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Research project: Integrated Systems for Farm Diversification into Energy Production by Anaerobic Digestion: Implications for Rural Development, Land Use & Environment

Currently Active: 

Funded by the RCUK Rural Economy and Land Use (RELU) programme

Aims of the research

The research addresses the policy issues through a detailed analysis of regulatory measures within the broader European Community and of those specific to the UK, to identify the drivers and obstacles that could stimulate or inhibit the development of on-farm digestion as part of a wider strategy for rural development and meeting the cross compliance criteria included in the reforms to the Common Agricultural Policy. It aims to: develop and verify rigorous models to analyse the economics, energetics and land use implications of diversification into on-farm energy production using energy crops, agricultural residues and wastes; assess the positive benefits and the potential drawbacks regarding environmental protection and the development of sustainable agricultural practice, through the development of environmental risk based analysis methodologies; seek opinion from farmers on issues of diversification and renewable energy production using AD; and to explore the potential benefits to the wider rural community that might result through the uptake of this technology as part of an integrated farming system.

School of Biology, University of Southampton
Centre for Agricultural Strategy, University of Reading
School of Agriculture, Policy and Development, University of Reading

Related Sites

Intensive farming
System boundaries for energy balance
System boundaries

Associated research themes

Theme Water and Environment

Related research groups

Water and Environmental Engineering Group
Bioenergy and Organic Resources


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