic, farm-generated fertilizer that displaces the use of chemical fertilizers.
  • The project helps advance SDG 7 and 8 which strive to ensure access to affordable energy and promote sustained economic growth.

Validation & Verification

This project will be validated under the Gold Standard, using GS TPDDTEC v3.1.