With more than 182 participating countries and over 2000 project submissions annually the Energy Globe Award is today's most prestigious environmental prize worldwide. It distinguishes projects regionally, nationally and globally that conserve resources such as energy or utilize renewable or emission-free sources. Award ceremonies are held all over the world. Prominent personalities as well as Energy Globe Ambassadors in 90 countries support the mission of Energy Globe. The activities of Energy Globe attract worldwide media attention - international TV stations report each year with approximately 1,000 hours of broadcasting time. The aim of the Energy Globe is to raise global attention on sustainable, everywhere applicable environmental solutions and to motivate people to also become active in this area.
National ENERGY GLOBE Award Colombia 2018
This project involves the production and management of biogas and digested products of anaerobic digestion of sugar cane filter cake (cachaza), waste and wastewater in the panela agroindustry of the Hoya del Río.
Colombia is the second producer and the first panela consumer in the world. The panelero sector is the first generator of rural employment, but it is also environmentally unsustainable. The main by-product of the transformation process is the cachaza (556,000 tons), which is not given adequate management and becomes a contaminating element.
The solution is to provide environmental management and add value to effluents and waste of the panela agroindustry, especially the cachaza, through anaerobic co-digestion. The energy part (biogas) and the agronomic part (digested) are mainstreamed, along with its other advantages and benefits that it entails for people's health, the conservation of the environment and improvements in production and productivity standards, under concepts of the circular economy.
So far there are no reference cases of anaerobic co-digestion of the cachaza, together with sewage and waste, in the panela plants of the region and the country, despite being a simple and proven technology in other sectors. This project seeks to demonstrate in the region the great potential as a source of renewable energy and nutrients that these "resources" have and their contribution to reduce the high costs of production and transformation.