Posted January 13, 2019 03:38:31 A new technology that lets people create their own food using food as a fuel source is being used in Australia’s rural communities to help them get more food to those who are most in need.
Rural Australia’s Rural Energy Project is using the latest in energy storage technology to produce renewable energy from food scraps and produce the fuel from food.
It uses waste from livestock and crops, and water from ponds.
Rural Energy Project co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Greg Cogger says the process is “really low-cost” and can produce up to 100 kilowatt hours of energy per day.
“We have a food that we feed to people,” he told the ABC.
“We have to feed them, and we have to pay for that.”
Coger said the project was “coming together” with other organisations to make a more sustainable way to get more of the Australian way to people in remote rural communities.
He said it was a “pretty significant leap” for the region, and said it would be “pretty hard” to duplicate.
“It is a very challenging process, because you’re not really talking about a large amount of food, so you’re using it for the fuel, and then you’re adding the water, and you’re putting the waste that’s in the ponds,” he said.
“That’s really a huge cost to go through.”
Cogser said there was a need for more systems for food storage, but there were no plans to scale it up.
“We are very excited to be able to take this to the next level, to actually use it as a resource, to make use of the waste,” he added.
“And to actually have a lot of storage space in a very compact footprint.”
The technology was developed by Coggers group, who have spent years working on renewable energy technology in remote communities.
They recently won the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) Innovation Award for the most advanced system, but are working on other projects, including a plan to build a solar farm in their backyards.
“They’ve got some pretty interesting projects going on in the area, and some pretty cool renewable energy projects that we are going to be working on in that area, but at the moment we are really focused on the Rural Energy project,” Cogers said.
Cogger said the technology could be used to create a renewable energy hub for remote communities, or to feed local communities with surplus food.
“The problem with most of these systems, is that they are built around fuel and that is what it is, that is where it is coming from,” he explained.
“So you have to take it from the farm to the water and then it is stored in the pond and then the waste is dumped into the ponds and then, after that, it is used again as fuel for your vehicle, your home, or your house.”