Water protection, energy production: two goals in synergy through a faisability study

Water protection, energy production: two goals in synergy through a faisability study
Published by Isabelle Meiffren on 14/05/2013

Member of the Albigensian and Bastides Territory (PAB), the community of communes of Segala Carmausin (14 000) launched in April 2013 the completion of a feasibility study on territorial biogas. The initiative will help strengthen energy independence of the area while allowing farmers to resolve the issue of retrofitting their barns in an area located in the area of drinking water.

Member of the Albigensian and Bastides Territory (PAB), the community of communes of Segala Carmausin (14 000) launched in April 2013 the completion of a feasibility study on territorial biogas. The initiative will help strengthen energy independence of the area while allowing farmers to resolve the issue of retrofitting their barns in an area located in the area of drinking water.

The likely classification of nitrate vulnerable zone "Segala Carmausin" accelerated the decision of local officials. Maintaining water quality is one of their major responsibilities. And the signals turn red!

For farmers in the area, this classification involves expensive work upgrading their livestock buildings, in particular to increase the storage capacity of slurry and manure. In France, the cost of upgrading is in the range from 35 000 to 100 000 euros per farm.

Because it amounts to creating additional storage capacity and processing of slurry  and manure (storage silos, digesters, ..), collective biogas should allow farmers to achieve economies of scale in investments up to the standards. It will also make economies of scale in logistics operations. The digestion units make it possible to share the collection and spreading, operations highly time-consuming in work.

The feasibility study must first ensure that all the prerequisites are met and submit to the actors, one - or several potential settlement areas depending on the location, composition (agriculture, agribusiness, municipal) and the nature of the different substrates:

  • the proximity of different substrates: the radius of collection for optimal balance and energy projects 5 km manure and liquid effluents and 10 km for manure. For other substrates, the optimal radius of collection depends on their methanogenic potential and can go up to 30 km.
  • the non-competition with other uses (eg animal feed) or other biogas projects,
  • the regularity of contributions, some are seasonal,
  • the organisation of logistics : farmers must express an opinion on the terms of trade " waste against digestate" that are suitable for all.
  • its economic interest: payment or not of a treatment fee  for substrate provider.
  • Possible valuations of energy according to local needs, or opportunities to export energy to the gas network which passes nearby,
  • And of course, the landscape integration.