NDF - Financing for climate change and development projects

NCF: Urban and Industrial Waste to Energy-Promoting Sustainable Energy in Bolivia [NDF C3 C2]

The ultimate goal is to provide a strategy for the generation of renewable energy from organic waste in the cities of La Paz and El Alto.

Urban and Industrial Waste to Energy-Promoting Sustainable Energy in Bolivia
Ref: NDF C3 C2

Nordic Partner: Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) Department of Energy Technology, Division of Energy and Climate Studies (Sweden)
Local Partner: Centro de Promoción de Tecnologías Sostenibles, and NUR University
Other Partners: Mälardalen University, and VafabMiljö
Total Project Cost: EUR 647 384
NCF Financing: EUR 440 627
Agreement Signed: 28 October 2011
Project Classification: Mitigation / Renewable Energy
Duration: 38 months (completed)


The ultimate goal of the project was to provide a strategy for the generation of renewable energy from organic waste in the city of La Paz.


The strategy is expected to facilitate the implementation of biogas generation from waste in La Paz by providing a guideline for project implementation, and also serve as reference for replication in other cities of Bolivia. The strategy contains technical and economic feasibility studies, waste management guidelines, guidelines for transfer of technological know-how and policy recommendations, necessary to implement a scheme for generating biogas from waste. The project has sought stakeholder dialogue in order to take different interests and groups into account when developing the final strategy.

Relevance for Climate Change

The energy demand in Bolivia is continuously growing, increasing the country’s fossil fuel dependency. At the same time, urban areas face problems with waste management and water contamination due to leaking landfills and direct wastewater discharges from the industry. The analysis indicates that there is an enormous amount of lifecycle GHG emissions released into the atmosphere from the existing landfill site. Net emissions can be reduced by improving the biogas collection and its utilisation for energy production which could result in net lifecycle emissions savings of 545,000 tCO2e until year 2022. The study also evaluated the climate benefits resulting from the introduction of an anaerobic digestion (AD) plant and active landfill facility simultaneously. The net lifecycle GHG emission savings with a combination of active biogas extraction and AD plant could be 524,900 tCO2e if the biogas is used for power generation and 539,500 tCO2e if the biogas is used as fuel in transport.

Innovation and Knowledge Transfer

Innovative project aspects are seen in the guidelines and policy suggestions for waste management practices that have been developed under the project. These practices, which are based on Swedish experience and adapted for the Bolivian context, are novelties for the country.

The program has, among other things, provided guidelines for the transfer of know-how, from Sweden to Bolivia, regarding biogas technology and waste management. Since the adapted technology must take into account local technical capacity as well as local investment capacity, local participation and knowledge transfer have been crucial for the successful project implementation. The feasibility studies were realized by the local partners Centro de Promoción de Tecnologias Sostenibles (CPTS) and NUR University and the Swedish Mälardalen University who have relevant expertise in the field of waste to energy. Waste management guidelines have been developed jointly by Gobierno Autonomo Municipal de La Paz (GAMLP) and VafabMiljö, seeking to adapt the Swedish experience to the local reality. The policy recommendations, developed by the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) and GAMLP, are available in the final strategy document together with recommendations from the technical components of the project.

Royal Institute of Technology (KTH)
Centro de Promoción de Tecnologías Sostenibles