Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?



Big Methane Biogas Blowout Planned for U.S. Farmers

US EPA and USDA fund new program to help livestock farmers install methane biogas recoveryThe U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Agriculture are teaming up to help farmers invest in methane biogas recovery, to the tune of $3.9 million over the next five years.  The new funds represent a big push for a rapidly growing trend that enables farmers to reclaim a renewable energy resource, cut their utility costs, and take a big chunk out of their greenhouse gas emissions. The new partnership aims to expand the existing AgStar program for reducing methane emissions, primarily by giving technical assistance and guidance to farmers who might otherwise not have the wherewithal to initiate a biogas recovery system.


If all goes according to plan the new program will see plenty of action.  According to EPA’s count there are only about 150 onsite biogas recovery systems at U.S. livestock operations, but there are about 8,000 farms that would be good candidates for the installations — and that’s to say nothing of the new green jobs being generated in the emerging biogas recovery industry.

Methane Biogas from Livestock

The EPA estimates that if all 8,000 farms had biogas recovery systems, they would produce more than 1500 megawatts of renewable energy, the equivalent of taking 6.5 million cars off the road.  Cutting greenhouse gas emissions is the motivation for the push behind the Agstar program, but since major players like Cargill are involved in livestock biogas recovery, you can bet the bottom line is also a big consideration.  In addition to capturing a valuable fuel, a sustainable biogas recovery system could also have carbon trading value.

Livestock and Waste Disposal

Another attraction of biogas recovery systems is a significant reduction in the cost of waste disposal.  The process yields an inert fertilizer that can be used onsite or sold for offsite use.  This sustainable approach to waste reclamation makes a lot more sense than storing raw animal waste in lagoons or pouring it on open fields — a practice which in one recent case  lead to a jury award of $11 million against a factory farm.

Image: Cows by St0rmz on

Appreciate CleanTechnica’s originality and cleantech news coverage? Consider becoming a CleanTechnica Member, Supporter, Technician, or Ambassador — or a patron on Patreon.

Don't want to miss a cleantech story? Sign up for daily news updates from CleanTechnica on email. Or follow us on Google News!

Have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.
Written By

Tina specializes in military and corporate sustainability, advanced technology, emerging materials, biofuels, and water and wastewater issues. Views expressed are her own. Follow her on Twitter @TinaMCasey and Google+.


You May Also Like

Consumer Technology

Electrification makes everything easier.


Innovative ventures in the newly-emerging category of “Nature Tech” are focused explicitly on accelerating nature’s natural ability to regenerate. Considering an estimated $44 trillion...

Climate Change

Climate Week NYC 2022 gathers the most influential leaders in climate action from business, government, and the climate community. In conjunction with the United...


Lithuania is the first nation in the world to adopt the LA100 renewable energy model developed by the US National Renewable Energy Laboratory for...

Copyright © 2021 CleanTechnica. The content produced by this site is for entertainment purposes only. Opinions and comments published on this site may not be sanctioned by and do not necessarily represent the views of CleanTechnica, its owners, sponsors, affiliates, or subsidiaries.