India is a country that faces major challenges since a growing population and increasing prosperity put pressure on the country’s natural resources and environment. Today, the country suffers from having a significant amount of waste that cannot be taken care of, with the risk of affecting India's environment negatively. The waste can contaminate already scarce water resources, and furthermore contribute to increased emissions of greenhouse gases.
Biogas-powered buses in New Delhi
Sweden has, through Sida, decided to support the construction of a pilot plant to convert organic waste into biogas to run buses in New Delhi, India. The biogas is meant to partly replace the natural gas, which currently is used to run Delhi's bus service. The natural gas can then instead be used for other purposes, and be of help to meet a small part of the high demand for energy that characterizes the country.
The decision to begin the construction of a biogas plant is a result of partner-driven cooperation between Sweden and India. The cooperation started in 2009 mainly through the Swedish Energy Authority, with support from Sida. The time-consuming process of building relationships through this initiative has now resulted in a joint initiative between the Swedish partners Läckeby Water Group/ Purac, who will supply the technology and work together with the Indian partner Bharat Forge, on fully commercial terms. The Swedish Energy Authority will support their work and act as advisors throughout the cooperation.
The partners have been introduced to each other through Sida-financed activities and found that they had mutual interests for cooperating. Sweden, with strong expertise in technology solutions for biogas production, has an interest in the cooperation because it enables them to deliver technology to a new market. The Indian actor, who has the skills needed to adapt the idea to a local context, will, according to Ludvig Lindström from the Swedish Energy Authority, benefit from the cooperation because it can generate economic savings, improve the local environment and contribute to energy security.