Biogas Opportunities Roadmap: Voluntary Actions to Reduce Methane Emissions and Increase Energy Independence
Methane is both a potent greenhouse gas and a valuable source of energy. In the Climate Action Plan, President Obama directed the Administration to develop a comprehensive, interagency strategy to reduce methane emissions. In March 2014, the White House released the Climate Action Plan - Strategy to Reduce Methane Emissions . As part of the Strategy, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) committed to work with industry leaders to formulate a biogas roadmap. This Biogas Opportunities Roadmap builds on progress made to date to identify voluntary actions that can be taken to reduce methane em issions through the use of biogas systems and outlines strategies to overcome barriers to a robust biogas industry in the United States. It supports the U.S. dairy industry’s voluntary 2008 goal to reduce its green house gas emissions by 25% by 2020. This goal was a driver behind a partne rship forged between the Dairy Industry and USDA in December 2009 and renewed in May 2013. As part of the 2013 renewal, the dairy industry also requested that USDA create a voluntary biogas roadmap to support this goal. Biogas is a proven source of energy used in the United States and around the world for decades. The United States currently has more than 2,000 sites producing biogas. The Roadmap found that with the proper support, more than 11,000 additional biogas systems could be deployed in the United States. If fully realized, these biogas systems could produce enough energy to power more than 3 million American homes and reduce methane emissions equivalent to 54 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions in 2030, the annual emissions of between 800,000 and 11 million passenger vehicles.
In order to realize these opportunities, the Roadmap identifies actions the Federal government will take to increase the use of biogas to meet our renewable energy goals, strengthen the economy, and reduce methane emissions exclusively through voluntary actions. These include:
- Promoting Biogas Utilization thro thouugh Existing Agency Programs (USDA, DOE, and EPA)
- Fostering Investment in Biogas Systems
- Strengthening Markets for Biogas Systems and System Products
- Improving Communication and Coordination