Creating Renewable Energy From Livestock Waste: Overcoming Barriers to Adoption
Gloy, Brent A.
Livestock waste presents an important potential source of renewable energy. A variety of factors make the production of renewable energy from livestock waste particularly appealing. Rising energy prices, rising fertilizer prices, and incentives for renewable energy production have increased the value of outputs from livestock waste-to-energy systems. Additionally, confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs) have come under increasing regulatory scrutiny regarding waste treatment. Biogas production generally results in improved treatment of agricultural wastes thereby reducing the environmental impacts associated with CAFOs. The challenges to the development of the industry include the site specific nature of biogas production. In particular, the best sites for biogas production, large livestock operations, may not be located in areas with favorable markets for the energy produced from the system. Likewise, a variety of technologies for production are required because each potential site often has different characteristics, making a one-style fits all solution unlikely to be successful. Policy solutions aimed at market development are likely to be of great benefit to industry development