The Biogas Support Programme (alternatively, the Biogas Sector Partnership) provides an excellent example of a primarily policy-led "push" that quickly developed the complementary enterprise and technology pushes that helped make the program more effective.

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Photo Credit: BSP, Nepal
From the policy side, the government of Nepal, with the help of several large bilateral donor agencies, was able to financially support the program, provide subsidies for digesters, and coordinate the various technical activities, such as developing ISO standards and providing training programs. However, the private sector proved invaluable as the actual delivery mechanism, both the biogas companies and the rural financial insitutions that extended their services to the population.

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OVERVIEW:

Began: The Biogas Support Programme officially began in 1992, co-funded by the government of Nepal and the Netherlands Development Organization (SNV). However, early experimentation with biogas began mauch earlier in Nepal in the 1950s and the publicly owned Gobar Gas Company was established in 1977 with the aim of increasing biogas usage in the country.

What: A government program (in collaboration with private companies, NGO support, and financial institutions) that seeks to promote the use of biogas technology in order to address the energy, social, economics and environmental needs of the rural population in Nepal.
At least 72 private companies, formed into an association, participate in the program meeting stringent quality standards in return for receiving government subsidy support (around 25% of the capital cost, passed on to the consumer). Additionally, 167 microfinance institutions participate by providing loans to end-users.

Now (2008): The BSP is now in its fourth phase, 2003-2009, after successful completion of the first three. Each phase builds on the work of the previous in seeking to further commercialize biogas plants, with special attention paid to increasingly marginalized segments of society. BSP activities have also been registered as a CDM project.

Outcomes/Impact: The price of digesters has fallen significantly while quality standards have been improved. 189,122 homes have acquired plants through the program (1,000,000 + lives directly impacted).
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A further discussion of the policy, technology and enterprise facets of the BSP can be found in this presentation and its accompanying notes section.

The Ashden Award (2005) video can be viewed here.

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Supporting Documents: