Operational results of an agricultural biogas plant equipped with modern instrumentation and automation

A 2008 research paper examined the feasibility of a 0.5 MW farm biogas plant in Germany using crops and some manure as feedstocks. It was shown to be profitable for generating electricity in the German context (with a feed-in tariff electricity price to the farmer).

In 2008 results of the technical analysis in the German study were applied to New Zealand conditions in a report prepared for the maize grower group within the Foundation for Arable Research.  With New Zealand prices for electricity and maize silage (the main German feedstock) it was not profitable to use the biogas to generate electricity to sell into the grid, but more favourable if there was a local demand for the power.  Since the cost of transport fuel is higher than heating and power energy then biogas as a substitute for diesel fuel would already be close to profitable, depending on the prices of diesel and maize silage.  Use of feedstocks that do not have as high a value for dairy forage as maize silage would improve the economic feasibility.

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