LIFT America Act Infrastructure Proposals List Landfill Gas Among Renewable Energy Sources
- Leading Federal Infrastructure for the America of Tomorrow (LIFT America) Law, introduced on March 11, calls for a wide range of infrastructure improvement proposals, including renewable energy projects that could indirectly help boost the biogas sector, according to industry experts.
- The bill names landfill gas, biomass and municipal solid waste under the definition of “renewable energy resources”, which means that technologies such as combustion and anaerobic digestion would be included as renewable energies. in the clean energy portion of the bill, according to the National Waste & Recycling. Association (NWRA).
- The bill joins several other recent federal bills or about to be reintroduced with implications for landfill gas, including the GREEN Act, Clean Energy Act for America and the OWN Future Act.
The inclusion of terms related to biogas in the bill is a brief but notable way to keep it in the renewable energy conversation as Congress strives to push forward several climate change policies during this session. legislative, stakeholders said.
The LIFT America Act, introduced by the 32 Democratic members of the House Committee on Energy and Trade, includes a wide range of infrastructure improvement proposals totaling $ 312 billion in energy efficiency, clean water, broadband and health care. It proposes to spend $ 69.9 billion on energy infrastructure projects, including updating the electricity grid to accommodate more renewables and make the grid more resilient. The bill also includes block grants and loans for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects, including programs for municipalities, public schools and low-income communities.
The bill is not a waste or biogas bill and only makes a brief mention of renewable energy from biogas or anaerobic digestion, said Brandon Wright, vice president of NWRA communications.
However, their inclusion is important because it offers “a strong opportunity for the growth of the industry” and shows that landfill gas has a place in the Biden administration’s overall climate change goals, Michael added. Bakas, executive vice president of distributed energy systems at Ameresco, a renewable energy company that works on landfill gas energy recovery plants.
The bill also mentions offering a distributed energy loan program that would be available to municipal, tribal, or investor-owned electric utility entities. Biogas developers would not be eligible for these loans, but could work in partnership with utility companies that have access to the loans, according to the American Biogas Council (ABC).
The bill also plans to invest $ 2.7 billion in brownfield redevelopment through the US EPA, which Bakas has called a potential opportunity for the future. investments in renewable energies. “There are many successful case studies for brownfield redevelopment, including the co-location of large-scale biogas capture facilities and solar panels,” he said in a statement.
Stakeholders said it was remarkable that all members of the Democratic committee brought forward the bill, showing unified confidence to make major infrastructure improvements, but an ABC spokesperson said that it remains to be seen whether the bill can be passed by the Senate or whether some provisions can be found in another bill related to infrastructure.
Stakeholders are also keeping an eye out for other bills with renewable energy implications. One is the growth of renewable energy and efficiency now (GREEN) Law, which includes several provisions extending production tax credits for electricity produced from renewable resources such as landfill gas. He also calls for the extension of investment tax credits for biogas properties. ABC supports the bill.
Another is the Clean Energy for America Act, a 2019 bill that Democrats in the Senate say they are reworking to include technologically neutral incentives instead of specifically naming wind and solar credits. The bill has yet to be reintroduced, but Ameresco and ABC say they will monitor the bill to see if it could have implications for landfill gas incentives.
The Climate Leadership and Environmental Action for our Nation’s (CLEAN) Future Act, which aims to achieve zero net greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, appoints multiple waste and recycling efforts to help achieve this goal, in particular by using biomass as a “clean energy source”. The Global Alliance for Alternatives to Incinerators (GAIA) criticized the classification of combustion technology as clean energy in the CLEAN Future bill, claiming in a report that these installations contribute to greenhouse gas emissions and other air pollution. Landfills remain the main source of greenhouse gas emissions in the waste sector.
Even if these bills do not pass this legislative session, Bakas said business and industrial companies face more pressure to better manage environmental risks, and renewable energy bills will be a key piece of the puzzle as we move forward. 2021 and beyond. “With increased demand for environmental, social and governance reporting, and with the Biden administration’s climate plan, we are planning additional legislation to support a rapid transition to clean energy. “