Call to Back Cow Manure Energy Bid

UK - Technology which can help farmers cut climate change gases from their cows and create renewable energy should get more backing from the Government, farming leaders have urged.
calendar icon 27 December 2007
clock icon 2 minute read
Cattle have come under fire for the methane, one of the major global warming gases, they create during digestion but some farmers are now attempting to turn their cows into part of the solution.

Under a process known as anaerobic digestion, the animals' manure, which contributes around 20% to 30% of methane emissions from cows, breaks down in the absence of oxygen to create a bio-gas.

The bio-gas can be used to generate heat and electricity to be used on-site or for power to be fed into the grid, while the leftover odourless "digestate" can be used as fertiliser.

The NFU is calling for the Government to create incentives for landowners to invest in the technology to bring the UK, which is lagging behind other countries such as Germany, up to speed in its use.

Investment of some £143 million in 20 centralised anaerobic digestion plants - which can also be run on food or other organic waste - could cut methane from manure by three-quarters, the NFU said. The union also wants to see on-farm bio-gas production receive Government support through education, financial support and incentives, cost-effective electricity grid connections and establishment of standards.

NFU president Peter Kendall said anaerobic digestion was a "brilliant example" of how farmers could improve their environmental performance and should be incentivised.

The proposals form part of the findings of the agriculture industry's Climate Change Task Force which lays out a series of ways farmers and landowners can meet the challenge of global warming.

Some individual farmers are already taking the lead, such as dairy farmer Owen Yeatman who has spent around £750,000 installing one of the anaerobic digestion units which he hopes will generate enough electricity to power 500 homes.

Source: The Press Association
© 2000 - 2023 - Global Ag Media. All Rights Reserved | No part of this site may be reproduced without permission.