Report: Assessment of Australian Biogas Flaring Standards

Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation, April 2008

Methane is the dominant agricultural greenhouse gas in Australia, representing about 12 per cent of national greenhouse gas emissions. Installation of biogas capture systems to reduce methane emissions is one of the most cost-effective ways to realise immediate environmental benefits while also providing the opportunity for secondary income streams or cost reductions and improved waste management.

Provision of biogas flaring systems in Australian agriculture is considered to be more costly than it is in other comparable countries due, in part at least, to the requirements of meeting the current Australian environmental standards and Australian manufacturing costs. This report examines the environmental and safety regulatory requirements covering the supply and use of flares in Australia and compares them with overseas requirements. It presents information on the costs of flares made in Australia and those from overseas. The report identifies impediments that influence the cost of flaring systems for agricultural industries and makes recommendations on addressing these impediments.

The research will benefit producers in Australia's intensive livestock industries by providing a clearer understanding of the regulations for biogas flares, in order to clarify expectations and avoid undue delays and costs in the development stages of projects. For the agricultural industry as a whole it will facilitate the uptake of biogas projects, which in turn will provide environmental benefits by reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

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