SKG Sangha

SKG Sangha designs and implements large-scale household level biogas digester projects providing entire rural villages with digesters for cooking fuel and vermicompost fertilizer.

Value proposition
  • Projects are 80% financed through carbon offset sales.
  • Production of cooking fuel saves families 2-3 hours per day collecting firewood, which means better education for children and improved nutrition, in addition to reduced woodsmoke in houses.
  • Vermicompost produced from digesters can be sold or used to increase farm production, and can increase family income by 50-100%.
  • All digesters and composting are controlled by women.
  • Each digester offsets 5.9 tons of carbon per year.

Problem addressed
  • Fuelwood for cooking fires is scarce in much of India.  People cannot afford natural gas or LPG, and so cut down trees without replanting and spend several hours per day looking for fuelwood.
  • Traditional cooking methods are often polluting, unhealthy, and heavy carbon generators.
  • In addition, many farmers lack access to inexpensive organic fertilizers.

Carbon credits
  • SKG has certified its digesters to each offset 5.9 metric tons of carbon per year.
  • Since 2007, SKG has been obtaining financing by selling 10 year fixed term carbon credits on the futures market at 17.5 euros ($26) per ton.
  • Normally carbon offsets sell for 10 euros ($15) per ton, but because of the social benefit of SKG’s projects, it has been able to convince social buyers to pay the higher rate.
  • This can actually be a profitable investment, because SKG’s digesters have an expected lifetime of 25 years, which means that buyers can convert the 10 year fixed credit into a 7 year renewable credit that can be renewed 3 times, providing them with 21 years worth of offsets for the price of 10.
  • Document preparation for carbon credits is very expensive, especially because SKG does not always have the in house capacity.  It estimates it would pay 1/4 the cost of preparation if it could do so in-house.