Journal Article Renewable energy recovery potential towards sustainable cattle manure management in Buenos Aires Province: Site selection based on GIS spatial analysis and statistics

VENIER, Florencia  ,  YABAR, Mostacero Helmut Friedrich

162 ( 20 )  , pp.1317 - 1333 , 2017-06-14 , Elsevier B.V.
The rise in GHG emissions associated with the combustion of fossil fuels for electricity generation, coupled with energy security issues and the likely future scarcity of non-renewable resources, has called the attention to explore the potential of renewable and clean energy alternatives. Argentina has enjoyed a rapid economic growth after the 2002 financial crisis. However, this economic recovery has caused a huge increase in energy demand that already surpassed the domestic production capacity and pushed the country to import natural gas for electricity production. As a consequence, currently more than two thirds of electricity is generated from natural gas and other fossil fuels that are causing not only an increase in GHG emissions but other pollutants as well. Taking advantage of its stunning cattle sector, this research explores the potential of biogas production in Argentina using Buenos Aires province, the province with the largest inventory, as a case study. Through the use of GIS suitability analysis, the study first identifies the potential sites for the location of the biogas plants based on geographical, environmental and socio-economic criteria. The study couples these findings with the selection and identification of optimal sites through the use of spatial statistical analysis and taking into account cattle farm size and economically feasible transportation distances. In this step, the study proposes three different scenarios that range from onsite plants for large-scale farms to centralized biogas plants for small-scale and mid-scale farms. The results of the study suggest that by using only 1.5% of the manure produced in the province, it could be possible to meet not only the cattle farms electricity demand but also up to 2.06% of the demand in the province. These results open up a great opportunity for the country since it could be possible to not only address energy security issues with domestic resources, but at the same time to provide environmental benefits in a sustainable way.

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