|Title||Two Different Approaches to Funding Farm-Based Biogas Projects in Wisconsin and California|
|Publication Type||Case Study|
|Year of Publication||2002|
|Authors||Porter, Kevin, Ryan H. Wiser, and Mark Bolinger|
|Secondary Title||Case Studies of State Support for Renewable Energy|
California and Wisconsin are the two leading dairy producing states in the nation. Both states are interested in developing biogas projects from livestock manure, but have targeted this renewable energy application differently. California has allocated nearly $10 million in incentives and buy-down grants to demonstrate the energy, economic, and environmental benefits of biogas systems and act as a catalyst for the development of further dairy biogas systems in the state. In contrast, Wisconsin has a more modest financial incentive and is relying more extensively on education and outreach and other regulatory mechanisms to encourage biogas facilities. Some of the differences between the two states' approaches can be attributed to different philosophies about the best way to deploy biogas technologies. However, the two states have distinctly different climates (which dictate different biogas system designs), dissimilar dairy sizes, disparate histories with biogas systems, and very different electricity markets. Consequently, conclusions regarding the appropriateness of either approach should take into account these differences. Innovative Features Despite numerous past technical failures, some states are beginning to take an increased interest in dairy biogas projects. The programs in Wisconsin and California can be classified as innovative if for no other reason than they focus on a technology that has not received much attention for a number of years. While these programs have not been in operation long, several specific features of each state's biogas activities may be of relevance:
Results California is negotiating terms with projects selected in its first biogas solicitation, whereas Wisconsin's program is not even six months old. Therefore, results are relatively sparse.