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Article

The Role of Anaerobic Digestion and Solar PV to Achieve GHG Neutrality in a Farm Setting

1
Biological Systems Engineering, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 460 Henry Mall, Madison, WI 53706, USA
2
Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering, University of Minnesota, 1390 Eckles Avenue, Saint Paul, MN 55108, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Sanjay Shah
Energies 2022, 15(6), 1975; https://doi.org/10.3390/en15061975
Received: 7 February 2022 / Revised: 27 February 2022 / Accepted: 3 March 2022 / Published: 8 March 2022
Dairy farms are challenged to increase productivity while achieving environmental sustainability, where greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are at the center of the discussion. The U.S. dairy industry leadership has committed to a Net Zero Initiative to achieve GHG neutrality, but the specifics on how to achieve this are still uncertain. Life cycle assessment methods were used to quantify GHGs and net energy intensity (NEI) of a large (1000 cows) and a small (150 cows) farm in Wisconsin. The GHGs are 1.0 and 1.3 kg CO2-eq/kg FPCM and the NEI is 2.4 and 3.2 MJ/kg FPCM for the large and small farm, respectively. The GHG benefits from anaerobic digestion (AD, sized to process all manure on both farms) and PV (sized to match AD electricity production) are not enough to achieve GHG neutrality. Increasing the capacity of these systems showed that AD is more cost-effective for the larger farm, but the challenges and costs related to securing and disposing the extra manure needed for energy production limit its feasibility. For the smaller farm, the total annualized costs to achieve GHG neutrality are lower for PV vs. AD, even before accounting for any transportation costs related to handling the extra manure. View Full-Text
Keywords: LCA; GHG emissions; GHG neutrality; dairy; solar PV; anaerobic digestion; energy intensity LCA; GHG emissions; GHG neutrality; dairy; solar PV; anaerobic digestion; energy intensity
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MDPI and ACS Style

Aguirre-Villegas, H.A.; Cortus, E.; Reinemann, D.J. The Role of Anaerobic Digestion and Solar PV to Achieve GHG Neutrality in a Farm Setting. Energies 2022, 15, 1975. https://doi.org/10.3390/en15061975

AMA Style

Aguirre-Villegas HA, Cortus E, Reinemann DJ. The Role of Anaerobic Digestion and Solar PV to Achieve GHG Neutrality in a Farm Setting. Energies. 2022; 15(6):1975. https://doi.org/10.3390/en15061975

Chicago/Turabian Style

Aguirre-Villegas, Horacio A., Erin Cortus, and Douglas J. Reinemann. 2022. "The Role of Anaerobic Digestion and Solar PV to Achieve GHG Neutrality in a Farm Setting" Energies 15, no. 6: 1975. https://doi.org/10.3390/en15061975

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