Outside of the Randstad, the area containing the Netherlands’ largest cities, agricultural cooperatives and livestock an dairy farms have shaped the landscape and way of life in the Dutch countryside for several hundred years. Initiatives are now being undertaken to make the sector more sustainable and future proof. This biogas project is an example of a project that minimises climate impact and uses circular business operations.

About the Project

The biogas project involves several dairy farms and agro pig farms, which, by installing biogas installations, no longer have to dispose of all their manure on local fields in order to meet their area’s governmentally mandated nitrogen absorption limits. The project concerns the financing of greenhouse gas reductions by biogas plants at various locations in the Netherlands. It enables companies to operate sustainably and to demonstrate that both circularity and compliance with strict regulations are possible. The fermentation of manure and other residual flows produces electricity that is fed into the national power network. The project is completely circular: the livestock farms, arable farming, the residual flows from the (food) industry and biogas form a closed circle. Sustainable milk production is the most important core activity. The cattle feed for the cows comes mainly from our own farmland and for the pigs, corn from the farmers own land is supplemented with suitable residual flows from the beverage and food industry. The project will reduce methane emissions into the atmosphere and replace fossil fuels used to heat local buildings. In addition, the generated electricity is fed to the grid via ‘gas to electricity’. This installation complies with the relevant regulations and is recognised under Category 3 of the Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority. This recognition makes it possible to process animal protein-containing products (such as unwrapped food and dairy) into biogas and plant food. The digestate (the residual product after fermentation) from the biogas plant is processed and sold as plant food to replace artificial fertilisers.

Partnership

In The Netherlands no subsidy is available for preventing methane emissions. That is why Climate Neutral Group (CNG) is collaborating on the project, providing the knowledge and technology needed to make manure fermentation possible. This is done by means of carbon financing via carbon credits, also known as CO2 credits. The project is VCS certified, which means that the CO2 credits are released with the aim of coming under the Dutch National Carbon Market. The Expert Committee which advises the Green Deal National Carbon Market has already indicated that methane reduction through manure fermentation in the Netherlands is in addition to current policy, which only focuses on the greenhouse gas CO2. This means that the CO2 credits may be used for voluntary compensation by (non-EU ETS) companies.

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