Since the early 1980s agricultural biodigesters have been known and introduced at a very slow pace to Jamaica with the Scientific Research Council (SRC) being the major promoter as a reply to the energy crisis in the 1970s. Decentralised energy production was the crucial topic rather than waste management and environmental issues involved. The slowdown of the energy debate has further reduced application and assistance to the technology.
With an overall of 120 units existing in Jamaica a national programme was started in 1993 and based on a project progress control and finding mission solely to concentrate on dissemination of the existing small scale agricultural biogas digesters.
Potential for Biogas Production
The potential for biogas production has been assessed from a different perspective. On the whole it is huge, in particular for agro-industrial wastewater in Jamaica.
As biogas is commonly and frequently associated with animal residue handling at farms, there seems to be difficulties of promoting this environmentally sound approach towards wastewater treatment under the term biogas.
The total biogas production potential in Jamaica is over 20 million m3 of gas per year. The expected energy savings for aerobic wastewater treatment are far over 100 Gwh per year.