Back in 2010, in the Republic of Ireland, there were almost no government incentives, but determined to diversify and to continue to take its farm forward, the McDonnell family decided to go ahead with using both its dairy herd's and poultry manure to produce biogas.
The McDonnells had the vision - and had more than done their homework.
Having conducted site visits from as far afield as America and Australia (but primarily in Scandinavia and Germany), David McDonnell and his father Michael's extensive research resulted in an impressive bespoke plant.
One created with realistic, sustainable expectations, and one that has become a landmark in renewable energy for the country.
"The nitrates directive was really beginning to kick-in during the late 2000s",said David McDonnell.
"These EU directives meant serious implications for farmers, so with our annual fertilizer costs up at around 100,000 Euros, we wanted to look at how we could produce our own fertilizer. We wanted, better, eco-friendly fertilizer, which at the same time for us was a natural progression for the farm.
Thanks to our AD operation, our annual fertilizer costs have now been reduced to one third.
In the future we can hopefully look at converting our digestate into a marketable product.
We wanted to use the land as best we possibly could - and ensure that what came out of our AD plant could be put onto our land", [which has been achieved]."
Since 2010, GreenGas has developed the plant's capacity, to its current status as a 1 MWeI plant, adding a new 1800m3 digester (from Wolf-Austrian) in 2015.
We've come a long way because there was no real AD industry in this country when we started and certainly very few financial incentives - and we still have nowhere near the catalyst as Northern Ireland or as in many other EU member states.
If you would like to read more, see the full Press Release at: www.anaerobic-digestion.com/greengas
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