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Biogas ‘Reliable Source Of Energy’ For Future

Biogas is a more reliable and predictable source of renewable energy than wind or solar power, which means a greater focus should be placed on developing the biogas sector.

This is according to Antti Heikkila, from Vaisala, who recently wrote an article for Environmental Technology about how the anaerobic digestion (AD) process can be optimised to help the biogas sector move forwards without subsidies.

The best way to do this is to monitor the biogas being produced while it’s in the digester. Doing so allows the operator to adjust the loading rate and feedstock type if applicable, Dr Heikkila explained, which will improve the status of the bacteria in the digester.

This data can also be used to optimise engine performance where the biogas being produced will be used to fuel vehicles, or to “inform the biomethane upgrading process” where the gas is to be injected into the grid, he added.

It is also important to measure the humidity because if this is too high or too low it can lead to a variety of problems, all of which cost operators more money.

There’s a lot of positivity around the biogas, and other renewables, at present. A report last month by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) revealed that renewable energy is now the cheapest form of energy in many parts of the world.

The cost of the technology to produce renewable power from various sources is continuing to fall, which will drive take up, the organisation noted. Last year, bioenergy technology costs fell by 14 per cent, while the cost of concentrating solar power declined by 26 per cent in the same period.

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