The Bannerman Project: Gareth Wyn Jones harnessing methane for renewable energy

The Bannerman Project: Gareth Wyn Jones harnessing methane for renewable energy

It's not every day you get to hear a rocket scientist and a farmer collaborate on a green energy solution. That's what happened when Chris Bannerman, a rocket scientist, met Gareth Wyn Jones, a Welsh farmer, on the latter's farm. 

Honorary Welsh farming correspondent Gareth Wyn Jones told REX host Dominic George that their joint venture, dubbed the Bannerman project, utilises methane from a slurry pit to power a tractor and generator, taking the farm off the grid.

"The science and the technology is out there, so we need to be utilising it," he said.

"We can't do that for the price we are getting for what we are producing."

However, he acknowledged that implementing these technologies on farms requires assistance from Government or private investment, as it's not feasible with the current pricing for agricultural produce.

Jones also shared his experience of using an electric bike on his farm. It's a solar-powered bike that's not only environmentally friendly but also provides a quiet mode of transport, allowing him to check on his livestock without disturbing them.

"We've got guys developing, you know, different sorts of fuel and all that sort of stuff like biofuels and things like that," George added, highlighting the ongoing innovations in renewable energy for farming.

However, Jones was quick to stress that while the technology is there, it's in its infancy and needs support. 

"We need help from, you know, government or private investment to put money back into agriculture so we can do these things that are going to help the environment."

Jones, who's become somewhat of a celebrity in the farming world, has been an outspoken advocate for sustainable and regenerative farming practices. His views echo those of many New Zealand farmers who are grappling with similar challenges and opportunities in green energy and sustainable farming.

In a time when the world is wrestling with climate change and looking for sustainable solutions, projects like Bannerman's offer a glimmer of hope. They showcase the untapped potential of renewable energy in agriculture, presenting a promising future where farms not only feed nations but also contribute significantly to green energy solutions.

These discussions and collaborations between different fields, like that between Bannerman and Jones, are crucial in fostering sustainable solutions. They highlight the need for a global collaborative effort to build a better food system and a greener world.

Gareth Wyn Jones' journey, as shared on the REX podcast, provides food for thought for everyone interested in the future of farming, the environment, and sustainable living. It's an enlightening glimpse into the innovations and possibilities that lie ahead in the realm of sustainable agriculture and renewable energy.

Listen to the full chat between honorary Welsh correspondent Gareth Wyn Jones and Dominic George above.

To check out more episodes listen to the REX Today Podcast anytime on your favourite streaming platforms including Spotify, Apple Music and Rova or tune in to REX Mornings live on Magic from 5 am to 6 am every weekday.

Visit the Rural Exchange Facebook or Instagram page for more information and regular updates from the REX team.