By Amanda Bilek, Biomass Magazine.
Last year witnessed significant achievements toward the transition to a lower-carbon economy. A historic agreement among over 180 countries to collectively reduce greenhouse gas emissions was reached in Paris in December. Also there, 20 countries announced the Mission Innovation initiative, which is aimed at doubling clean energy research and development in the next five years. Some clean energy technologies have become cost-competitive with incumbent technologies, and costs are projected to continue declining into the future. On the biogas front, 2015 was a good year, especially when compared to activity in previous years. Due to recently implemented initiatives and trends, I have high hopes that 2016 will be even better.
In the summer of 2014, the USDA released the Biogas Opportunities Roadmap. The release of this roadmap marked the first time that federal agencies made a public commitment to coordinate biogas activities and outline objectives aimed at increasing the deployment of biogas systems across the U.S. At the end of 2015, the USDA published a progress report on roadmap objectives. According to the progress report, the USDA, U.S. DOE and U.S. EPA have all identified or implemented policy achievements to increase resource access for biogas projects. The progress report also identified technology achievements, a variety of private sector efforts, and identification of barriers to address in the future.