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Renewable Energy (Biogas)
Unlike other livestock industries or international pork production, the majority of emissions from conventional piggeries originate from the effluent treatment system on farm. This offers the industry a fantastic opportunity to significantly reduce our greenhouse emissions.
By covering a pond with an impermeable membrane, the biogas can be captured and destroyed by simply flaring, utilised to for heat to offset farm gas use or for combined heat and power generation on farm. Engineered digesters may be used in place of the covered pond.
Covering a pond and destroying or capturing the biogas can reduce on farm emissions by up to 80 per cent.
As well as reducing emissions, piggery operators can reduce or eliminate the need for coal fired electricity by running their farm on biogas. Common uses for the biogas electricity or LPG replacement are on breeder sites where the heat is used to keep the piglets warm.
Producers who capture and utilise biogas can also register and qualify as an Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF) project which can assist with reducing the payback period of the systems.
For further information:
- Life Cycle Assessments: A useful tool for Australian agriculture brochure
- About the Emissions Reductions Fund
Capturing and utilising biogas on farm will significantly reduce the industries GHG emissions and put the industry in a position to have the lowest global warming potential for pork production worldwide.
Producers can get further assistance on biogas from http://porkcrc.com.au/research/program-4/bio-energy-support-program/.
Emissions Reduction Fund
The emissions reduction fund provides incentives for producers to reduce emissions through the animal effluent management method.
The animal effluent management method provides an incentive for piggeries and dairies to develop new facilities for the treatment of animal effluent by emissions destruction, emissions avoidance or both. Where this treatment can reasonably be expected to result in fewer emissions than if the effluent were treated in an anaerobic pond, it may be eligible to be an animal effluent management project.
This means the project can earn Australian Carbon Credit Units (ACCUs), which can be sold to the Australian Government or the rapidly growing private market.
Biogas Code of Practice
APL has developed a risk based Code of Practice for On-farm Biogas Production and Use (Piggeries) in response to growing interest in Biogas technology from Australian pig producers. This code was developed to assist producers and regulators in taking a risk based approach to biogas plants on piggeries in Australia.
The Code focuses primarily on covered anaerobic digestion as this is seen as the most popular system being considered by piggery operators at this particular time. It aims to align as close as possible with existing regulations whilst taking a risk based approach to the operational and safety aspects of a biogas system.
A 500 sow, farrow-to-finish piggery has the potential to produce enough energy to power 3.1 million 100watt globes for one hour, or produce electricity to run 62 houses for one year.
If combusted and destroyed, it would eliminate the equivalent of the fossil fuel GHG emissions from 458 Toyota Corollas travelling 20,000km/per year burning 7L/100km.
For further information download the Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Piggeries Fact Sheet.
To see how Aussie pig farmers are looking after the environment, watch the video below.
Edwina Beveridge, Australian pork producer, Young NSW