In a report by National Geographic, the Netherlands have found a way to further the cause of energy independence and decrease greenhouse gasses by generating electricity from pig feces. Methane-rich pig excrement on a large Netherlands farm is being turned into electricity and partially fed into the national power grid.
The farm uses the electricity it needs, and feeds the rest into the national grid, for which the government pays up to $238 US dollars per megawatt as a green energy subsidy.
United Nations scientists say farming and forestry account for more than 30 percent of the greenhouse gases that are gradually heating the Earth.
Much of that pollution comes from cattle, sheep and pigs that belch or excrete methane, a heat-trapping gas more than 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide, the most common global warming gas.
One way to deal with the problem is to make use of it and burn it.
The waste from the pigs at Sterksel Research Centre drops through slats in the floor.
The slurry is then channeled into three, four-thousand cubic meter tanks, mixed into a thick paste with other organic waste, and then broken down by bacteria.
The gas is then siphoned off into a generator to produce electricity.
Together with four other commercial farms, the group reportedly saves 40-thousand tons of carbon emissions per year, which can be sold as credits for nearly $7 US dollars per ton to offset carbon emissions.
Though operating expenses for the biogas plant are considerable, the combination of electricity savings, power production and carbon credits makes it profitable.
This leads me into today’s personal comment. WHY ARE WE NOT DOING THIS??? In a country desperate for cleaner energy and energy independence, that also happens exceed the world in farm animals per capita, we could power our country and perhaps half the world with the staggering amount of cattle, horse, and pig feces that is available for the taking. Heck, we could probably provide that much power from Texas alone!
Forget clean coal, President Obama, use our nations most abundant and renewable resource: POOP. I would not be so bold as to presume that the President reads my blog or listens to Pet Chat Radio, but if you do, Mr. President, wake up and smell the doody!
If he does not access my weekly addresses, I am a believer in 6 degrees of separation, you know, that premise that, if a person is one step away from each person they know and two steps away from each person who is known by one of the people they know, then everyone is at most six steps away from any other person on Earth. If that is true pass my broadcast and/or blog post along to everyone you know so that they can pass it along and perhaps 6 degrees of separation later, this information may get to the President and we can have clean energy and energy independence once and for all. Shout it from the roof tops if you have you!!!
Roger Welton, DVM