En.Ri.Co project: renewable energy from the rabbit

Renewable energy from rabbit manure, is it possible? Why not, if it can be done with other types of manureā€¦ The En.Ri.CoRenewable energy Rabbit promoted by Veneto Agriculture aims to verify this. In practice, it would be a question of using the energy potential of solid rabbit manure (the so-called rabbit) in the breeding site for two purposes: the air conditioning of the farm itself and the production of electricity, which theoretically could also be sold outside.

The En.Ri.Co project for the production ofrenewable energy from rabbit manure has already passed an experimental phase at two Venetian farms, to be precise the Agricultural Society Oasi Al Pozzo s.s. (which is also the project leader) and the Piergiorgio Mazzon farm. The results were discussed in a workshop held on February 20 in Legnaro (PD) with the patronage of the Veneto Region and the EAFRD European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development in Europe.

In Veneto, where cunicolo breeding has a certain importance, it was thought that the 'alternative' management aimed at the production ofrenewable energy it would give breeders a double advantage: on the one hand it would make it possible to reduce production costs by cutting the energy bill and on the other hand to solve, at least in part, the problems arising from the EEC Directive 91/676 known as the Nitrates Directive. The latter regulates the agronomic use of livestock waste (not only tunnels of course) which are a problem for intensive farming and would require expensive nitric abatement systems.

The production of renewable energy electricity in a rabbit farm would be based on a plant capable of exploiting the biogas generated by livestock waste as fuel, exactly as it happens in other types of farms. Today biogas plants have reached such a technology that they can guarantee the process in complete safety and, in compliance with the regulations, with proper management of waste, the so-called digestate.

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