Water Journal : Current May 2016
ALL TOGETHER NOW One way to ensure biogas project viability could be to adopt the Asian model of community digesters, said Bambridge, who works on such projects in the region. "Digesters shared by a number of industries may need to be adopted, particularly in high value food regions," he said. "With the multiple and consistent wastewater streams from these food regions, local community digesters would allow Australia to start to achieve its wastewater-to-energy potential." A hybrid renewable energy strategy could also help wastewater treatment plants achieve a sustainable power supply, as Melbourne Water has suggested. "Ultimately, it is likely that alternative energy sources, such as solar, will reduce sufficiently in cost to be viable and will augment on-site generation from biogas," Ken Baxter said. Storage is another promising option put forward by Beca Consultants in an ARENA- commissioned report. "Biogas storage [may] allow flexibility to offset higher peak electricity tariffs ... [and] improve the viability of small-scale biogas facilities," the 2015 report stated. In Australia, excess biogas is predominantly flared, the report stated, but elsewhere there s widespread use of a range of storage tecÚologies. Another finding of the ATSE report was that investment and management structures external to state-owned water corporations are a feature of successful resource recovery businesses. "Alternative infrastructure investment models such as 'ring-fenced PPPs or private 'build, own and operate strategies may enable further resource recovery," the report stated. Melbourne Water s Werribee Power Station has taken a variation on this approach -- it was sold to AGL in the late 1990s with an electricity off-take agreement included in the contract. Baxter has this advice: "Work with industry, but ensure they have 'skin in the game . They then have self-interest driving them to make the outcome a success. "Remember your business partners and service providers must make a fair profit." There should be plenty to go around. The CEFC has identified up to $5 billion in waste energy and bioenergy investment opportunities to 2020.
Current Feb 2016
Current August 2016