North Carolina regulators delay waste-to-energy mandate as utilities fall short again
- North Carolina utilities will fall short of meeting the statewide mandate to capture and use methane waste from hog and poultry farms, the Raleigh News & Observer reports.
- North Carolina Utilities Commission approved a one-year delay, the fifth one since 2012, after Duke Energy and other utilities said they would not be able to meet the goal.
- Under the program, swine waste was supposed make up 0.07% of the utility's annual sales, and poultry droppings were to generate 170,000 MWh of electricity from all of the utilities. The poultry goal was easier to meet than the porcine waste one, the news outlet noted.
Nothing should go to waste, but in this case of agricultural byproducts, some things are harder than others to recycle.
After more complaints from utilities over the difficulty of meeting a goal for generating power from porcine fecal matter, utility regulators agreed to another delay.
Duke Energy made some progress last year when it looked to use biogas for its Buck and Dan Combined Cycle plants to power 11,0000 homes, according to Waste Dive. Yet it appears that even with the delay, the goal is more challenging due to lack of advancement in developing technologies needed to capture the methane, the Raleigh News & Journal notes.
Initially, regulators came up with the requirement in 2007 driven by the renewable portfolio standard. Utilities were required to purchase “to purchase all electricity generated by the use of captured methane as a fuel" by a pilot program with 50 swine farms for the next seven years.
Despite RPS' in 29 states, waste-to-energy has been slow to catch on, with state mandates fueling the vast majority of growth. Differing definitions and modest policy goals mean WTE grew only 15% last year, according to Waste Dive, compared to wind energy's 65% growth.
- The Raleigh News & Observer NC again delays pig and poultry waste-to-energy goal
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