Glut of Natural gas squeezes biofuel market

See on Scoop.itGreen Energy Technologies & Development

Farm Power Northwest has built five anaerobic digesters in Oregon and Washington in recent years, but the brothers who founded the company say the outlook for new projects has lost its luster.

Duane Tilden‘s insight:

>The Mount Vernon, Wash.-based company, founded by brothers Daryl and Kevin Maas, uses manure from dairy farms to create methane gas, then burns it in generators and sells the resulting electricity to power utilities.


While power utilities paid up to 9 cents per kilowatt-hour several years ago for digester-produced electricity, the rate has now fallen to 5 cents per kilowatt-hour, said Kevin Maas.

The reason is the price of natural gas — a common fuel for electrical generation — has plummeted as domestic production has skyrocketed. Natural gas is now trading at below $4 per thousand cubic feet, compared with nearly $13 per thousand cubic feet in 2008.

That’s because new technology known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, has greatly increased the amount of natural gas that can be economically extracted from the ground.

With the cost of natural gas so much lower, other energy feedstocks like biogas from digesters become less competitive, experts say.<

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2 thoughts on “Glut of Natural gas squeezes biofuel market

  1. What is the long term cost of fracking? The industry has done a great job of hiding those facts. I have read they use “water” for fracking… they skipped the part about using chemicals that are harmful to the environment.


    • “What is the long term cost of fracking?” This is a question that should have been asked prior to the employment of hydraulic fracturing on extraction of natural resources. Ideally an environmental assessment would have been performed to determine the answer to this and other questions prior to the use of these technologies.

      Unfortunately the EPA is currently performing a “Study of the Potential Impacts of Hydraulic Fracturing” with the final release of the report anticipated in 2014. In the event that their findings are negative towards “Fracking” then considerable damage would have already been done to water supplies and aquifers. If this is the case then what? Are these damages reversible and what are the long term impacts?

      EPA’s Study of Hydraulic Fracturing and Its Potential Impact on Drinking Water Resources found at


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