Web-based tool for livestock-farm based biogas electricity generation


Brazil has successfully introduced large-scale pig-farming operations that use manure management to create and sell Certified Emissions Reductions (CERs) based on methane capture.  However, most small farmers see this process as complex, costly and burdensome. The fact that up to 90% of the CER benefits have gone to the project developers has also lowered enthusiasm for follow-up projects. In addition, CER revenues are often overestimated.

Currently, small and mid-sized farmers (who hold around 90% of animals) deposit the waste in open lagoons, which creates air and watershed contamination. Also, many projects fail to generate electricity from the captured methane. Instead, the biogas is flared.


To provide small and mid-sized animal farms with an easy-to-use computer based tool, in  Portuguese, to calculate what it would take to install a biodigestor and generator, estimate potential MWh generation for consumption or sale to the grid, and to register and sell the methane emission reductions through the American Carbon Registry (ACR) or the CDM.

Main Activities

  • Develop and make computer-based tool available on the web to quantify GHG reduction, estimate MWh  production and biofertilizer availability, calculate investment capital cost and expected revenues from energy sales
  • Pilot the tool on three animal farms/ operations and present the outcome to at least 100 animal farms in Brazil
  • Identify interested private sector, development bank and other funding sources and link to the trial projects
  • Undertake stakeholder outreach, communication and information dissemination

Expected Impact

  • Increase in number of small and mid-sized animal farms installing biodigestors and generators, using the tool to obtain financing from banks
  • Increased methane capture and electricity generation, with increased farm income from sales back to grid
  • Additional farm revenue streams from CERs, thanks to ability to accurately quantify GHG reductions and their market value
  • Linkage between US and Brazilian financing institutions and local farmers
  • Reductions in methane and ammonia releases and significantly improved effluent discharge from intensive animal rearing
  • Enhanced capacity of local organisations like CENBIO to provide services after the end of the project
Programme sector: 

Renewable Energy (RE) (Business&Finance)

Stage of project: 



BR/Brazil (The web-based tools produced will be adaptable to other countries. )


2009 - 2010


€ 97,680

Implementing agency: 

Winrock International

REEEP grant funded by:

United Kingdom