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Mass. Gov. Deval pushing for biogas power

By Anna Simet | May 31, 2012

Massachusetts Gov. Patrick Deval recently voiced his support of developing a biogas sector in the state, announcing that his agencies are working on a plan to replicate what some European countries have done to make their biogas industries rapidly expand.

During a May 30 speech discussing Massachusetts’ energy future, Deval touched on the state’s historically high energy costs and how they are beginning to improve through various bills implemented by the government several years ago. Massachusetts now leads the nation in energy efficiency and has seen dramatic increases in the amount of renewable energy produced in the Commonwealth, he said, and the state is now second only to California in venture capital investments in clean tech.

After pointing out the dramatic increases in solar and wind energy the state has seen during the last few years—a twenty-fold increase to 59 MW of wind in just four years—and that it is estimated the state could up that number to 4,000 MW if projects are implemented in a cost-effective manner, Deval said the state also needs to push toward other new sources of renewable electricity, such as biogas.

“Germany is famous for its commitment to wind and solar, but the remarkable fact is that they get more renewable power from biogas derived from food and yard waste than from wind and solar combined,” he said. “My agencies are now putting in place the rules to create a similar boom in Massachusetts. The fact is we are throwing energy away today down the disposal or into the trash.”

He pointed out that Massachusetts companies such Harvest Power, founded just five years ago, now employ more 300 people and are building large facilities in places such as Ontario and British Columbia.  “I want to see that investment here in Massachusetts and I am confident we will become the best state for biogas production in the next few years,” he said.