Biogas Technology on Uzi Island, Zanzibar: A Feasibility Study

Peter J. McInerney, SIT Graduate Institute - Study Abroad

Tanzania: Zanzibar: Coastal Ecology and Natural Resource Management


With realization of the finite quantity of fossil fuels and improved study on the effects of global climate change there has been an increasing demand for energy production from renewable, sustainable sources in developed and developing nations alike. The population of Tanzania relies overwhelmingly on biomass as a source of primary energy, with such impacts as deforestation and negative health effects. Biogas generation is a renewable energy technology that utilizes organic waste sources to produce a methane-rich gas suitable for cooking and lighting with the potential to replace current unsustainable energy sources and provide several environmental and socioeconomic benefits. A biogas feasibility study was conducted in the village of Uzi, Zanzibar through local surveys, a waste generation audit, and creation of a pilot biogas system. Currently, biogas technology is not feasible in Uzi due to economic and realistic barriers. Methods of financial aid such as government subsidy, microfinance, and a carbon credit system need to be explored in order to realize the potential of biogas technology in Uzi.