Little piggy helps environment
A bunch of hungry curly-tailed pigs have opened the doors to a cleaner future after proving to be a sustainable energy source albeit a smelly one at that.
Federal Government representatives visited the Grantham Palahra Piggery last Thursday where the first approved methodology under the Carbon Farming Initiative (CFI) was launched.
Under the methodology pig farmers capture the harmful methane gases emitted from the pigs' waste and can either destroy it through flaring or convert it into efficient biogas.
Australian Pork Limited CEO Andrew Spencer, Parliamentary Secretary for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency Mark Dreyfus and the Minister for Agriculture Senator Joe Ludwig were on site for the momentous occasion.
The process through which pig manure was either flared or converted into energy was shown at the Grantham Piggery with the representatives shown the infrastructure involved in the system, including the large tarp covered methane gas capturing pond and flaring tower.
Grantham Palahra Piggery farm manager Jeremy Whitby said he had taken a keen interest in the research right from the start with infrastructure of the methane capturing system a worthy investment.
"It struck a chord and we were certainly interested in energy costs and were approached by APL and the associated groups who planned this and we were very keen to participate and join in the research," he said.
"We've learnt a hell of a lot about it and its surprising the amount of money and energy that can be reproduced from the manure.
"With the analysis we did a couple of years ago, we reckon there is between 20,000 to 25,000 dollars worth of LPG substitute gas coming out of this pond in this weather and in this climate."
Senator Ludwig said the approved methodologies allowed Australian farmers to earn carbon credits and participate in the world's first federally backed carbon offset market for the land sector.
"Not only can they reduce their carbon footprint but they can generate income as well," he said.
The Secretary for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency Mark Dreyfus said farmers across Australia stood to benefit from the technology endorsed in the methodology.
"There is something over 680 piggeries across Australia and every one of them potentially has the capacity to take advantage of this methodology," he said.
"The calculations that have been done by Australian Pork Ltd indicate that farmers can look to earn $3.45 per pig once this technology and methodology is employed through the sale of carbon credits."