Bioenergy transition as a strategic mechanism to diversify energy sources in rural areas in Colombia
¹University of Medellín, Faculty of engineering, Carrera 87 #30-65, postal code 050026, Medellín, Colombia
²Technology Innovation Institute, Renewable and Sustainable Energy Research Center, Masdar City, Abu Dhabi P.O. Box 9639, United Arab Emirates
*Correspondence: firstname.lastname@example.org; Lisandra.Meneses@tii.ae
The growth in population has resulted in an increase in the consumption of goods and services, which has led to a surge in waste generation and the use of fossil fuels. To mitigate the envi-ronmental issues associated with improper waste management and reduce greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels, residual organic matter can be used to produce bioenergy in the form of biogas and biomethane through anaerobic digestion (AD). These biofuels can act as substitutes for liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and natural gas (NG) and can be utilized for power and heat generation. In Colombia, the current production of biogas is 4 MW, and the government aims to increase its utilization by promoting the inclusion of biogas and biomethane in the energy matrix through a supportive regulatory framework. Studies suggest that the theoretical energy potential of livestock waste in Colombia is estimated to be 2,673 MW, but the current technological conditions allow for the utilization of only 198 MW, with the pork sector contributing 34%. This study examines the legal context and the present state of biogas in the Colombian energy matrix, while exploring the potential of the Colombian pig farming sector for biogas production. The social, economic, and environmental barriers and opportunities faced by this sector in becoming an energy producer during the transition period are also identified. The findings suggest that biogas presents a sustainable energy solution for rural areas of Colombia where pig farming is a prominent economic activity. Biogas can replace traditional fuels like LPG and firewood for cooking purposes or serve as a complementary source for electricity and thermal energy
production in non-interconnected zones. This could mitigate environmental issues and reduce the prevalence of respiratory diseases associated with the use of firewood.