Anaerobic Digestion: Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction and Energy Generation [May 4, 2010] [open pdf - 485KB]
"Anaerobic digestion technology may help to address two congressional concerns that have some measure of interdependence: development of clean energy sources and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. Anaerobic digestion technology breaks down a feedstock--usually manure from livestock operations--to produce a variety of outputs including methane. An anaerobic digestion system may reduce greenhouse gas emissions because it captures the methane from manure that might otherwise be released into the atmosphere as a potent greenhouse gas. The technology may contribute to the development of clean energy because the captured methane can be used as an energy source to produce heat or generate electricity. Anaerobic digestion technology has been implemented sparingly, with 151 anaerobic digestion systems operating nationwide. Some barriers to adoption include high capital costs, questions about reliability, and varying payment rates for the electricity generated by anaerobic digestion systems. Two sources of federal financial assistance that may make the technology more attractive are the Section 9007 Rural Energy for America Program of the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (2008 farm bill, P.L. 110-246), and the Renewable Electricity Production Tax Credit (26 U.S.C. §45)."
CRS Report for Congress, R40667
National Agriculture Law Center: http://www.nationalaglawcenter.org/