What: Potential for Biogas in Maine
Speaker: Frederik Gast, Director of BioGast Sustainable Energy; Haarlem, the Netherlands
Date: Thursday, March 19, 2009
Location: Greater Portland Council of Governments
More about this workshop:
This presentation addressed Biogas (biomethane) and its potential as a sustainable, cost effective and clean energy source. Until now, biogas in the U.S. has almost exclusively been used in combined heat and power plants (CHPs) to produce electricity. This presentation also highlighted how biogas can be upgraded to pipeline natural gas standards, with higher energy and economic efficiency.
In Europe and Scandinavia, biogas use has been developing at a rapid pace. This renewable fuel is refined to power trains and buses as well as electric generation. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that there is enough domestic biogas supply to displace up to 6% of America’s use of natural gas. Because Maine presently uses less natural gas than the rest of the country, the percentage of natural gas displaced in Maine could be even greater.
Biogas can be sourced from anaerobic digesters from animal manure, sewage sludge, food industry (waste and wastewater treatment), landfill biomass or from any other biodegradable waste. Biogas production offers environmental benefits such as a significant reduction in the greenhouse gas emissions of both carbon dioxide and methane and improved water quality through better manure management.
In January, US Senator Ben Nelson (D, NE) introduced legislation that promotes the development of biogas through tax incentives. The Biogas Production Incentives Act of 2009 would encourage greater production of biogas for energy purposes by providing biogas producers with a tax credit of $4.27 for every million British thermal units (mmBtu) of biogas produced.