Saturday, September 29, 2007
The poop on poop in North Carolina
Fact: North Carolina is the #2 hog raising state in the nation (btw, kudos to #1 Iowa).
Fact: The traditional way of dealing with hog waste is making huge lakes of it.
Fact: It is technically possible to capture the methane rising from these stinky carolinee swimmin' holes and make electricity from it.
Fact: It is however prohibitively expensive to do so.
Fact: A lot of people don't care about the cost.
Fact: Mungowitz, libertarian candidate for NC governor has railed about the waste of un-economical recycling.
Question: Is this any different?
Back in February one Carolina utility, Progress Energy agreed to pay farmers $0.18 per killowat hour of hog methane generated electricity. It typically pays $0.05 to indie producers of solar or wind generated electricity. Seem crazy? Well think again!
"This is a major step forward," said Dan Whittle, a program director for New York-based Environmental Defense. "The fact that Progress Energy is willing to pay triple of what it normally pays farmers is great news."
For who exactly is this great news Dan?
Now the NC state government has legislated a tripling of hog-methane generated electricity and apparently approved a series of fees for residential consumers and firms to cover the cost (I say apparently because this info is from the WSJ editorial page and thus of questionable provenance).
The bill also mandates capturing electricity from chicken waste. I recommend they run that pilot program right at the Capitol building.