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On-farm Renewable Energy Projects for Greenhouse Gas Mitigation

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  2007 ASAE Annual Meeting  074053.(doi:10.13031/2013.23245)
Authors:   Carlos Monreal, Naveen K Patni, Jody Barclay
Keywords:   Renewable Energy, Animal Manure, Anaerobic Digestion, Agricultural Straw Gasification, Greenhouse Gas Mitigation

Five projects on renewable energy, partially supported by an R & D support program of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) in collaboration with Natural Resources Canada, are described briefly. The AAFC Program on Energy Cogeneration from Agricultural and Municipal Wastes was aimed at mitigation of greenhouse gases. Four projects were supported to help establish farm-scale demonstration plants for anaerobic digestion of hog and beef cattle manure to produce biogas for energy cogeneration, and concentration of nutrients in digested manure. A fifth project was supported for gasification of agricultural waste straw and sorted municipal wastes. The technical, economic, energy, and environmental benefits derived from the projects resulting from the collaborative efforts of industry, academia, and regional, provincial and federal government are discussed along with the feedback received from the project proponents on project implementation. For long-term sustainability of renewable energy projects, it is very important that the governments provide incentives in the form of tax subsidies, guaranteed low cost loans, and/or guaranteed minimum prices for "green" energy because a considerable capital investment is required to set up such facilities. Incentives comparable to those received by fossil fuel industry should be available to build plants that utilize agricultural and municipal wastes for energy generation. Without such incentives, further development and adoption of the technology would be delayed. With the recent government initiatives in support of renewable energy in both Canada and the U.S., the future looks very promising.

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