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CaribShare Biogas - 1st Caribbean social enterprise turning organic waste from hotels and small pig farms into clean energy

A self-sustaining model for delivering clean energy from organic waste in a truly socially impactful way.

Photo of Carol Lue
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We are a social enterprise and registered charity in Jamaica collecting and turning organic waste from hotels and small pig farms into biogas (type of biofuel) and fertilizer for sale. Through our “Waste to Energy” program, the biogas is sold to companies looking to self-generate clean electricity at a lower cost than purchasing from the grid. And, through our “Waste to Cash” program, up to 50% of our surplus revenues are shared with our participating farmers to provide meaningful income. In this way, we are helping to solve the challenges of renewable energy, climate change, and rural poverty in Jamaica and the Caribbean.

We are currently constructing in Montego Bay the first biogas plant in Jamaica to produce electricity on a sustained basis as a key energy solution for the country.  At over $0.40c USD per kWh, the cost of energy in Jamaica is one of the highest globally as 95% of its energy comes from costly and imported fossil fuels. So, producing cheaper and locally produced renewable energy is vital to its sustainable development.

Our 100 kW generating facility will process over 1,400 tons of organic waste annually from the Sandals, Iberostar, Half Moon, and RIU resorts in Montego Bay, as well as over 50 small pig farms from seven communities in Northern Trelawny – Stewart Town, Jackson Town, Clarks Town, Duncans, Marta Brae, Stewart Castle, Bounty Hall. Organic waste collected includes kitchen scraps, left over buffet food, spoilt food, cooking oils, and pig poo.

By participating in our “Waste to Cash” program, a farmer with 50 pigs on average should earn initially US$1000 per year which will go a great way towards helping his or her family to access better schooling and healthcare.

Our “Waste to Fertilizer” program will also supply organic fertilizer (by-product) at a highly discounted rate to motivate farmers to switch from synthetic fertilizers, building climate resilience and producing healthier local foods.  

Fortunately, we already have the right partnerships in place to succeed.

  •         Our biogas sale agreement with our energy customer and beneficiary ensures our financial sustainability. Hear from them,  
  •         See also testimonials from our farming partner, and our hotel beneficiaries,

Essentially, through our pilot we will be recycling and diverting tremendous quantities of organic waste from landfills to produce clean energy, and are thrilled about using it as a valuable resource and model for rural development. We then plan to develop additional biogas plants in Jamaica and other Caribbean countries to broaden our socio-economic impact across the region.

Where is this innovation/innovator located at? Be as specific as you can (country and city).

CaribShare Biogas' pilot is currently being developed at Rose Hall, Montego Bay, Jamaica.

If you are an innovator, how can OpenIDEO support you? What are your current needs? If you are not an innovator, tell us what you do and what your needs are.

I am currently seeking funding assistance and additional partnerships to ensure our pilot's success as well as execute our growth plan to develop additional biogas plants in Jamaica and across the Caribbean region. A crucial component of this process is our marketing outreach to potential supporters globally which I hope that OpenIDEO can assist and support through powerful and compelling story telling. CaribShare Biogas demonstrates an innovative social enterprise model for producing clean energy from organic waste in a manner that strengthens rural livelihoods. We are a proud winner of the 2012 Inter-American Development Bank’s Ideas Energy Innovation Contest that supports the development of innovative projects and ideas promoting renewable energy that can be replicated across the Caribbean.

How did you find out about this challenge? (Check all that apply)

  • Social media

Would you like to be involved in Accelerate in the future? (Check all that apply)

  • Yes! I'd love to be involved in some way.
  • Host an event
  • Attend an event
  • Help raise awareness about Accelerate
  • Help connect Accelerate to potential partners

1 comment

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Photo of Reyburn Hendricks

A great idea and I like it that the pilot is being implemented