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Sourves of money from biogas plants

More Ways to Make Money from Farm Biogas Plants

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Image illustrates how to Make Money from Farm Biogas PlantsIn this article we list and describe the many: “Ways to Make Money from Farm Biogas Plants“.

The remarkable thing about anaerobic digestion (AD) plants, also known as biogas plants, and as “digesters” is the number of ways they can create an income, and save money, for their owners.

We think that many people fail to appreciate the potential for business diversification, and profit, which on-farm biogas digesters can provide.

That's why we compiled a list of them, published the video provided below, and wrote this article.

The following different income streams, can contribute to the economics of individual farm digester projects.

Some apply to making money from Farm Biogas Plants at all digester installations, while others are a matter of choice, or determined by the size or location, of the farm.

Some may not be possible for certain waste types, and as this list is for the United Kingdom, some of these income streams may not be available in your country.

The ways in which financial benefit is possible, fall essentially into two categories.

1. Income Created from the By-products of Anaerobic Digestion

First, there are the savings or direct income created by the by-products, including:

1) savings, on the cost of artificial fertilisers for the farm itself, when a farm uses its own digestate as a fertiliser on their own land

2) sales of digested materials, for use as fertiliser, by other nearby farms

3) sale of fibre or finished compost, either through a regional marketing organisation, or by distribution locally

4) savings in on-farm energy costs, through the use of gas for heating and cooking

5) the sale of electricity, or biogas, either locally or through the national grids, and

6) the sale of spare heat, from CHP units for use in heating buildings or greenhouses, for example.

2. Income Created from Payments and Subsidies for Reducing Environmental Problems

Second, to make money from Farm Biogas Plants, there are payments and subsidies, of one kind or another, for reducing environmental problems which affect the whole community.

These payments could include:

1) gate fees for processing other organic wastes, such as source-separated domestic food waste

or garden waste or possibly sludge from small sewage works

2) incentives for producing renewable energy, either through the Renewable Heat Initiative or Feed-in-Tariffs, (also known as FiTs), for electricity generation, and

3) payments for overall reductions in greenhouse gas emissions

4) sometimes there may even be payments made by governments to encourage farmers to use anaerobic digestion as a way to reduce the burden of farmyard contamination on local watercourses, in areas of intensive dairy farming.

Anaerobic Digestion Cleans Up Bathing Beaches

In the early 2000s there were even AD project grants given to some farmers close to bathing beaches in Scotland’s Solway Firth, so that biogas plants were built in an area where dairy farmyard, summer storm-water slurry run-off, was jeopardising the tourist industry.

On those local beaches, EU bathing beach water quality in the period after after heavy summer storms, was significantly improved, by installing anaerobic digestion plants.

Our conclusion is that you can improve the chances you'll make money from Farm Biogas Plants, by the following:

Establishing effective ways of using all the by-products of a biogas plant, and marketing them in the best manner for maximised income, can raise the income from biogas plants substantially.

A number of forms of government funding (subsidies) are available to help ensure a robust economic viability for not only farm biogas plants, but also community biogas projects, and municipal waste-collection authority involvement in the industry.

Governments have been subsidising biogas production, but generally they need to focus the provision of this money more directly on the environmental benefits of each AD Facility.

Conclusion to this article on “Ways to Make Money from Farm Biogas Plants”

By doing that, the contribution of public funds can be best used, to help encourage use of the biogas process in ways which meet the needs of small, as well as larger farms.

In particular, it is important to bring together as many as possible of these income streams, for each anaerobic digestion plant.

The good news is that, if this is done, many more farmers, on many more farms, should be able to find it possible to profitably install many more biogas digesters.

Thank you for watching our video presentation (above), and reading this article, we hope you found it useful.

You may like to also watch our video on how to raise biogas yield, as another way to improve the income from existing anaerobic digestion plants.

The Guardian Newspaper had the following to say about the ways to make money from farm biogas plants:

Waste processing isn’t the sexiest of industries, but it’s crucial to combating climate change. Now governments are investing in technologies like anaerobic digestion.

New anaerobic digestion systems are helping farmers solve multiple problems, including reducing smells from farms.

The smell of manure is not enticing. Indeed, waste of whatever description is something we tend to avoid thinking about. But as the adage goes: “where there’s muck there’s brass”, and so it is that businesses have always been drawn to this less than salubrious arena to earn money.

Now a new generation of entrepreneurs has plans to alter the way we deal with waste. Using new technologies and techniques, they have uncovered ways to convert it into energy and more efficient fertiliser, reduce methane emissions and pollution, cut bad smells and, as one entrepreneur puts it, “turn muck into money”. via Turning muck into money: the biogas revolution takes off …”

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  1. Reply

    One discouraging factor in Biogas Production is its meagre quantity produced per AD. A new focus should geared towards optimization of the production capacity of methane gas, hence reducing the volume of the residual biofertilizer. This will secure smooth and successful transition from fossiel fuels to green energy.

    1. Reply

      I do agree that the future for AD lies in improving the gas yield per cubic metre volume of feed/ digestate, but I don’t see any significant direct reduction in the volume or the fertilising value of the digestate.

      It is true that producing more biogas per unit volume will result in there being less carbon and hydrogen in the digestate, because it will be converted to methane CH4. I am not a fertiliser expert, but the value in the fertiliser surely comes from the available nitrogen sources in the digestate, and other elements such as phosphor, and potassium and the rate of Ch4 production is not going to affect that, as far as I can see.

      Making more biogas is simply a win-win as far as I can see, and it WILL happen in my opinion because lots of research is taking place into improving biogas yield, all over the world.

      1. Reply

        Thank you for your insightful comments. In my own opinion, I also think that to foster the development of global bioenergy we need a cartel parallel to OPEC that can pool information, researches and partnerships in biogas as a core alternative to fossil fuels.

  2. Reply

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    • Smithc109
    • August 23, 2017

    Great, thanks for making public the story in this article. Really thank you!

    • Speedycash
    • August 3, 2018

    Awesome. Make money from this biogas. Make money on cars. Any car bought. Do car deals, stash the cash!

    • Rahshi
    • August 16, 2018

    which is best. tell the best way to do this. we want to do this with our local bio-waste. tell how to do.

    • Quinny
    • August 18, 2018

    Nice to see this site develop. Opinions hard to find elsewhere. But, don’t focus on the hard money. Consider the diversification benefits of doing something which will be more circular in you farm using the waste products. This is imprtant.

    • Lazoarus Chewe
    • September 3, 2018

    One of the challenges we are facing in Africa as biogas practitioner is coming up with stand alone biogas plant that can generate electricity for rural setups, understanding the economics of putting up this sort of technology. In our case we have tried and we are still trying to for source investment to put up a prototype here in Zambia.

    We have tried to identify potential finances in EU- NORDIC financiers but our colleagues in Finland( biogas technology developers) are reluctant siting cumbersome project proposal writing and length period of time it takes for projects to be financed. Our hope to find a an EU based company that partner with us to develop and to install a commercial biogas plant here in Zambia. Is their any one here link us to such companies?

    • Verthil Boer
    • March 1, 2020

    Nice post. I was checking constantly this blog and I am impressed! Very useful info specifically the last part 🙂 I care for such information a lot. I was looking for this certain information for a long time. Thank you and best of luck.

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