The financial feasibility of anaerobic digestion for Ontario's livestock industries

Mallon, Shawn
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University of Guelph

This thesis is an investigation of the financial feasibility of farm based anaerobic digestion investments under Ontario's Standard Offer Contract electricity prices. Using Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) Agricultural Anaerobic Digestion Calculation Spreadsheet (AADCS) anaerobic digestion inputs, outputs, cost and revenues were estimated and used to conduct a financial analysis on the feasibility of four sized farm base anaerobic digestion investments. The results suggest investment in an anaerobic digestion system smaller than 300 kilo-watts is not financially feasible under the chosen base model assumptions and Ontario's Standard Offer Contract. The efficiency of the anaerobic digestion systems, discussed in the thesis as electricity yield, was found to have the largest impact on the investments financial feasibility. Incorporating off-farm organic material improved financial feasibility by increasing biogas production and offering the potential for tipping fee revenue.

Anaerobic digestion, Financial feasibility, Ontario, Livestock industry, Biogas production