RedBioCOL

National network for biomass energy in Colombia

The Colombian Biomass Network RedBioCol is a network of individuals and organisations committed to contributing to the sustainable development of Colombian society by promoting the use of organic residues for energy generation.

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Biogas Generation at Colombian Coffee Farms

News from WISIONS posted on February 14th, 2018

The UTA Foundation is currently leading an initiative to implement biogas technologies at small coffee farms in four districts of Colombia. The aim of this initiative is to improve the production processes at the plants, as well as enhancing economic, social and environmental aspects of the communities involved.Read moreMinimize

One of our recent SEPS projects under the framework of the Colombian Biomass Network – RedBioCOL – aims to make use of the organic waste generated by coffee cultivation and common practices in diversified production processes. Three technologies will be implemented to establish the energy sovereignty of the farmer organisations: gasification-fuelled cookstoves, tubular plug-flow biodigesters and gasification-fuelled coffee dryers.

Construction and implementation activities related to the technologies have recently been carried out at a number of coffee farms. Furthermore, training sessions were run at UTA’s headquarters, during which the input of coffee into a drying unit and the operation of a corresponding biomass gasifier were demonstrated for 6 consecutive hours. This practical display is important because most participating farmer organisations are familiarising themselves with biogas technology for the first time.

Other workshops aimed at disseminating the results of the project among various local and regional actors, as well as targeting university students who have expressed interest in becoming involved in monitoring activities.


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Upcoming events

The third national RedBioCol meeting will bring together all the members in Pasto, Nariño, and will take place on November 8-10, 2019.


Introduction

The benefits of the use of biomass to generate energy in Colombia are many, particularly in the agricultural sector but also in other sectors with significant flows of organic residues.

RedBioCOL grew from the inspiring example provided by the Latin American network RedBioLAC. However RedBioCOL has a broader scope which includes biomass energy in all its forms, rather than biodigesters specifically. Since RedBioCOL’s foundation in 2012, its membership has grown to 80 organisations, including farmers’ associations, NGOs, small and medium-sized social enterprises, social movements, universities and educational institutes in both rural and urban locations.

The network links practitioners within a single country and, as a result, it can harness the synergies that exist between its members, as well as focus on specific national political, economic and social conditions.


Mission & Goals

RedBioCOL’s mission is to improve the perception of biomass-based energy systems among relevant stakeholders in Colombia. In order to achieve this, the network has the following objectives: 

  • Promoting the use of biomass energy technologies as a tool for improving farming systems and the livelihood of farmers
  • Facilitating the exchange of experiences and knowledge among organisations and individuals
  • Promoting the formulation and realisation of research and development projects that are relevant to the needs and conditions of the network’s individual members and associated organisations

Activities

Since its establishment, the network has put particular emphasis on field workshops that foster links and knowledge sharing between organisations (such as farmers’ associations, NGOs and enterprises) which advance specific technical and/or social innovations. Field workshops take place at sites where host organisations are in the process of implementing relevant innovations. In this way, representatives from the visiting organisations have the opportunity to learn first-hand about concepts that might be relevant in their own context.

Bi-Annual Meeting

The network organises a bi-annual national meeting with the aim of bringing together experiences from all over the country and presenting research and development on the subject of biomass energy. The national meetings are a platform for promoting the creation/strengthening the links between players who are involved or interested in the field. They are also a platform for disseminating information about the technologies and existing experiences to a broader audience.

RedBioCOL’s committees involve network members advancing specific areas that have been identified as strategic priorities for the further development of the network: communication, research, solidarity economy and local leaders/promoters.

The next bi-annual meeting will take place in 8-10 November, 2019 in Pasto, Nariño. More information can be found here.


Coordination & Support

The network is currently coordinated by a team comprising: Lylian Rodríguez (left, UTA Foundation), Fabián Henao (Terrazonet) and Gloria Pedraza (CIPAV). They can be contacted here.


RedBioCOL is supported by the WISIONS initiative as well as other organisations.