RE: NC H332, Energy Policy Amendments
Dear Senator Berger:
The American Biogas Council is the bipartisan trade association representing the U.S. anaerobic digestion and biogas industry. We have over 200 members, many of which have businesses located in North Carolina or do business with North Carolinians. We have a keen appreciation for the opportunities for the expansion of the biogas industry in North Carolina and are concerned that the legislature’s current efforts to weaken the Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard (REPS) will result in great loss of economic opportunity for NC.
On behalf of our members, many of which are North Carolina tax payers, we respectfully urge you and the other members of the General Assembly to oppose the efforts to weaken the REPS. Specifically, we urge you to oppose the portions of H.B. 332 (Part II. Amendments to Energy Policy, Updated REPS Requirements) and H.B. 760 (Part III. Utility Regulation, Updated REPS Requirements). This is why the REPS is so important to our industry:
As you already know, North Carolina is recognized to have some of the most promising biogas opportunities in the Country.
In fact, the National Renewable Energy Laboratories shows that North Carolina is ranked 3rd among all U.S. states in its potential to produce biogas from organic materials like manure, animal products, food waste and wastewater sludge. North Carolina is home to tremendous organic resources that can be turned into renewable energy and valuable soil products to be sold in local and national markets. In fact, while North Carolina currently has 74 operational biogas systems, we see the potential for more than 300 projects to be developed based on the estimated amount of available organic material. See more detail on the state in the attached NC Biogas State Profile.
In recent years, we have seen investment and innovation in the renewable energy sector move into NC, providing billions of dollars of in‐state economic growth and thousands of jobs throughout the state. Our members have multiple projects in development in North Carolina that will be complicated, delayed, or simply abandoned if the current efforts to weaken the REPS are successful. We encourage you to stop the REPS weakening.
The American Biogas Council’s experiences from other states that have adopted and maintained a REPS or RPS are that the rate payers are benefitted and protected from rate elasticity through the development of renewable energy projects such as biogas systems. Biogas systems, in particular, provide base‐load renewable energy that is constant, hedging against the massive spikes in the price of fossil fuels due to weather or other circumstances outside the utilities’ control. While the natural gas and fossil fuel resources within North Carolina are uncertain, we can easily identify massive organic resources available to North
Carolina, because they are all around us in the forms of animal wastes (such as swine manure and poultry litter), energy crops, food wastes, and biopharma manufacturing wastes. This also means that these resources exist in every county and in every economic development region, providing investment and employment opportunities in those areas that need it most.
On behalf of our members, many of which are North Carolina tax payers, we respectfully urge you and the other members of the General Assembly to oppose the efforts to weaken the REPS. Specifically, we urge you to oppose the portions of H.B. 332 (Part II. Amendments to Energy Policy, Updated REPS Requirements) and H.B. 760 (Part III. Utility Regulation, Updated REPS Requirements).
Patrick Serfass, Executive Director
View or download the PDF here.