Small Biogas Demonstration Project
This project aims to stimulate the deployment of innovative on-farm small-scale biogas production by providing support and a capital contribution to three demonstration projects. Research will assist in understanding how biogas can drive sustainability improvements at farm level.
Irish Agricultural is experiencing significant intensification particularly in dairying and following significant recent intensification in pigs and poultry. There is a need for agriculture to reduce its emissions impact on the local global environment (principally carbon emissions). Recent EPA reports on freshwater quality highlight that agriculture is of the main culprits for deteriorating water quality. Irish agriculture is making strides to reduce its impact through initiatives like Origin Green and Dairy Sustainability Ireland, however there is a need for specific tools to assist in this goal. Small scale biogas is seen as one potential tool to reduce environmental impact.
This project will pursue the following objectives:
- Develop the capacity of technology providers in delivery of farm-scale biogas production.
- Demonstrate compliance with sustainability criteria in the context of the EU renewable energy directive.
- Raise awareness amongst the farming community of the increasing challenges of addressing climate change.
- Demonstrate that the results are widely deployable.
Description of Project Activities
Small Biogas Demonstration Project (SBDP) will provide support and a capital contribution to three farm scale biogas demonstration projects.
- Demonstrate the potential for deployment of small scale biogas production at a farm level
- Characterise a subset of individual farm enterprises in the Midlands region in terms of AD feedstock storage and seasonality as well as capacity to accept digestate.
- Use case study research data from the demonstration projects to understand the reduction in farm greenhouse gas emissions from deploying biogas in a closed loop system on the farm.
- Assess the contribution to soil nutrient requirements of digestate, improved water quality in farm environments and the improvement in the energy balance on the farm.
- Support awareness among the farming community of the increasing challenges agriculture faces in relation to climate change and how biogas can be part of the solution.
- Ensure project results are widely applicable and deployable in every region of the country and every type of farm enterprise.
Expected Results and Practical Recommendations
- Provide support and capital contribution for 3 innovative farm-scale demonstration projects.
- Carry out a number of on-farm assessments within a midlands AD farmer-led collaboration.
- Demonstrate sustainability improvement where biogas is implemented across a range of farm indicators including nutrient uptake, soil fertility and overall farm carbon footprint.
- Have at least 200 farmers participate in regional workshops and other stakeholder events.