Due to the fragmentation of the industry, the two most important enabling conditions to facilitate the uptake of a new technology such as biogas are coherent government policies and regulatory incentives and innovative financial solutions which allow even very small producers to make such a significant investment. Though Indonesia has extensive environmental legislation at the time of the project, it lacked coherence, especially for a cross-cutting theme such as biogas production from waste water, which is related to waste and pollution management as well as renewable energy. The financing also still forms a barrier to the scaling up of the initiative, as the construction of the demonstration units was heavily subsidised by local governments, which is not seen as a sustainable model for the long term.
This project greatly contributed to a deeper understanding of the barriers to and the opportunities for accelerating the uptake of biogas in the Indonesian tofu industry. The implementation partner, BPPT, engaged directly with the local governments of 13 provinces across Indonesia and published a comprehensive academic paper on planning and policy support for encouraging the transition to biogas in the sector. The project was backed enthusiastically by Indonesian government institutions, both at a local and at a national level.
Since the end of the project, BPPT has carried on its work and successfully completed seven demonstration units which treated the wastewater from 183 SMEs in the tofu industry, while another one was still under construction at the time of reporting. BPPT was also considering expanding the concept to the palm oil industry. These pilots yielded measurable results in terms of GHG emissions reduction as well as in reduction of pollution from wastewater. At the time the report was written, 239 households were using the biogas produced by the demonstration units. In total, by substituting LPG and avoiding methane emissions from untreated wastewater, the demonstration units led to emissions avoidance equal to 121,360 tonnes of CO2e per year.