Bipartisan legislation has been introduced by US Senators to encourage investment in biodigester and nutrient recovery systems while establishing a new market for farmers.
The Agricultural Environmental Stewardship Act, a bill brought forward by US Senators John Thune and Sherrod Brown, will help expand the market for renewable biogas by providing a 30% investment tax credit to help offset the upfront costs associated with building digesters.
“This bill is a commonsense solution to help South Dakota’s dairy producers, boost our economy, and better preserve our environment,” said Senator Thune.
“I’d like to thank Senator Brown and our colleagues in the House for this bipartisan effort to invest in sustainable biogas technology and American jobs, and I look forward to working to get this bill enacted into law.”
Senator Brown commented: “Ohio farmers are struggling to safely dispose of livestock waste that could be used for renewable energy.
“This legislation will encourage investment in the technology needed to convert these waste materials into renewable fuel that can be used to power farms, households, and businesses across the country.
“We need to do all we can to protect Lake Erie and our waterways, and this bill provides another tool to ensure clean water.”
The new investment tax credit would allow South Dakota dairy farms and other businesses to increase the number of biodigesters in the rural US by reducing the upfront cost.
Farms and other biodigester operators would be able to use digesters or other biological, chemical, thermal or mechanical processes to make biogas that is at least 52% methane, adding an immediate new revenue stream and dramatically decreasing pollution and runoff into waterways.
Patrick Serfass, executive director of the American Biogas Council (ABC), said: “The ABC applauds the leadership of Senator Sherrod Brown and John Thune in recognising the importance of digesters and nutrient recovery technologies in helping turn an environmental challenge into a sustainable opportunity.
“Digesters and nutrient recovery technologies are materials management powerhouses and turn manure into energy and valuable soil amendments, all the while reducing odour and protecting our air and water.
“This tax credit will provide a significant boost to agricultural producers wanting to invest in this impactful technology.”