Tag Archives: methane emissions

How farmers can step up to fight climate change

Opinion Contributed by Stephanie Mercier and John Reilly, The Hill

In his first seven months in office, President Biden has made clear his intention to treat climate change as a serious threat to both the country and the world, and recently set a goal to reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by at least half by the year 2030.  

U.S. farmers have the opportunity to participate proactively in reducing the threat of climate change through a number of efforts, such as sequestering carbon in soils by using conserving agricultural practices, reducing or capturing methane emissions from livestock, taking steps to more efficiently use nitrogen fertilizer to reduce nitrous oxide emissions, reducing emissions by improving their energy efficiency on-farm, and contributing to renewable energy production. Continue reading here.

About the Writers: Dr. Stephanie Mercier is an economist and senior policy adviser with Farm Journal Foundation. Dr. John Reilly is co-director emeritus at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change.

Referenced Resources Include:

About The Farm Journal Foundation
The Farm Journal Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to achieving global food security by sustaining modern agriculture’s leadership role and ability to meet the vital needs of a growing population. The organization works to advance this mission through key issue areas, including global food security, agricultural research and development, nutrition, and conservation agriculture.

About the MIT Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change
The MIT Joint Program is working to advance a sustainable, prosperous world through scientific analysis of the complex interactions among co-evolving global systems. To help nations, regions, cities and the public and private sectors confront critical challenges in future food, water, energy, climate and other areas, the Program’s integrated team of natural and social scientists produces comprehensive global and regional change projections under different environmental, economic and policy scenarios. These projections help decision-makers to assess impacts and costs/benefits of potential courses of action.

Photo: The Deblauw Family Farm in Hartington, Nebraska,. Their 10.4-kilowatt photovoltaic system supplies owners Marvin and Debra Deblauw with about 80% of the farm’s energy needs. Installers: MarLin Wind & Solar and North Star Solar Bears

California clean fuel standard sparks renewable gas boom in Midwest

By Frank Jossi, Energy News Network

Twenty years ago, Holsum Dairies installed the first anaerobic digester in Wisconsin. Part of a combined heat and power system, the digester mixed cow manure with heat and bacteria to produce biogas that fueled a generator.

It was a novel experiment at the time. The digester, and another the dairy installed a few years later, reduced the size of open lagoons of manure that release methane into the atmosphere. Wisconsin Public Service, the local utility, bought the electricity. But last year, Holsum Dairies changed course, upgraded the two digesters and began producing renewable natural gas for California’s burgeoning renewable fuels market. Continue reading here.

Photo Credit: U.S. Gain, a Wisconsin renewable gas developer

ALSO PUBLISHED BY ENERGY NEWS NETWORK

Illinois pork plant powered by the sun, thanks to C-PACE financing, by Kari Lydersen
Commercial property assessed clean energy is still used relatively little in Illinois and many other states, in part because of consumers’ and public officials’ lack of familiarity with the option. 

Thousands of abandoned Ohio oil and gas wells may be hidden. Drones could help find them, by Kathiann M. Kowalski. Airborne drones with magnetometers have worked well in trials and are ready for more widespread use, potentially revealing “hundreds, if not thousands” of previously unknown wells.

Commentary: Solar canopies need to be a part of Connecticut’s energy plan, contributed by Kieren Rudge, an operations manager at People’s Action for Clean Energy and a graduate student at the Yale School of the Environment.

NEBRASKA NEWS

County hears update on emergency declaration, by Elsie Stormberg, Wahoo Newspaper
WAHOO – Saunders County Attorney Joe Dobesh informed the Saunders County Board of Supervisors during its meeting on May 4 that the practice of utilizing treated seed corn in the ethanol process has officially been banned. In other business, the county board also decided to set a public hearing regarding an application by Community Energy for a conditional use permit for a solar field near Yutan. The public hearing will be on May 18 at 9 a.m. at the Russell Shanks 4-H Exhibition Hall on the Saunders County Fairgrounds in Wahoo.

GREEN HYDROGEN

Why Hydrogen May Be Renewable Energy’s Best Bet, Industry Week
The writer, Dr. Tim Lindsey, is a Senior Advisor to the University of Illinois Smart Energy Design Assistance Center and CEO of Highlander Innovation Inc.

Lindsey provides the following links to additional information about hydrogen initiatives:

Methane, manure and a net-zero pledge

GreenBiz article contributed by Christian Roselund,
Editorial Director, Rocky Mountain Institute

Dominion is planning to tackle its methane emissions on two fronts. First, it will focus on reducing methane from three sources within its control: gas venting that occurs during maintenance and inspection activities, replacing aging equipment prone to leakage, and expanding leak detection programs. Second, recognizing that it may be unable to eliminate methane leaks entirely, it plans to offset remaining methane emissions by procuring biogas, sometimes called renewable natural gas (RNG).

The utility’s plan to reach net zero is not the same as the zero-carbon pledges of electric utilities; under Dominion’s plan, it will still sell gas to end-customers, and even if Dominion plugs all the leaks in its transmission and distribution networks, its operations still will result in emissions at the point of combustion. In addition, Dominion’s commitment does not take into account the methane emissions associated with gas production, which account for over 50 percent of the methane problem in the oil and gas value chain. The utility also remains a member of the American Gas Association, which has led the fight against building electrification. So while the hogs are now playing their part, there are bigger fish to fry. Read more here. This story first appeared on: RMI.

Christian Roselund is responsible for creating and executing Rocky Mountain Institute’s global editorial and publications strategy, managing publication production, writing content and managing both an in-house and freelance team of writers.

Image Credit: Shutterstock/AVA Bitter

DOMINION’S SOLAR SCHOOLS INITIATIVE

16 Schools Selected for Dominion Energy ‘Solar for Students’ program, WWBT – NBC12 News
Each of the schools selected will receive a 1.2-kilowatt photovoltaic system, technical support, educational materials, and training for educators. Dominion Energy says each array generates enough electricity to power up to 18 desktop computers, 40 10-gallon aquariums or 15 42-inch LED televisions.

NEWS FROM OTHER UTILITY COMPANIES

ØRSTED / ACORE NEWS

CEO of Ørsted’s Onshore Business Declan Flanagan Elected Chairperson of American Council on Renewable Energy, PR Newswire. The American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE) today announced that Declan Flanagan, Executive Vice President and CEO Onshore of Ørsted, will become Chair of the organization’s Board of Directors this coming June. “ACORE is fortunate to be able to turn to such a widely-respected leader in our industry to Chair our Board,” said Gregory Wetstone, ACORE President and CEO. “Declan Flanagan’s leadership will help take the organization to the next level as we work to accelerate America’s transition to renewable energy.”

Previously Posted

NEW REPORT

State of the Electric Utility: 2020 Survey Report, Utility Dive
The results are in, and the 7th Annual State of the Electric Utility Survey Report is here. In our 70+ page report, we’ll look more closely than ever at industry attitudes and action on climate resilience, electric vehicles, battery storage and other industry issues. We’ll also look back on how perennial topics like load trends and energy markets have evolved. The report covers: Key findings from 7th Annual Electric Utility Survey; How utilities view cybersecurity; Climate resilience, EVs, battery storage and more.

FOSSIL FUEL MAJORS IN THE NEWS

YIELDCOS 

An Avangrid Yieldco? CEO Says ‘Maybe’, Greentech Media
Investor interest in renewable energy yieldco stocks returned with a roar last year. Avangrid is paying attention. The basic idea behind yieldcos is to separate the low-risk business of operating wind and solar farms from the higher-risk business of project development. Yieldcos buy finished projects from their sponsor companies, and in doing so developers are able to recycle capital back into new projects — while investors gain access to different types of renewables assets.

INTERACTIVE POLITICAL CLIMATE PODCAST

Decarb Madness: How Would You Build a Policy Bracket to Decarbonize the Power Sector?, Greentech Media. Political Climate challenges four energy experts to build their ideal policy bracket for decarbonizing the electricity sector. The Political Climate Podcast is produced in partnership with the USC Schwarzenegger Institute.

MORE PODCASTS OF POTENTIAL INTEREST

13 sustainability podcasts that will keep your earbuds plugged in, “rounded up” by Elsa Wenzel, Senior Writer, GreenBiz Group. These 13 solutions-focused podcasts, in random order, offer provocative conversations with sustainability stars, as well as music and thoughtful editing that make you happy to let the next episode autoplay.