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Cows to power farms and grid

Dung, grass cuttings, tobacco dust and fat from foie gras production could soon power farms

DUNG, grass cuttings, tobacco dust and fat from foie gras production could soon power farms; and eventually be sold on to boost supplies on the French national grid.

A group of Dordogne farmers are looking at using waste products to drive power plants to create electric and heat energy. The new green energy source of méthanisation, surprisingly, does not use the wind produced by cows and pigs, but their waste products such as dung and liquid slurry.

Both can be turned into methane and farmers are joining cooperatives to raise cash to go ahead.

Farmers at Marcillac-St-Quentin are looking at a €850,000 project that, if it could include other waste, such as municipal grass cuttings, tobacco dust and foie gras fat residue, would power several farms. They could also sell excess power to the national grid.

The plan would have the added benefit for the tourist industry of stopping smelly slurry tankers driving in the medieval town of Sarlat.

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