12. RESPONSIBLE CONSUMPTION AND PRODUCTION

Digesters convert manure into renewable energy

Digesters convert manure into renewable energy
Written by ZJbTFBGJ2T

Digesters make renewable energy from manure, but face hurdles  MPR News

Digesters convert manure into renewable energy

Danish Company’s Plans to Turn Cow Manure into Renewable Energy in Minnesota and Wisconsin Stall

A Danish company’s plans to convert cow manure into renewable energy in Minnesota and Wisconsin’s dairy country have been put on hold. Nature Energy, a subsidiary of British oil and gas giant Shell, had intended to build large-scale anaerobic digesters to harvest methane from livestock waste and produce biogas. The company had identified potential sites in Stearns County, Lewiston, and Benson. However, Shell announced in August that it was suspending all of its projects in the U.S.

This setback is disappointing for the communities that supported Nature Energy’s projects, such as Paynesville, where the company had planned to build its first Minnesota plant. Local officials believed that the project would benefit farmers and the environment.

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Shell’s decision highlights the challenges facing biogas technology in becoming a major energy source in the U.S. These challenges include high costs, regulations, market forces, and local opposition.

The Potential of Biogas

Despite these challenges, experts believe that utilizing methane from manure as a commodity makes sense, especially in Minnesota, which has a large number of hogs and dairy cows producing significant amounts of manure. Roger Ruan, director of the University of Minnesota’s Center for Biorefining, states that there is great potential for using manure for electricity generation.

  1. As manure decomposes, it releases methane, a potent greenhouse gas. Anaerobic digesters heat up the manure to create an environment where microorganisms break it down and produce biogas.
  2. Biogas can be used as a renewable energy source for electricity, heating, cooking, and fueling vehicles. The remaining material, called digestate, can be used as a nutrient-rich fertilizer.
  3. Nature Energy’s plans involved building larger, commercial-scale plants that would collect manure from farmers within a certain radius. The company would collect manure from smaller farms once a week and multiple times a day from larger farms.

Benefits of Digesters

One advantage of anaerobic digesters is their ability to remove pathogens and certain nutrients from manure, reducing the risk of water pollution. Bob Lefebvre, former executive director of the Minnesota Milk Producers Association, believes that partnering with Nature Energy would help dairy farmers reduce their carbon footprint and achieve the industry’s goal of being carbon neutral by 2050.

Nature Energy’s enclosed facilities are designed to be clean and odor-free. Local officials who visited one of the company’s plants in Denmark were impressed by its cleanliness.

  • However, some residents in communities where Nature Energy planned to build its plants expressed concerns about potential odor, safety issues, and increased truck traffic.
  • Environmental groups also oppose large-scale methane digesters, fearing that they will lead to the expansion of factory farms with negative impacts on air and water quality.

The Future of Biogas

While the U.S. lags behind Europe in biogas development, some states like California offer incentives for building digesters. These incentives, such as carbon credits, have contributed to the growth of biomethane production in the U.S.

Experts believe that biogas has the potential to play a significant role in achieving sustainable development goals, such as reducing greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture and promoting energy independence. The industry has room for growth, and there is interest in finding biomass sources beyond livestock manure, such as food scraps and processing waste.

Despite the challenges, the potential benefits of biogas make it a promising avenue for renewable energy and sustainable development.

SDGs, Targets, and Indicators

  1. SDG 7: Affordable and Clean Energy

    • Target 7.2: Increase substantially the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix.
    • Indicator 7.2.1: Renewable energy share in the total final energy consumption.
  2. SDG 13: Climate Action

    • Target 13.2: Integrate climate change measures into national policies, strategies, and planning.
    • Indicator 13.2.1: Number of countries that have integrated mitigation, adaptation, impact reduction, and early warning into their national policies, strategies, and planning.
  3. SDG 15: Life on Land

    • Target 15.1: By 2020, ensure the conservation, restoration, and sustainable use of terrestrial and inland freshwater ecosystems and their services.
    • Indicator 15.1.1: Forest area as a proportion of total land area.

Analysis

The article discusses a Danish company’s plans to convert cow manure into renewable energy through large-scale anaerobic digesters. Based on the content of the article, the following analysis can be made:

1. Which SDGs are addressed or connected to the issues highlighted in the article?

The issues highlighted in the article are connected to the following SDGs:

  • SDG 7: Affordable and Clean Energy – The article discusses the use of cow manure to produce biogas, which can be used as a renewable energy source.
  • SDG 13: Climate Action – The article mentions that converting methane from manure into biogas can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
  • SDG 15: Life on Land – The article highlights the potential benefits of anaerobic digesters in reducing pollution and improving soil quality.

2. What specific targets under those SDGs can be identified based on the article’s content?

Based on the article’s content, the following specific targets can be identified:

  • Target 7.2: Increase substantially the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix – The article discusses the use of biogas as a renewable energy source.
  • Target 13.2: Integrate climate change measures into national policies, strategies, and planning – The article mentions the potential of biogas production to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Target 15.1: By 2020, ensure the conservation, restoration, and sustainable use of terrestrial and inland freshwater ecosystems and their services – The article highlights the potential benefits of anaerobic digesters in reducing pollution and improving soil quality.

3. Are there any indicators mentioned or implied in the article that can be used to measure progress towards the identified targets?

The article does not explicitly mention any indicators that can be used to measure progress towards the identified targets. However, potential indicators could include:

  • Indicator 7.2.1: Renewable energy share in the total final energy consumption – This indicator can measure the proportion of renewable energy, such as biogas, in the overall energy consumption.
  • Indicator 13.2.1: Number of countries that have integrated mitigation, adaptation, impact reduction, and early warning into their national policies, strategies, and planning – This indicator can measure the extent to which countries have incorporated climate change measures, such as biogas production, into their policies and planning.
  • Indicator 15.1.1: Forest area as a proportion of total land area – Although not directly mentioned in the article, this indicator can measure the impact of anaerobic digesters on land use and conservation efforts.

Table: SDGs, Targets, and Indicators

SDGs Targets Indicators
SDG 7: Affordable and Clean Energy Target 7.2: Increase substantially the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix. Indicator 7.2.1: Renewable energy share in the total final energy consumption.
SDG 13: Climate Action Target 13.2: Integrate climate change measures into national policies, strategies, and planning. Indicator 13.2.1: Number of countries that have integrated mitigation, adaptation, impact reduction, and early warning into their national policies, strategies, and planning.
SDG 15: Life on Land Target 15.1: By 2020, ensure the conservation, restoration, and sustainable use of terrestrial and inland freshwater ecosystems and their services. Indicator 15.1.1: Forest area as a proportion of total land area.

Behold! This splendid article springs forth from the wellspring of knowledge, shaped by a wondrous proprietary AI technology that delved into a vast ocean of data, illuminating the path towards the Sustainable Development Goals. Remember that all rights are reserved by SDG Investors LLC, empowering us to champion progress together.

Source: mprnews.org

 

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