The Greenway biogas plant in Bertiolo (UD)
Of the Greenway biogas plant in Bertiolo (UD) we have written more than once in recent months, presenting the novelty of the project and the positive impacts that the company owning the plant - Greenway Agricola a r.l - promised for the local economy of the area.
Today, just over four months after the inauguration of the plant (1 December 2012), we return to the subject to draw up an initial assessment of the initiative which, as will be recalled, brings together a group of agricultural companies in the area that supply the biomass vegetable that the plant (1 Megawatt of power) transforms into electricity.
From the information we have, things seem to work well, in the sense that they give biogas power plant goes out regularly clean electricity which is introduced into the network saving several tons of oil equivalent. However, the advantages are also other and embrace the induced by bringing resources into a territory made up of small predominantly agricultural villages.
The first of the benefits is that 30-35 people from the farms involved (depending on the period) work for the plant, which in this way constitutes an additional income for farmers. Another positive aspect is that from the biogas power plant in addition to electricity, also organic material (digestate) which is used to fertilize the herbaceous crops from which the biomass derives, improving the quality of the fields.
What was inaugurated in Bertiolo with the Greenway biogas power plant is a new model of agricultural enterprise, which integrates its traditional activity with the production of energy from biogas. The plant cost 5 million euros and according to the managers (here we have to trust a little) it will have an impact on local GDP of over 1 million euros a year.
The production of electricity is on the line of 8,500 MWh per year and, subtracting the self-consumption of the plant, Greenway estimates that it will sell about 8,000 MWh per year to the grid. In addition, there is the possibility of also enhancing the sale of thermal energy at low costs for the neighboring industrial area.
The salient fact, however, is the fact that there is talk of building new, smaller plants next year to bring the total power from 1 to 2 MW. The example in this sense comes from Germany, where there are 8 thousand plants powered by biomass (rapidly increasing), producing 5 million Mwh. Italy today is at an altitude of 600 thousand Mwh.
So far, so good. However, there is a reverse of the coin represented by doubts about environmental sustainability of biogas plants on the territory, also supported by scientific data. The discussion is open, the front of those who do not agree nourished, and the Regional Councils (a case in Lombardy) are starting to question the effects of biogas plants. We will come back to the topic and to give the reader a broader picture we point out 2 links:
Biogas on Wikipedia
Terre Nostre coordination