By Matt Shipman
This article originally was originally published on NC State News.
Researchers have developed a model that could boost investment in farm-based sustainable energy projects by allowing investors to more accurately predict whether a project will turn a profit. The model improves on earlier efforts by using advanced computational techniques to address uncertainty.
“Converting animal waste into electricity can be profitable for farmers while also producing environmental benefits, such as reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” says Mahmoud Sharara, lead author of a paper on the work and an assistant professor of biological and agricultural engineering at North Carolina State University. “However, farmers cannot always finance these projects, and projects aren’t always a profitable enterprise for a single farm.
“One way to address this is to develop cooperative anaerobic digestion systems that make use of waste from multiple farms,” Sharara says. “Two of the big questions surrounding this sort of project are: Where do you build the cooperative system? And how can you tell whether it will be profitable?”
Read the full article here.