Here’s an overview of key biogas news.
New Jersey could become the ninth site with a food waste diversion policy. Yet a multi-year debate over whether landfills with gas capture should count as organics recycling may continue. What actually counts as food waste recycling, and who controls the infrastructure behind it, remains a topic of intense debate in New Jersey even after a potentially decisive vote last week. The New Jersey Senate passed the latest version of a long-fought organics diversion bill (A2371) on Thursday. If signed by Gov. Phil Murphy, it would require establishments generating one ton or more of food waste per week to arrange for separate recycling if an authorized processing facility is within 25 road miles.
The ancient town of Slonim in western Belarus, home to almost 50,000 people, has become one of the first municipalities in the country to receive state-of-the-art biogas facilities financed by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD} which will help achieve significant energy savings. Slonim, selected among several Belarusian municipalities for the implementation of energy efficient and environmentally friendly water and wastewater improvements, has now received two biogas co-generation units with an installed capacity of 136 kWt each.
If developed the facility would use a wood fibre processing model developed in Sweden. A wood fibre processing plant that would produce renewable natural gas (RNG) is being proposed for Williams Lake. Mayor Walt Cobb announced the project at the regular meeting Tuesday, March 10, saying if it is built it would be the first of its kind in North America. “It will turn wood into natural gas to go right in the gas line,” Cobb said. “It doesn’t need any other processing. The residual is basically sand and there’s so little left through this process that has been demonstrated to us.”
SUEZ recycling and recovery UK has joined over 180 businesses in signing up to the Food Waste Reduction Roadmap, led by WRAP and IGD. The initiative was launched to help businesses reduce food waste by 50% by 2030. Suez has joined the initiative as an enabling partner to use its skills and resources as a UK waste and water recycling and recovery business to help customers to meet their targets. Using its expertise in the sector, Suez will be able to audit and identify potential reductions across all waste streams, offering solutions to business and industry.
Rapidly rising waste levels and growing demand for clean, renewable energy consistently dominate today’s global headlines. With fossil fuels falling further out of fashion as climate change’s hold over the public agenda strengthens, renewable energy is projected to cover more than 50% of total energy demand by 2035 from just 20% today. Given that total energy consumption is also expected to double globally by 2050, the sector continues to represent a vast market opportunity. Meanwhile, as population growth continues to accelerate, the level of worldwide waste is expected to be 70% higher in 2050 than it is today.
The provincial government is accepting comments on proposed changes to reduce regulatory burden for mixed on-farm anaerobic digestion facilities. OMAFRA has proposed changes to the Nutrient Management Act to lessen the regulatory burden for on-farm anaerobic digesters. Currently, if a facility mixes on- and off-farm materials to produce biogas, that facility is identified as a regulated mixed anaerobic digestion facility (RMADF). “These requirements were designed for RMADFs within the context of generating electricity and do not easily accommodate systems developing the capacity to produce renewable natural gas,” the proposal said. The document was posted online Jan. 28 and is open for comments until March 13.
A landmark initiative launched by a coalition of intergovernmental partners during the UN Climate Action Summit in September 2019, has now entered an operational phase. The International Renewable Energy Agency’s (IRENA) contribution to the Climate Investment Platform, developed in response to country needs to mobilize low-carbon, climate-resilient investments, now calls renewable energy project developers to register suitable projects via a purpose-built portal organised around 14 regional clusters.
Zero Waste Europe welcomes the exclusion of Waste-to-Energy in the technical report on ‘EU Taxonomy’ for sustainable activities – alongside coal and nuclear. This is the first expert advice which recognises the damaging impacts of incineration: noting lock-in, environmental impacts and harm. A huge precedent for future EU climate action, and sustainable investments. The Technical Expert Group (TEG), tasked with creating the EU Taxonomy to introduce classification systems for environmentally sustainable economic activities looked specifically at climate change mitigation, in accordance with the Paris Agreement and Sustainable Development Goals, which guide European legislation on climate.
We are one year into the Energy Transition Act, and utilities across the state are now charting their courses towards carbon-free generation. The goal is to meet demand for electricity with 100 percent “zero-carbon” sources by 2045 for investor-owned utilities and 2050 for electric cooperatives. Renewable energy is now cost-competitive with other sources of power generation like coal and nuclear; and investments in renewable energy projects have steadily grown in New Mexico, which is rich in both wind and sun. But renewables don’t produce energy as reliably as coal, and utilities say that poses a big problem for delivering electricity to customers when the wind isn’t blowing, or the sun isn’t shining.
In a statement, Bioenergy Europe welcomes the proposed European Climate Law enshrining the objective of climate neutrality by 2050 into law. Yet, a higher ambition and greater detail on the trajectory towards net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions is crucial to achieving this objective. As reflected in a recent open letter co-signed with several other European stakeholders, Bioenergy Europe supports the highest level of ambition for 2030 targets. The proposal of limiting the GHG emission reduction target within a range of 50 and 55 percent risks of falling short in achieving this critical milestone.