Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Bring on the biodigesters

Why aren't farmers diversifying into on-farm energy production? It's a bit of a mystery if we believe the figures that researchers on Relu's Energy Production on Farms Through Anaerobic Digestion project have come up with. At their end of project conference there was some scepticism among industry insiders. And yet, it does seem as though both farmers and the UK Government might be missing a trick. If they do take the energy production route, they should bear in mind another finding from the team. Unlike farmers in Germany and Austria, they would be better off not relying on maize to feed their digesters. Maize is marginal for much of the UK and doesn't encourage wildlife. Residues from crops they already grow could be a much better option, and could provide a triple win for food production, biodiversity and energy. Perhaps farmers just need a bit more information about the possibilities and some more encouragement from policymakers. Look out for more results from this project

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