Does Converting Cow Manure to Electricity Pay Off? Successful Renewable Energy Project in Vermont
Ckeckbiotech.org, Friday, October 14
Studies have estimated that converting manure from the 95 million animal units in the United States would produce renewable energy equal to 8 billion gallons of gasoline, or 1% of the total energy consumption in the nation.
In a case study published in the Journal of Dairy Science, researchers at the University of Vermont and the Central Vermont Public Service Corporation (CVPS) confirm that it is technically feasible to convert cow manure to electricity on farms, but the economic returns depend highly on the base electricity price; the premium paid for converted energy; financial supports from government and other agencies; and the ability to sell byproducts of the methane generation.
The CVPS Cow Power program assists farms in planning and installing anaerobic digesters and generators to convert cow manure into electricity, and markets the resulting power to its customers.
Lead author Dr. Qingbin Wang, a professor in the Department of Community Development and Applied Economics, University of Vermont concludes:
- For any community interested in a locally sourced renewable energy project like the CVPS Cow Power Program, the strong commitment and collaboration of utilities, dairy farmers, electric customers, and government agencies at the state and local level is essential.