On Friday I visited a farm near to Cockerham to hear about how a group of dairy farmers are producing electricity from waste after installing an anaerobic digester – one of just 80 in the country.
The plant produces gas from manure and food production waste and can generate up to 1100kw per hour with a by-product of digestate – which has a high nitrogen value and reduces the landowners dependence on artificially produced nitrogen fertilisers.
The digester consumes 25 tonnes of waste each day and the methane produced is then captured and used to power engines that generate electricity which is fed back into the national grid. The electricity created can also be used to produce hydrogen which is used in industrial processing and transport.
With the recent introduction of the Agricultural Bill and the Environment Bill, farming is likely to face significant change so it’s encouraging to see rural businesses collaborating to diversify their enterprises, reduce carbon emissions and waste while producing power for homes, businesses and transport. This is the Rural Powerhouse in action and I’m determined to press Government to ensure that all rural businesses are supported to adjust to forthcoming changes in farming support as set out in the Bills before parliament.
I’m delighted to be supporting the Rural Powerhouse and to have the opportunity to visit a rural business enterprise which is pushing the boundaries of innovation in order to address growing environmental concerns and create a diversified income stream through the production of green electricity. I was also pleased to have the opportunity to discuss measures in the forthcoming Environment Bill which will enable farmers and landowners to better manage water levels across the area.