This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

December 04, 2002

Projects to Produce Energy from Waste are Gaining Momentum

A growing number of projects throughout the United States are converting waste products into energy using clean, efficient technologies. The projects are tackling everything from animal wastes to cooking oil and grease, and are helping to reduce odors, solid wastes, and greenhouse gas emissions throughout the country.

The use of anaerobic digesters to convert animal wastes into energy is receiving growing attention. In recent months, Wisconsin's We Energies began using an anaerobic digester to convert duck manure into energy, Environmental Power Corporation and Vermont Public Power Supply Authority began making plans to build anaerobic digesters to convert dairy farm wastes into energy, and GuTpard Energy Inc. (GEI) signed a power purchase agreement with Southern California's Imperial Irrigation District for four facilities that will convert cattle manure and other animal wastes into energy. Each of the GEI facilities is expected to process 400,000 pounds per day of animal wastes. See the press releases from We Energies, Environmental Power, and GEI.

Two Wisconsin facilities are trying less conventional energy sources. Thanks to funding from Wisconsin's Focus on Energy program, so-called "yellow grease"-used cooking oil and grease-is being used to fire an industrial boiler in Park Falls. The project should save nearly one million gallons of fuel oil each year. And a dairy farm in Oshkosh is has installed a wood boiler, allowing it to burn waste wood and bales of hay grass instead of natural gas. See Focus on Energy press releases for November 26th and December 2nd.