Pig power

DEFRA has announced that a series of projects in Mexico that generate electricity from pig waste has been approved under the Clean Development Mechanism


DEFRA has announced that a series of projects in Mexico that generate electricity from pig waste has been approved under the Clean Development Mechanism.



The Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) is one of the “flexible mechanisms” developed under the Kyoto Protocol. The Protocol allows use of CDM as a means for companies to undertake projects in developing countries without a Kyoto target which reduce their emissions of greenhouse gases and contribute to sustainable development. The projects are then credited with Certified Emissions Reductions (CERs) which can be used to help governments meet targets or by companies under the EU emissions trading scheme.



The 31 small-scale projects bring the number of Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) approved projects with UK participation to 124.



Climate Change Minister Ian Pearson said: ‘Mexico is one of the biggest producers and consumers of oil, so by using methane to generate clean electricity and heat on site, these projects are reducing reliance on a dirty, non-renewable source of power. The techniques that allow this energy to be produced at a lower cost can be replicated around Mexico and exported to the world.’



The Mexican projects use methane gas recovered from pig waste at piggeries run by Granjas Carroll, and will mitigate 310,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent every year by reducing reliance on the Mexican electricity grid.



The environmental benefits include an overall decrease in greenhouse gas emissions, improved air quality, an improvement in waste water quality, and potential for its use in irrigation by neighbouring farms instead of being dumped into clean waterways.



The projects will also create local skilled jobs involved in manufacturing, installing, operating and maintaining equipment and additional employment opportunities in the agri-industrial sector as a result of using recycled water for irrigation on surrounding farms.