NACWA's Energy Workgroup Discusses Net Zero

(November 13, 2019) – The NACWA Energy Workgroup held a web meeting on November 7 to discuss the current status of food waste co-digestion under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and a case study on a public-private partnership to generate energy with anaerobic digestion at publicly owned treatment works (POTWs). 

Currently, energy produced through anaerobic digestion of food waste is not valued as highly in the RFS as energy produced from biosolids, causing co-digestion to be less profitable for POTWs.  NACWA has been working with the California Association of Sanitation Agencies (CASA) and other groups to change how energy from co-digestion is valued.  Since EPA denied the groups’ request for change earlier this year, NACWA is now considering potential next steps. 

The RFS was also addressed in the case study presented to the workgroup.  The case study illustrated how financial risk to POTWs could potentially be reduced through a public-private partnership, and how the RFS and additional programs, such as the California renewable fuel standard, could be utilized to increase revenue.  Technology developments to maximize the biogas produced through anaerobic digestion were also discussed. 

NACWA members who would like to see the presentation slides or receive a recording of the meeting can contact Cynthia Finley, NACWA’s Director of Regulatory Affairs.