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Economic feasibility of converting cow manure to electricity: A case study of the CVPS Cow Power program in Vermont


  • Wang, Qingbin
  • Thompson, Ethan
  • Parsons, Robert L.
  • Rogers, Glenn


A case study of the Central Vermont Public Service Corporation (CVPS) Cow Power program examines the economic feasibility for dairy farms to convert cow manure into electricity via anaerobic methane digestion. The study confirms that it is technically feasible to convert cow manure to electricity on dairy farms but the economic returns highly depend on the base electricity price paid by CVPS, premium rate paid by CVPS customers, financial supports from government agencies and other organizations, and sales of the by-products of methane generation. Lessons learned from this program will be useful to other dairy farms and communities interested in converting cow manure into electricity.

Suggested Citation

  • Wang, Qingbin & Thompson, Ethan & Parsons, Robert L. & Rogers, Glenn, 2011. "Economic feasibility of converting cow manure to electricity: A case study of the CVPS Cow Power program in Vermont," 2011 Annual Meeting, July 24-26, 2011, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 104564, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:aaea11:104564

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    Cited by:

    1. Anderson, Robert C. & Hilborn, Don & Weersink, Alfons, 2013. "An economic and functional tool for assessing the financial feasibility of farm-based anaerobic digesters," Renewable Energy, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 85-92.
    2. Cowley, Cortney & Brorsen, B. Wade & Hamilton, Doug, 2014. "Economic Feasibility of Anaerobic Digesters with Swine Operations," 2014 Annual Meeting, July 27-29, 2014, Minneapolis, Minnesota 170621, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    3. Chaudhary, A. & Goyal, M., 2014. "Economics of Electricity Generation Using Cattle Dung — A Case Study on Bio-methanation Power Plant in Ludhiana," Agricultural Economics Research Review, Agricultural Economics Research Association (India), vol. 27(2).
    4. Willeghems, Gwen & Buysse, Jeroen, 2016. "Changing old habits: The case of feeding patterns in anaerobic digesters," Renewable Energy, Elsevier, vol. 92(C), pages 212-221.
    5. Robert C. Anderson & Alfons Weersink, 2014. "A Real Options Approach for the Investment Decisions of a Farm-Based Anaerobic Digester," Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics/Revue canadienne d'agroeconomie, Canadian Agricultural Economics Society/Societe canadienne d'agroeconomie, vol. 62(1), pages 69-87, March.
    6. Thompson, Ethan & Wang, Qingbin & Li, Minghao, 2013. "Anaerobic digester systems (ADS) for multiple dairy farms: A GIS analysis for optimal site selection," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 114-124.
    7. Binkley, David & Harsh, Stephen & Wolf, Christopher A. & Safferman, Steven & Kirk, Dana, 2013. "Electricity purchase agreements and distributed energy policies for anaerobic digesters," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 341-352.
    8. Kangondo, Angelique, 2015. "Economics of Manure Disposal and Utilization in Morogoro Municipality, Tanzania," Research Theses 243440, Collaborative Masters Program in Agricultural and Applied Economics.


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