Renewable energy sources – biogas plants the best solution for rural areas?

Global trends in energy development are moving toward technologies using energy storage and numerous distributed, mainly renewable, energy sources located as close as possible to end users. For the national economy, investments in this area are an opportunity to build technological advantages, innovations in industry and reduce dependence on imports of energy resources and improve environmental conditions. In rural areas, such a role is already beginning to be played by biogas plants.

A biogas plant is an installation that produces gas from biomass through the process of methane fermentation. This biogas finds unlimited possibilities for use in the energy industry – zarówno locally to generate electricity and heat or in transportation. Agricultural biogas can be independently used in industry or energy once injected into the gas distribution network.

Closed-loop economy

Biogas plant is located in areas where it is possible to activate the production of crops for use in energy and in the vicinity of the plantóin agricultural production or processing agricultural products. Local agri-food production and agricultural biogas plant are natural allies. Generated waste biomass is utilized in the process of biogas production. Electricity and heat, whichóre from it cover the heating and technological needs of local entrepreneursów, farms and residentsów.

The digestate produced, in turn, is used to fertilize local landóIn agricultural areas, intended in particularólunities for plant cultivation. In this wayób outlined symbiosis between stakeholders leads to a closed-loop economy. On the one hand, the waste generated, such as manure, dung, manure, manure, peelings or straw, undergoes a process of disposal, and for the plant matter, agricultural producers find an additional market. On the other hand, a biogas plant produces energy from a source ofóof renewable resources, enhancing local energy security in terms of electricity and heat supply, and brings safe organic fertilizers to market.

Building energy security

Biogas plants reduce the consumption of fossil fuels, to któa renewable resourceóin access will increasingly be the subject of global competition, and enhance universal energy security. The supply of consumersów located in rural areas in electricity has so far depended on the possibility of connecting them to distribution networks. Through them and the transmission system, energy was supplied to the mainównie of power plants based on conventional and centralized sources of energyósoil.

The obsolescence of transformer substations in rural areas, as well as distribution networks stretched over long distances, makes the cost of network losses and the share of the capital component in the distribution fee much higher than in urban areas. This entails a lack of interest in investing in infrastructure to transport electricity by the operatoróin distribution networks. Investment activities, however, can be carried out with sources ofóDistributed sources playing a balancing and regulating role – detailólnie biogas plants – integrated via mini-grids into the electricity system.

– Due to the benefits of biogas, including the flexibility of electricity generation and the ease of storage, I believe that it is a source ofóthe most systemically attractive source. It is necessary to róin balancing the energy balance, especiallyólnie with an increase in the power generatedóThe solution is finding more and more supporters, with wind and solar power connected to the national power system – points out Michal Ćwil, Director of the. Gobarto S biogas plant.A., One of the largest Polish companies operating in the meat industry.

Environmental protection

Increasing the share of energy generated from sourcesóRenewable sources improve air quality and reduce gas emissionsóin greenhouse. The main advantage accompanying energy production is the utilization of wasteóin organic. Maintenance of wasteóin a specified period of time, usually several dozen days, under anaerobic conditions at a temperature of 38-52 degrees Celsius. The temperature of Celsius makes the digestate free of parasitesóThe development of biogas plants in the area of greenhouse gases and pathogenic bacteriaóricultural, and weed seedsóin become deactivated.

The organic matter in the biomass converted to gaseous form means that natural fertilizers before fermentation have a lower concentration and assimilability of constituentóin minerals than the digestate in ground fertilizationóin arable. As a result, the biogas plant produces odor-freeóin nawóof organic environmentally friendly. Such a solution is finding an increasing number of supportersóin, whichóThey abandon or reduce the use of artificial fertilizersów. The location of biogas plants in close proximity to agricultural production allows for odor reductionóin from fertilizersóin natural, which relatively improves local environmental conditions.

– This approach applies spóGobarto S.A. która in wspóhe Gobarto 500 Program is working with Polish farmers, as part of which theórego investments in breeding and fattening farms are accompanied by agricultural biogas plants. Their goal is not only to reduce odoróin the utilization of slurry, but also a wide wspóCooperating with local agricultural producers on fertilizersóin organic and plant biomass – says Gobarto expert S.A.

Development prospects

In Poland there are approx. 100 agricultural biogas plants of 1 MW class. Developój biogas sector depends on a number of factorsów, among other things, the way of support, as well as local communities’ fear of less widespread technologies and their natural fear of change.

– In an optimistic scenario, biogas plants may generate as much as 1 GW in the next decade. The greatest effects for the economy will be achieved by creating conditions for a rational mix of sourcesórenewable resources. This should take place, not only at the macro level, but also in the form of locally working hybrid solutions, combining in one installation several RES technologies, i.e. based on biogas, wind, solar and other sources of energyósources, such as biomass, water or gas – explains Michal Ćwil.

Developój biogas plants on a larger scale will contribute to the competitiveness of distributed energy, whichóra today is identified with windmill farms, and more recently with photovoltaic. Active involvement of domestic scientific and industrial potential can increase the efficiency of these technologies in combination with energy production from biogas.

– The scale of opportunities for cleantech development in rural areas is fostering a surge in innovation in energy and peri-energy technologies. This applies to bothówno area of generation, storage, as well as processing and flexible consumption management. Thanks to thisólion entrepreneurs, consumers and prosumers, as well as local communities areaóin the countryside can get real technical capabilities today to take responsibility for their energy security – points out Gobarto S expert.A.

Sourceóbackground: press release, photo. Martina Nolte/ CC BY-SA 3.0 de/ Wikimedia Commons