The Australian pork industry has become the only
agricultural industry to be granted contracts under the federal governments
Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF).
The pork industry has had four successful projects
recognised in the federal government’s first ERF auction which represents a
commitment of 290,000 tonnes carbon dioxide (CO2) to be abated.
All piggery projects were focused on the capture of biogas
which is produced by the anaerobic digestion of organic matter in effluent
systems. Effluent is collected from pig sheds and conveyed to an anaerobic treatment
system which could be a covered pond or a purpose built digester. The biogas
can then be used to displace fossil fuel used for heating or for combined heat
and power generation.
The participation of Australian pork producers in the ERF
scheme demonstrates the industries proactive approach in adopting renewable
energy technology, reducing resource use and the industry’s environmental
Credits generated through the ERF will assist producers
significantly reduce payback periods for implementation of these biogas
systems. Over the seven year life of these contracts the emissions reduction
will be the equivalent of getting 11,571 houses (four person house) off the
grid for one year or if averaged over the seven years, taking 1,653 homes off
the grid each year.
Australian Pork Limited CEO Andrew Spencer said, “The
results of this first auction highlights the innovative and progressive nature
of Australian pork farmers as well as demonstrating the industry is walking the
talk when taking responsibility for environmental stewardship and reducing its
“The pork industry in Australia only accounts for around 0.4
percent of Australia’s Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions, however mitigation and utilisation
of GHG’s not only minimises the industry’s environmental footprint but also
acts to offset production costs. Additionally, it significantly assists in reducing
odour issues around intensive animal production systems. A win, win situation
all round,” Spencer said.