- Steve Miller, CEO of Oregon-based Bulk Handling Systems, testified in favor of more tax credits for biogas at a U.S. Senate Finance Committee hearing last week.
- Miller advised a five-year energy production tax credit with a per-kilowatt-hour-credit similar to the one in place for wind power.
- In addition, Miller said biogas used for transportation fuel should qualify for tax credits, and composting technologies should also be included.
While the federal government has been focusing heavily on organic waste lately, some think it can do more to adapt renewable energy incentives to the realities of the waste industry. While long-term tax credits are helping wind and solar power get established, the options for biogas are more limited — which some in the biogas industry consider an obstacle in planning ahead. However others have said that if these technologies can't grow without government tax incentives, they may not be economically viable.
"If we know those credits are going to be there, we can rely upon them and we can fund them. It's really that simple," Miller testified. "If we can't see what's going on in the future, we just can't get the financing needed for these projects."
The demand for organic waste processing is expanding quickly and some organizations have said the country doesn't have enough capacity to currently handle it all. Yet many anaerobic digestion companies have benefited from the U.S. Department of Agriculture investments in biofuel technology. The agency's most recent $8.8 round of investment included 15 anaerobic digesters.