Model shows how to make on-farm sustainable energy projects profitable

Researchers have developed a model that could boost investment in farm-based sustainable energy projects by allowing investors to more accurately predict whether a project will turn a profit. The model improves on earlier efforts by using advanced computational techniques to address uncertainty.

"Converting animal waste into electricity can be profitable for farmers while also producing environmental benefits, such as reducing greenhouse gas emissions," says Mahmoud Sharara, lead author of a paper on the work and an assistant professor of biological and agricultural engineering at North Carolina State University. "However, farmers cannot always finance these projects, and projects aren`t always a profitable enterprise for a single farm.

"One way to address this is to develop cooperative anaerobic digestion systems that make use of waste from multiple farms," Sharara says. "Two of the big questions surrounding this sort of project are: Where do you build the cooperative system? And how can you tell whether it will be profitable?"

...The research team demonstrated the model with case studies of anaerobic digester systems for dairy farms in two regions of Wisconsin....

The paper, "Planning methodology for anaerobic digestion systems on animal production facilities under uncertainty," was published in the journal Waste Management. The paper was co-authored by Maxwell Owusu-Twum, a visiting scholar at NC State; and Troy Runge and Rebecca Larson of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The work was done with support from Dane County, Wisconsin..


Ken Notes: Please read and share this. Wouldn`t it be great if the power companies got behind these efforts!!! Just got off the phone with Troy and he will be a guest on a radio show soon. Let me know if you would like to join the conversation...

- - Volume: 8 - WEEK: 7 Date: 2/10/2020 12:25:18 PM -