Barriers to Biogas Use for Renewable Energy
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) reports that few wastewater treatment plants with anaerobic digestion beneficially use their biogas beyond process heating. Thus, there must be actual or perceived barriers to broader use of biogas to produce combined heat and power (CHP).
In 2011, the Water Environment Research Foundation (WERF) and New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) conducted a study to determine what barriers wastewater utilities face in implementing combined heat and power projects.
The project team developed an online survey to determine the most significant barriers facing utilities. This survey was distributed nationally and completed by more than 200 respondents. The survey findings were presented and discussed with dozens of utility representatives at four focus groups timed with industry conferences.
Many of the findings of the project were not surprising. Of the 10 barrier categories introduced as potential barriers at the beginning of the project, nine were deemed significant, according the broad input and testing conducted. However, it became clear that economic barriers – inadequate payback/economics and lack of available capital – were dominant. Other barriers fell into two categories: policy factors such as regulatory permitting, and human factors, such as decision making.
This title belongs to WERF Research Report Series.
ISBN: 9781780401010 (eBook)
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