Working Group 3
Renewable energies and climate change

The objective of this working group is to raise general awareness for the energy potential of the sustainable sanitation approach and its prospective contribution to reduce dependence on imported or fossil energy sources.


More than a quarter of the world’s population has no access to electricity and relies on wood, charcoal or biomass materials for their energy needs. It is also recognised that there is a considerable overlap between regional energy scarcity, lack of sanitation and ongoing population growth. A new approach that recognises human excreta and wastewater as an important energy and nutrient resource creates new options to address this issue.

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In this context, integrated sustainable sanitation systems produce either biogas in anaerobic treatment processes or biomass in wastewater-fed short-rotation plantations (here groundwater protection plays an important role) which will provide renewable energy sources to cover basic energy needs. Furthermore, by producing renewable energies and thus avoiding CO2 emissions, these sanitation systems have the potential to alleviate climate change.

The objective of this working group is to raise general awareness for the energy potential of the sustainable sanitation approach and its prospective contribution to reduce dependence on imported or fossil energy sources. The working group has prepared a factsheet "Links between sanitation, climate change and renewable energies" and continues to work on publications that provide practical guidance on how to implement sustainable sanitation solutions for energy production.

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Working Group Lead

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BORDA, Germany