In the project Renewable Energy Governance in China and the EU (RenErGo), five Chinese and European research institutes were collaborating (project partners see below). The aim was to exchange knowledge and to conduct joint research on changes in governance processes of renewable energy, with a focus on biogas.

Main outcomes: 

Research results of a survey with 1200 households and interviews on village, township, county and province levels have been compiled in a Special Issue (coming soon) and individual articles (see publications Bettina Bluemling and Arthur Mol).

See also this video where we present part of the project's results

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Recent events: RenErGO Workshop - 22 and 23 May 2011, Wageningen

Bioenergy production and utilization by rural households is high on the policy agenda as it can contribute to a mitigation of climate change, and, especially in developing countries, to a mitigation of deforestation and an improvement of living conditions in rural areas.

But to be successful, the decentralized nature of bioenergy asks for a close analysis of its embedding in society. Socio-economic and governance structures strongly impact the sustainability of bioenergy production and its accessibility for utilization. Research so far has focused on technical aspects of biogas production, societal aspects for its maintenance are under-researched.

Against this background, this workshop examined which forms of governance, institutions and socio-economic conditions may be favorable or hindering a sustained biogas production and use on a farm and village scale in Asia as well as Europe.
Apart from presentations by researchers and practitioners on projects, institutional and governance frameworks for biogas production and use in Asia and Europe, intermediary results of the RenErGo project were presented on farm household level biogas use and production in China. Financial support was furthermore provided, in the framework of the project SURE (08-PSA-E-02), by the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences for part of the research that contributed to this workshop.

Session Asia

  • Bettina Bluemling (Wageningen University), Introduction to the Workshop.
  • Arthur Mol (Wageningen University), Differentiated Developments in Agricultural Biogas Production and Use
  • Robert de Groot (HIVOS), Governance of and Institutions for a Decentralized and Sustainable Biogas Sector in Indonesia
  • Eric Buysman (independent consultant), Development of a Sustainable Market oriented Biogas Sector in Cambodia
  • Ina de Visser (diligent consultancy), The role of Learning in the Implementation of Small Scale Energy Projects — Lessons from Rural Biomass Electrification in India</L>
  • Grietje Zeeman (Wageningen University), House– and Community-on-site Biogas Production with Solar Support

Session China

  • Qin Tu (Chinese Academy of Social Sciences), Biogas Use in China and its Sustainability.
  • Fei Wang (Chinese Academy of Agricultural Engineering ), Experiences of Household Biogas Use in China
  • Zhengxia Dou (University of Pennsylvania), Household-scale Biogas Digesters in Rural China: Assessment of Efficacy, Success, and Challenges.
  • Huanxing Yang (Guangxi Agricultural Department), Experiences of local Biogas Development in Guangxi
  • Wei Qu (Gansu Academy of Social Sciences), Which Factors are Effective for Farmers’ Biogas Use? Economic, Resource, or Policy Factors?
  • Bettina Bluemling (Wageningen University), Conditions for Sustained Household Biogas Use in Rural China under Increasing Out-Migration
  • Guizhen He (Chinese Academy of Sciences), Centralized and Decentralized Biomass-to-Energy Systems?

Session Europe

  • Matthias Adolf (Free University Berlin), Bioenergy in the Energy Strategy of the European Union.
  • Giovanni Carrosio (University of Trieste), Energy Production from Biogas in the Italian Countryside: Policies and Organizational Models
  • Swantje Eigner-Thiel (IZNE, Goettingen University), Social Aspects of the Bioenergy Village Juehnde – Mobilization and Participation of the Village Population
  • Mathieu Dumont (Agentschap NL), Overview of the Biogas Sector in the Netherlands.
  • ack Peerlings (Wageningen University), Institutional Factors for the Success of Biogas Production and Use in the Netherlands

Project partners:

Institute of World Economics and Politics, Economic Development Group. (Principal Investigator China)

Dr. Tu Qin

Wageningen University, Environmental Policy Group. (Principal Investigator Europe)

Prof. Dr. Arthur P.J. Mol, Dr. Bettina Bluemling, Dr. Zhang Lei.

Chinese Academy of Sciences, Environmental Management and Policy Group.

Prof. Dr. Lu Yonglong, Dr. He Guizhen, Drs. Jorrit Gosens

Gansu Academy of Social Sciences (GASS), Rural Development Group.

Dr. Qu Wei

Free University of Berlin (FU), Environmental Policy Research Centre.

Prof. Dr. Miranda Schreurs, Drs. Matthias Adolf

Biogas stove
Pig stall