Well, duh. Biogas.

I came across this story in today’s NYT:

Here at one of the largest dairy farms in the country, electricity generated using an endless supply of manure runs the equipment to milk around 30,000 cows three times a day.

For years, the farm has used livestock waste to create enough natural gas to power 10 barns, a cheese factory, a cafe, a gift shop and a maze of child-friendly exhibits about the world of dairy, including a 4D movie theater.

All that, and Fair Oaks Farms was still using only about half of the five million pounds of cow manure it vacuumed up from its barn floors on a daily basis. It burned off the excess methane, wasted energy sacrificed to the sky.

But not anymore.

The farm is now turning the extra manure into fuel for its delivery trucks, powering 42 tractor-trailers that make daily runs to raw milk processing plants in Indiana, Kentucky and Tennessee.

The Times reporter goes on to discount the impact of biogas generation in the US.

But over in Denmark, they have been doing biogas for the last 40 years.  It has had a big impact there.  Here is Denmark’s largest producer of biogas, Lemvig Biogas.  For Lemvig, biogas is big business.

Since 1992 Lemvig Biogas has been the largest biogas plant in Denmark. Slurry from approx. 75 farms and waste and residual products from industrial production are used to generate heat and power. This results in a good economy both for the plant and for the households consuming the heat. In addition there are associated fringe benefits such as the degradation of pollutants and a reduction in the emission of greenhouse gases.

More than 21 million kWh electricity is generated per year from the biogas produced. This electricity is sold into the local grid.The surplus heat from the gas engine cooling system exceeds 18 million kWh per year. This heat is distributed to the users of the Lemvig central heating plant. The users number more than 1000 households.

Note that the plant also uses all its waste heat for heating surrounding homes and businesses.  That’s Denmark.

And, oh yeah, the plant is also a tourist destination.  That’s what happens in the most advanced countries in the world.

To book a tour please contact Lemvig Tourist Office by email turist@visitlemvig.dk or telephone +45 9782 0077.
Lemvig Tourist Office can answer queries in English, German, Spanish or French.

The tourist office can also arrange tours at other plants using environmental technology. The following renewable energy plants are all within approximately one hour’s drive from Lemvig Biogas:

  • The Danish wind turbine test site, where the world’s largest and newest turbines are erected and tested.
  • Gasification of wood in the Harboøre central heating plant’s woodchip gasifier.
  • Lemvig central heating plant, which runs on biogas and woodchips.
  • The Tvind wind turbine at Ulfborg. The turbine was indisputably the largest turbine in the world when it was built in 1978.
  • The Nordic Folkecenter for Renewable Energy, where many of the renewable energy sources of the future are exhibited, including:
    • Wave power testing station at Nissum Bredning
    • Central heating plant that uses woodchips
    • Geothermal heating in the town of Thisted
    • Waste incineration in Thisted
    • The opportunity to visit a 40-m high wind turbine at Hanstholm (you are allowed to go up to the top)
    • Wave power at Hanstholm

For further information, go to visitlemvig.dk/welcome.htm

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