A city in Germany is pioneering a biogas network which uses agricultural waste to generate energy.

A biogas network is currently under construction in the city of Lunen which will use local waste such as cow dung and horse manure as a low cost alternative to fossil fuels.

Local farms will supply animal waste, corn, wheat and grass to be turned into biogas in anaerobic digesters. The network’s power plant could produce as much as 6.6MW, enough to supply 26,000 homes with heat and electricity.

The gas is to be distributed around the city through a new biogas pipeline network. The gas network will power a series of ten cogeneration units. These will feed electricity into the grid and heat into local district heating networks.

The network is expected to deliver heat and electricity to customers by December 2009.