Supporting Sustainable Agriculture: the Potential to Reduce GHG Emissions - the Case of Agricultural Biogas Production in Poland

Sulewski, Piotr ✉; Majewski, Edward; Was, Adam

English Scientific Article (Journal Article)
Published: ROCZNIK OCHRONA SRODOWISKA 1506-218X 20 pp. 662-680 2018
  • SJR Scopus - Environmental Science (miscellaneous): Q2
    Agricultural sector can become a major producer of renewable energy from different sources, including such as animal wastes (natural fertilizers). It is important due to its potential role in mitigating negative externalities generated by agricultural sector, among other greenhouse gas emissions, mainly from the livestock sector. Within the European Union the Polish agriculture is the fourth largest producer of methane and nitrogen oxide from agricultural production, with a share of 7.8%. This paper aims to assess the potential reduction of GHG emissions in Poland due to biogas production based on manure anaerobic fermentation. Possible biogas production was estimated for a population of 731 thousand Polish livestock farms with the use of data from the FADN sample, which represents about 97% of the animal production sector in Poland. The potential reduction of methane emissions was calculated as CO2 equivalent for three scenarios:hypothetical, assuming the use of natural fertilizers from all livestock in Poland,theoretically workable, assuming that the minimum scale of animal production for viable investment in biogas production in the farm exceeds 30 Livestock Units,realistic scenario - assuming that only a half of farms with animal herds greater than 30 LU would undertake biogas production.Reduction of GHG emissions can be achieved through elimination of manure storage and processing natural fertilizers into biogas, next converted into electricity and heat, as well as due to emissions avoided as a result of the increased share of "clean energy" in the total energy consumption and a lower use of fossil fuels (e.g. coal) in conventional power plants.According to the estimates, the use of natural fertilizers for energy production would reduce greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture by 17.4% in the hypothetical scenario, 5.0% in the theoretically workable and about 2.5% in realistic scenario (1.54%, 0.45% and about 0.22% respectively of total emissions from various sources nationwide).In the current market situation mainly due to relatively low energy prices production of electricity from small scale agricultural biogas plants in Poland is not profitable without subsidies. Growth of the agricultural biogas industry would facilitate meeting the EU Energy Strategy targets making the agricultural sector more sustainable.
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    2020-09-20 23:49