Engineering Firm Calls for Public Policies that Support Anaerobic Digestion

CANADA - A Manitoba based engineering firm is calling for public policies that will support the development of technologies that can convert livestock manure into electrical energy, writes Bruce Cochrane.
calendar icon 13 August 2007
clock icon 3 minute read

Samson Engineering is developing a manure management system in which anaerobic digestion will be used to produce biogas from swine manure which can be used to produce energy.

The system, located at Riverbend Colony Farms near Carberry, will be used primarily to produce heat for use on the farm and secondarily to produce electricity.

Civil engineer Phil Dorn says, right now, the production of electricity isn't economically attractive.

Phil Dorn-Samson Engineering

Public policy in Manitoba could be changed a little bit so that it would make it a little bit more feasible for the farming communities or the farmers turn around and utilize some of their waste and turn it into energy.

It would be very good for the environment, very good for the economy and I would really like to see that on the provincial government side to come along and say, we're going to go forward with that in a really comprehensive manner and I think the key is on the hydro side.

The production of electricity isn't that attractive because the value of electricity in Manitoba doesn't make it economically feasible with the rates Manitoba Hydro is willing to pay for electricity put back onto the grid so it doesn't look like the public policy there is in place so that it would make sense to do that.

In Ontario, for energy produced in green manners, Ontario pays 11 cents per kilowatt hour which changes the feasibility, makes it highly feasible in order to do that.

If Manitoba did some similar type of program it would be very attractive to do that.

Dorn notes there is large demands for heat and or electricity on the farm and it's a question of how to best utilize that energy.

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