Here’s a community energy idea … A Community Power Hub is working with a group of local farmers to find a manufacturing enterprise that uses a lot of heat because, each year, the farmers have a lot of straw available. Basically, the farmers are seeking markets for processed straw waste. If the waste straw can be diverted for use as a bio-fuel, then much less straw stubble will be burnt in the paddock thereby reducing emissions. The local CPH and other local consultants will help the manufacturers find the right conversion equipment, so the straw can be used instead of gas.
The benefits of this project include keeping jobs in the local area, reduced emissions from burning stubble, a demonstration project for other big users of heat and a demonstration project for other farmers, as the use of straw waste becomes mainstream. Additional benefits include less drift from smoke which can negatively impact on tourist areas nearby as well as reduced risk of fires ‘escaping’ during paddock burns.