Ag Minister Urged to Look at Anaerobic Digestion

IRELAND - Anaerobic digestion systems using poultry and pig manure could generate energy and boost incomes.
calendar icon 12 August 2010
clock icon 2 minute read

Pig and poultry slurry can help generate energy and boost farm incomes through the use of anaerobic digestion systems, reports Irish Examiner.

That is the view of Fine Gael spokesperson on agriculture, fisheries and food spokesperson, Andrew Doyle.

He called on Agriculture Minister, Brendan Smith, to establish pilot anaerobic digester (AD) sites, which would serve a dual benefit. They would mitigate the issue of phosphorus provision while harvesting a useful methane by-product.

Mr Doyle said: "Anaerobic digestion is widely used as a renewable energy source because the process produces a biogas, comprising 65% methane, which is suitable for energy production.

"It helps to replace fossil fuels and the residue can be used as a fertiliser."

He added that there has been an explosion of farm-based ADs in Germany and Austria in recent years, with Sweden and Denmark also leading the way in Europe.

But there are only four on-farm AD plants in the Irish Republic, compared to about 4,000 in Germany, producing almost 900MW of electricity capacity.

Mr Doyle said there is nowhere more suitable for the location of these test sites than the Agriculture Minister's own back yard.

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