Determining the regional potential for a grass biomethane industry
Grass biogas/biomethane has been put forward as a renewable energy solution and it has been shown to perform well in terms of energy balance, greenhouse gas emissions and policy constraints. Biofuel and energy crop solutions are country-specific and grass biomethane has strong potential in countries with temperate climates and a high proportion of grassland, such as Ireland. For a grass biomethane industry to develop in a country, suitable regions (i.e. those with the highest potential) must be identified. In this paper, factors specifically related to the assessment of the potential of a grass biogas/biomethane industry are identified and analysed. The potential for grass biogas and grass biomethane is determined on a county-by-county basis using multi-criteria decision analysis. Values are assigned to each county and ratings and weightings applied to determine the overall county potential. The potential for grass biomethane with co-digestion of slaughter waste (belly grass) is also determined. The county with the highest potential (Limerick) is analysed in detail and is shown to have ready potential for production of gaseous biofuel to meet either 50% of the vehicle fleet or 130% of the domestic natural gas demand, through 25 facilities at a scale of ca. 30Â ktÂ yr-1 of feedstock. The assessment factors developed in this paper can be used in other resource studies into grass biomethane or other energy crops.
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Volume (Year): 88 (2011)
Issue (Month): 6 (June)
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