One option for bio-energy production is biogas derived from anaerobic digestion of farm-based biomass, primarily livestock manure and energy crops, and from other organic sources, such as sewage and municipal waste. Biogas can contribute to reducing emissions of greenhouse gases, particularly methane, and improving water quality through the transformation of organic waste into fertiliser with less potential for nutrient run-off. There has been considerable activity in the exploitation of biogas in Europe. On-farm and centralised heating or power systems fuelled by biogas have been developed in several countries and some of the product has been injected into the natural gas distribution grid or used as vehicle fuel after further processing. In the US most of the development of biogas capacity has been associated with the processing of animal manure, particularly on dairy farms. Policies, such as preferential tariffs for electricity generated from renewable fuels, have played an important role in the development of biogas capacity. Future energy and climate change policies will be major factors in its further development. While biogas seems likely to play a relatively modest role in meeting future energy needs in Europe and the US, it can play a role in the management of organic waste.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Geography, Planning and Development