Biden Asks: How Can You Reduce Your Methane Footprint?

BDC applauds Biden Administration, EPA and USDA for taking critical steps to reduce methane emissions through anaerobic digestion.

Following the announcement of the “Methane Reduction Action Plan” at COP26, we are excited to see the Biden Administration, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and Department of Agriculture (USDA) view anaerobic digestion as a solution in the fight against the climate crisis. The United States, with the European Union, announced a methane emissions reduction target of 30% of 2020 levels by 2030. Anaerobic digestion is a proven holistic climate infrastructure solution that can divert food waste from antiquated disposal methods such as landfilling, incineration and land application. Attacking this crisis head-on is imperative, and anaerobic digestion can help us reduce unmitigated methane emissions from harming our planet.

Unmitigated methane emissions have 80 times the warming impact than CO2, and 30% of climate change can be attributed to methane. We send 55.9% of our food waste from our homes, restaurants, cafeterias, wholesalers, hotels, and arenas to landfills, contributing 17% of our country’s methane emissions. All total, the US generates 103 million tons of wasted food annually.

Enclosed anaerobic digestion can accept that material and substantially reduce our greenhouse gas emissions in the process. The plan itself calls for the expansion of current programs to include anaerobic digesters as a tool to better manage manure and food waste byproducts. Furthermore, the Administration has proposed additional funding that can help reduce emissions by as much as “26 million metric tons in 2030 and a cumulative total of approximately 130 million metric tons of CO2 from 2030–2035.”

At Bioenergy Devco, our 20-plus years of experience developing anaerobic digestion technology can easily be replicated at scale here in the United States. However, there is an untapped market here in the US. There is a significant opportunity for both investments in this technology and facility development. For example, we recently announced a $100 million capital raise from Irradiant Partners to help facilitate the development of further digester projects here in the US. Compared to Germany, they have roughly 10,000 digesters to sustainably manage organic waste, whereas the US only has several hundred.

Communities across the country are craving a sustainable waste management solution — and anaerobic digestion can easily handle these organics and produce renewable energy and an odorless-soil amendment similar to compost. Most importantly, it is carbon-negative and improves the quality of our air, water and soil.

We look forward to the opportunity to engage with the Administration, EPA, and USDA on how best to deploy anaerobic digestion at scale in the US.

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