An idea to digest

 

GREEN ENERGY - METHANE GAS: IT MAY evoke memories of the 1980s cult film series Mad Max, but animal manure is increasingly seen as a viable source of green energy in Ireland and Britain, says JOHN REYNOLDS

Figures from Teagasc and Sustainable Energy Ireland suggest an estimated 43 million tonnes of manure are produced by cattle and sheep housed indoors in Ireland. The methane gas given off by it has the potential to provide enough energy every year to power up to 1.1 million homes.

Anaerobic digestion technology uses a dry fermentation process to produce methane gas from organic agricultural waste. The gas is then burned to power a turbine that generates electricity.

Kedco, a Cork-based company that supplies anaerobic digestion and other biogas systems, sees significant potential to make money from this business. It floated on London's AIM exchange last month with a market capitalisation of €35 million.