Let’s face it. The energy business has long been the domain of big corporations. That’s slowly changing with the drive towards renewable energy. Entrepreneurs with good ideas, lots of persistence and some funding, can plant their oak in the still not densely populated forest of green business.
Caribshare Biogas is an example of a small outfit that’s daring to root its place in the green energy space, starting in Jamaica. The company uses biogas generated from organic materials such as animal manure and or food waste to produce electricity. The animal manure and food are fed into a large (2.500 to 5.000 cubic meters) hermetically-closed container known as digesters, where it’s heated to 38-40 degrees Celsius and stirred for 30-60 days, slowly producing a combination of methane, carbon dioxide and other gases (known as biogas).
This biogas is then fed into an electric generator to produce electricity and heat. Through the process, the waste is also converted into a high-quality fertilizer (called digestate). And, once it is removed from the digester, the process starts all over again.
Caribshare is able to offer a competitive source of electricity generation because the cost differential between fossil fuels-based electricity generation and biogas energy has narrowed in recent years. Biogas competes on par with fossil fuels in terms of performance, cost, and offers additional environmental benefits such as reduced greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Caribshare’s primary customer, Rose Hall Development Limited, requires an inexpensive and ideally renewable fuel source for its water reclamation facility which serves major hotels in Jamaica’s northern tourist belt.
Caribshare’s biogas to electricity initiative demonstrates that wind, solar and hydro are not the only technologies available for the creative entrepreneur.
Hear a bit more from Caribshare’s founder, Carol Lue.