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Hokkaido Town Pioneers Next-Gen Biofuel and Power Generation from Livestock Waste

Shikaoi Town in Hokkaido uses livestock manure to generate electricity and produce hydrogen for FCVs, even channeling surplus heat into farming and aquaculture.



Mangoes growing in greenhouses on the grounds of the biogas plant in Shikaoi Town, Hokkaido. (Photo courtesy of Shikaoi Town)

Read the full story on Japan 2 Earth - Hokkaido Town Pioneers Next-Gen Biofuel and Power Generation from Livestock Waste

Livestock biomass energy is a hot topic. It is a system of fermenting manure from livestock to produce biogas that is utilized to generate electricity. Shikaoi Town in Hokkaido began a livestock biomass energy initiative 17 years ago. Now, the town is using this energy for both agriculture and aquaculture. Products produced include mangoes and sturgeons farmed for high-end caviar. The town is also producing hydrogen, a promising next-generation fuel.

Discovering an Energy Source

The scenery of Shikaoi Town is characterized by vast plains typical of Hokkaido. With a population of just over 5,200, Shikaoi is known for its dairy farming industry. The town's 21,000 dairy cows far outnumber human residents.

The town began generating energy from livestock biomass 17 years ago. At the time, local dairy farms were growing. This brought about an increase in complaints from townspeople and visiting tourists about smells from insufficiently fermented livestock manure spread on fields, according to Shikaoi's Agricultural Promotion Division.

The problem spurred the town to look for a solution. After ten years of research and visits to other areas carrying out leading initiatives, the town opened a biogas plant called the Environmental Conservation Center in October 2007. This facility can process the manure from 1,870 cattle per day.

Continue reading the full story on Japan 2 Earth to read more about how Shikaoi is using excess heat from biogas power generation for agriculture.

And find more great articles on the environment and the challenges of achieving the SDGs on our affiliated website Japan 2 Earth (J2E), sparking a transition to a sustainable future.


(Read the article in Japanese.)

Author: Takahiro Sakamoto