Economic Feasibility Tool

yes no
Do you meet the definition of a large CAFO?
(Check Link for requirements)
Does your energy use and waste management have the potential to be combined with a community energy or waste managements system?
Do you spend an average of $6,000 per month on utilities (gas, electric and water)?
Have you received formal complaints about odors?
Do you obtain water from a utility (eg. City or County)?
Do you raise swine or chickens?
Do you have a lagoon on site?
Do you pay for offsite manure disposal?

Do you compost the majority of solids for reapplication to soil?
Do you spend an average of $5,000 or more on energy utilities (gas and electric)?
Do you receive formal complaints about operation odor?
Do you raise swine or chickens?

Could be Economically Feasible

If you incur at least $5,000 per month in electricity or natural gas expenses, anaerobic digestion might be economically feasible for your operation. Digesters are very expensive and will last about 15 years. At this time, they are most economically feasible for operations with large energy needs. Even then, it will require considerable effort to investigate whether a digester is feasible for your operation since there are many variables to consider. A 2009 study by Keske found that minimizing anaerobic digestion production costs (eg. maintenance/repairs, and labor) and boosting energy production showed the greatest impact on net income from an anaerobic digester. A 1% change in production costs changed net income by 14.54%. A 1% change in energy production (a function of billing capacity and methane production) changed income by 11.14%. Generator downtime and inefficient feedstock conversion both affected energy production.

It is important to recognize that many variables can affect the economic feasibility of anaerobic digestion projects. Other financial considerations include: Net metering that returns electricity to the grid

Payments through a carbon market to offset carbon dioxide emissions or to sequester carbon Availability of bank, and loan terms/conditions. The specific financial aspects should be analyzed for every project. Industry partners also can provide insight into other revenue streams or cost offsets.