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22,000 Pigs Create Clean Energy And Pay The Bills In Australia's First Carbon Farming Piggery



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THE HON. MARK DREYFUS QC MP SENATOR THE HON. JOE LUDWIG Cabinet Secretary Minister for Agriculture,

Parliamentary Secretary for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency

Fisheries and Forestry

Parliamentary Secretary for Industry and Innovation

JOINT MEDIA RELEASE

25 October 2012

22,000 PIGS CREATE CLEAN ENERGY AND PAY THE BILLS IN AUSTRALIA’S FIRST CARBON FARMING PIGGERY

Australia’s first carbon farming piggery has been registered and will be launched today at Blantyre Farms in Young, NSW, by Mark Dreyfus, Parliamentary Secretary for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency and Andrew Spencer, CEO of Australian Pork.

Farm owners Edwina and Michael Beveridge’s 22,000 pigs are now generating more than enough clean energy to power the entire property and the farm no longer pays a cent for electricity.

“Blantyre Farms is the first approved piggery project under the Federal Government’s Carbon Farming Initiative and is successfully turning waste and greenhouse gases into clean energy,” said Mr Dreyfus.

The Beveridges have covered their effluent ponds and are capturing methane gas produced by pig manure. The methane is turned into renewable electricity using a biogas generator.

“Heat from the generator is also being used to keep the baby piglets warm in their sheds. Innovative local Brisbane company, Quantum Power, developed the technology and built the equipment for the project,” he said.

“This CFI project has reduced our monthly electricity bill from $15,000 to zero, and the farm is now earning $5,000 a month selling electricity back to the grid,” said Edwina Beveridge.

“Our methane digestion system is expected to pay for itself in three years. This makes good financial sense for our farm and is an investment in a healthier environment.”

Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Senator Joe Ludwig, said the Beveridges are an example of farmers taking advantage of the Carbon Farming Initiative with real on farm benefits.

“Blantyre Farms is a practical example of how primary producers can take advantage of the win-win Carbon Farming Initiative,” Minister Ludwig said. “The Beveridges are saving money, generating income and helping Australia tackle climate change. Our farmers are on the front line against climate change, which poses risks to agricultural production through hotter, more unstable weather.

“The Carbon Farming Initiative is designed to work hand in hand with the carbon price. It allows farmers to earn carbon credits for cutting harmful greenhouse gases, then sell these to businesses that pay the carbon price and need to offset their liability.”

The CFI project uses the Destruction of Methane Generated from Manure in Piggeries methodology determination, developed in collaboration with the Australian Government, the pork industry and scientists. There are 3 other methodology determinations (see below) and more than 40 under consideration, including a dairy methodology for cow manure.

Landholders wishing to apply for projects under the Carbon Farming Initiative should contact the Clean Energy Regulator, who can advise on the requirements for successful applications. An overview of the Carbon Farming Initiative is available on the Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency website.

To arrange an interview or attend the launch of the Blantyre Farms Piggery Project on Thursday 25 October, please contact Giulia Baggio 0400 918 776 or g.baggio@pm.gov.au

Facts about the Carbon Farming Initiative

Four CFI methodology determinations have been made.

They include the permanent environmental plantings of native tree species, the destruction of methane generated from manure in piggeries, savannah burning, and the capture and combustion of landfill gas. Four landfill gas projects have recently been approved.

More than 40 methodologies are progressing through methodology assessment.

The Clean Energy Future Plan

The Carbon Farming Initiative is part of the Federal Government’s Clean Energy Future plan, which provides a range of complementary land-based programs funded by the carbon price.

The Government is investing over $1.7 billion through these programs including:

a. Carbon Farming Futures (http://www.daff.gov.au/climatechange/carbonfarmingfutures/) $429 million over 6 years

b. Biodiversity Fund (http://www.environment.gov.au/cleanenergyfuture/biodiversity-fund/index.html) $946 million over 6 years

c. Regional Landcare facilitators have been trained on the CFI and maybe useful to contact for further information - http://nrm.gov.au/contact/officers.html