Award winning GS carbon project brings clean energy to rural households in Vietnam

The Vietnam Biogas Program has achieved registration under the Gold Standard, the stringent certification standard for projects reducing carbon emissions. It is the first Vietnamese project and the second largest household energy project registered under the Voluntary Gold Standard, showcasing that carbon markets can support the large-scale dissemination of life-improving and sustainable technologies.

The program—which received the Energy Globe Award (2006), the Ashden Award (2010) and more recently the World Energy Award (2012)—was initiated by SNV-The Netherlands Development Organisation and implemented by the Biogas Project Division under the Department of Livestock and Production of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development of Vietnam.

“Carbon finance supports the nation-wide, sustainable dissemination of clean technology that improves the livelihood of rural farmers,” says Nguyen Thi Minh Nguyet, Project Coordinator at the Biogas Program. The project tackles two problems faced by farmers: costly and unhealthy cooking practices and untreated animal waste. Converting animal waste to energy via biogas digesters produces clean and affordable energy for cooking. It also reduces the health and environmental problems associated with animal waste and the use of wood fuel for cooking.

The Biogas Program Division has partnered with Nexus-Carbon for Development, a nonprofit cooperative of project developers, to develop and commercialize Gold Standard certified carbon credits. “Through building the household biogas sector, the program contributes to both rural development and environmental protection – improving community health and sanitation, strengthening the local economy and reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” says Marion Verles, Executive Director at Nexus.

The program aims for sustainability, allowing a commercially-viable domestic biogas sector in Vietnam, thanks to the establishment of biogas enterprises and the commercialized dissemination of the digesters. Local skills and material are used to build the units, creating long-term employment opportunities in rural areas, while quality control processes ensure long-term maintenance of the digesters.

The award-winning program aims for scale: since its creation in 2003, it has led to the construction of over 120,000 biogas digesters to date. By 2018, it will support the dissemination of 180,000 additional units, yielding on average emission reductions of up to 589,125 tons CO2eq annually.

“This Gold Standard certified project is a great example of how carbon finance can be used to deliver and maximize economic, health, and environmental co-benefits for local communities” says Ellen May Zanoria, Southeast Asia Regional Manager at The Gold Standard Foundation. The program attracts interest from carbon credit buyers who want to purchase credits from a project that not only helps the environment but also have a positive impact on local communities. Already, the French region Midi-Pyrénées has committed to purchase carbon credits stemming from this program. The Vietnam Biogas Program is one of the charismatic carbon projects that voluntarily compensate the region’s carbon emissions.

Additional information

  • Biogas digesters decompose animal manure and toilet waste to produce biogas, which replaces LPG, coal, wood and agricultural residues for cooking, boiling water, lighting and potentially other income generating activities. The digesters also provide a by-product, bioslurry, that can be used as (organic) fertilizer on crops replacing chemical fertilizers.
  • Economic savings on cooking fuel are evaluated to be US$120/year per family, so a biogas digester pays for itself in four or five years.
  • The Gold Standard is an award winning certification standard for carbon mitigation projects and is recognized internationally as the benchmark for quality and rigor in both the compliance and voluntary carbon markets. All Gold Standard projects must deliver real and permanent emission reductions and sustainable development benefits for local communities.
  • The program promotes “fixed dome” biogas digesters (namely KT1 and KT2) with dimensions from 4m3 to 49m3.

Additional resources

  • High resolution pictures are available on demand.
  • A video is available on YouTube and can be embodied in webpages:

About us

  • About the Biogas Program for the Animal Husbandry Sector in Vietnam: The Program is implemented by Livestock Production Department (under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development of Vietnam) in cooperation with SNV Netherlands Development Organisation (SNV). Overall objectives of project are (i) exploiting effectively biogas technology and developing a commercial viable biogas sector in Vietnam; and (ii) contributing to rural development and environmental protection via provision of clean and affordable energy to rural households, improvement of community’s sanitation and rural people’s health, creation of job for rural labor and reduction of greenhouse gas emission.
  • About SNV: SNV is an international not-for-profit development organisation. We believe that no-one should have to live in poverty and that all people should have the opportunity to pursue their own sustainable development.
  • About Nexus: Nexus is a nonprofit cooperative of development organizations – social enterprises and NGOs – leveraging carbon finance to increase their impact on poor and rural communities, local economies, and climate change mitigation. By joining forces, members reach economies of scale and reduce risks from the incubation of projects to the sale of carbon credits.

Contact us

  • Nguyen Thi Minh Nguyet, Project Coordinator, Vietnam Biogas program, +84 904265668,
  • Marion SANTINI, Communications Manager, Nexus-Carbon for Development, +855 78 40 50 74,

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