Peer-Reviewed Journal Details
Mandatory Fields
Smyth, BM;Smyth, H;Murphy, JD
2010
September
Biofuels Bioproducts & Biorefining-Biofpr
Can grass biomethane be an economically viable biofuel for the farmer and the consumer?
Validated
WOS: 46 ()
Optional Fields
ENERGY-PRODUCTION ANAEROBIC-DIGESTION AIR-QUALITY BIOGAS IRELAND BENEFITS BALANCE WASTE
4
519
537
Farm incomes in Ireland are in decline and many farmers would operate at a loss in the absence of subsidies. Agriculture is responsible for 27% of Ireland's greenhouse gas emissions and is the largest contributing sector. Penetration of renewable energy in the heat and transport sectors is falling short of targets, and there is no clear plan for achieving them. The anaerobic digestion of grass to produce biogas or biomethane is put forward as a multifaceted solution, which could help meet energy and emissions targets, reduce dependence on imported energy, and provide additional farm income. This paper addresses the economic viability of such a system. Grass biogas/biomethane fares poorly under the current combined heat and power tariff structure, which is geared toward feed-stock that attracts a gate fee. Tariff structures similar to those used in other countries are necessary for the industry to develop. Equally, regulation should be implemented to allow injection of biomethane into the gas grid in Ireland. Blends of natural gas and biomethane can be sold, offering a cost-competitive green fuel. Sale as a renewable transport fuel could allow profitability for the farmer and savings for the consumer, but suffers due to the lack of a market. Under current conditions, the most economically viable outlet for grass biomethane is sale as a renewable heating fuel. The key to competitiveness is the existing natural gas infrastructure that enables distribution of grass biomethane, and the renewable energy targets that allow renewable fuels to compete against each other. (C) 2010 Society of Chemical Industry and John Wiley & Sons, Ltd
CHICHESTER
1932-104X
10.1002/bbb.238
Grant Details