Integrated on-farm renewable energy and waste management technologies will be investigated as part of a new £212,000 project.

The “Decarbonising Emissions from Livestock: Innovative Valorisation of Waste for Energy Resilience” (DELIVER) project is led by BACB Renewables in collaboration with the University of Leeds.

See also: Govt announces new £14m grant funding for farming innovation

It will explore how livestock waste and insect farming can generate clean energy while providing farmers with commercial opportunities.

The study’s findings will help support farmers to raise animals and crops at reduced carbon and energy costs and boost economic sustainability, productivity and resilience.

The study is one of 50 projects thathas secured funding from Defra and UKRI as part of the Farming Innovation Programme.

The study

The first part of the study will involve baselining energy demands before looking at energy reduction, generation and storage opportunities.

Waste samples such as pig slurry, poultry manure and insect frass (larvae castings and excrement) will be analysed to identify the most viable waste feedstock for biogas and insect production using a newly installed 40ft walk-in insect bioreactor provided by insect technology company Entocycle.

Trials will take place at the National Pig Centre.

The study will not only explore how farm waste can be transformed into renewable energy but also how circular systems may be used to diversify income streams and protect the local environment.

Integrated farming technology

Lloyd Glanville, managing director at BACB Renewables Ltd, said: “In 2020, when compared to total emissions from all sectors, agriculture was the source of 11% of total greenhouse gas emissions in the UK.

“Integrated farming technology provides huge potential for farmers to tackle these climate challenges, as well as boosting economic productivity and resilience, particularly in the context of increasing inflation and rising energy costs.

“We have high hopes that this study will bring us one step closer to meeting net zero in farming.

Gesa Reiss, of the University of Leeds, added: “To meet the challenges of sustainable food production and environmental sustainability, we must continue to work with partners to drive innovation and discovery in research.

“This is an excellent example of where academics, businesses and partners are coming together to tackle challenges in the UK farming industry.