Biodigesters, India


Cow manure is fed into the biodigestor in the Bagepalli Coolie Sangha biogas project

Project name
Biogas CDM Project of Bagepalli Coolie Sangha
Project location
Karnataka, India
Funder and supplier
FairClimateFund (FCF)
CDM & Gold Standard
Project status

All project information is sourced from the supplier – correct as of July 2018

About the project

The Coolie Sangha is a 25 year-old membership based people’s organization formed by small and poor peasant families (landed and landless agricultural labourers) in their respective villages.

40,000 small and poor peasant families have formed village level Coolie Sangha Units (CSUs) in 915 villages. The Coolie Sangha is self-financed through a system of Sangha Fund contributions made by the Member families.

The Coolie Sangha implements various grassroots planned developmental activities, including children’s education, community and referral health, petty credit for Coolie women, activities to support young widows and deserted women, a village level decentralized credit activity, agricultural development, etc.

“Before I had biogas it took me up to two to three hours to cook every day. To collect firewood I would leave at 8am and return at around noon. Now I have time to work”

The Biogas CDM Project activity aims to install 12,000 biogas plants (digesters) of 2m3 capacity each for single households in 5 Taluks of Chickballapur District by the Coolie Sangha and in this way replace Non-Renewable Biomass with biogas for cooking and hot water heating.


Households in the Bagepalli Coolie Sangha biogas project find cooking on biogas is much cleaner and more efficient than firewood. Also, the biogas slurry is a powerful fertilizer for agricultural activities and deforestation of the area.

A biogas plant of 2m3 capacity is sufficient for providing cooking fuel to a family of four to five. So far 11,633 biogas units have been installed.

The project is financed completely from carbon revenues. There are social, environmental, economic and technological benefits which contribute to sustainable development.

Contribution to carbon reduction

32,000 tonnes of CO2 reduced annually since 2012

How do the projects contribute to carbon reduction?

The chosen technology is domestic biogas plant. It is a small thermal appliance that displaces the use of non-renewable biomass by introducing a system for utilising cattle dung and converting it into renewable energy by means of a digester in which the substrate undergoes acidification and methanation.

The biogas will be used on a two-ring gas stove with a flame temperature of 870ºC, supplied as part of the project activity. All households willing to collect biogenic waste from agriculture and household can participate in the project.

Each household will install a 2m3 biogas plant and feed cow dung, organic waste and biomass waste into the anaerobic digester. The technology is tried and tested in India, and has been in use for many years. By utilizing these various sources of biogenic waste in a controlled anaerobic digestion and combustion system, biogas will be available for cooking energy and heating hot water. The biogas will be used on a two-ring gas stove with a flame temperature of 870oC, supplied as part of the project activity. All households willing to collect biogenic waste from agriculture and household can participate in the project.

How they build the digester

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Key benefits

  • Good Health & Well-being:
    Avoids health hazards from indoor air pollution
  • Affordable and clean energy
    Avoids global and local environmental pollution and environmental degradation by switching from kerosene and non-renewable biomass to renewable energy, leading to reduction of GHG emissions


Left: Digging out for a new biodigestor in the Bagepalli Coolie Sangha biogas project. Centre & right: This biogas unit in the Bagepalli Coolie Sangha biogas project is nearly finished.

  • Gender Equality
    The role of women in their household and in the community improves since they spend less time on cooking, collecting firewood and cleaning. They have more time to work and be involved in the community. Also, jobs are created for women in this project, for example training jobs or mason jobs in construction and maintenance of biogas installations.

Find out how this project is changing lives

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Added value benefits

Carbon management projects are able to contribute to improving the livelihoods of local their communities in significant ways. These benefits are a vital part of the broader aims of creating lasting social and environmental sustainability. The benefits are in support of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and include improvements to local economies through employment, higher value produce and infrastructure upgrades. Many projects will have health benefits, education improvements and a positive impact on gender equality. Different types of projects will carry different benefits. Research commissioned by ICROA and carried out by Imperial College in 2014 set to quantify the impact of voluntary carbon market investments.

For every one tonne of carbon emission reduction, biogas projects deliver additional added value equal to $3041:


  1. Source: Figures from ICROA survey Kountouris, Y., Makuch, Z., Tan Loh, E.F. (2014) ‘Quantification and Evaluation of the Voluntary Carbon Market’s Co-benefits’, Imperial College London University June 2014

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