For some time now, the US Department of Energy has been under mandate to “stimulate the creation and early adoption of technologies needed to make bioenergy cost-competitive in large markets.” Not surprisingly, the federal government is the nation’s single largest energy customer—$10 billion per year—with facilities and offices located in nearly every neighborhood throughout the country. In order to meet its mandate and counter security threats posed by terrorist activities, the DOE has focused its attention on landfill gas as the most promising widespread source of secure energy available. Let me rephrase this with emphasis to make certain it won’t get lost in the shuffle: LFG stands at the head of the line when it comes to providing security from disruption of our nation’s mainstream energy supply systems.
This is huge. For years LFGTE projects have languished in the shadow of more visible alternative energy resources, falling short of utility grid acceptance by a few cents per kilowatt-hour. But here the issue is not price competition in wholesale cost for use on the grid but, rather, security from grid outage. Nor is LFGTE the only waste activity with security-related value potential.
Once you allow yourself to think of waste-derived energy as a valuable component in security, you might consider what you can do to meet the highly critical and at-risk energy needs of your community with a portion of the resources that pass through your hands on a daily basis. It seems to me that those with their hands on the right resources in the right place in this day and age are looking at a seller’s market.