Animal Waste Part of NC's $4.8 Bil Clean Energy Economy

John DavisAgribusiness, energy

NCSEASome people might think that animal waste is pretty dirty. But in North Carolina, where animal agriculture is huge, it’s part of the state’s $4.8 billion clean energy industry. This news release from the NC Sustainable Energy Association (NCSEA) says growing success in the biomass sector, with animal waste, poultry litter-to-energy and swine-waste-to-energy projects serving as key drivers for clean energy growth – a sector that has grown by about 25 percent since 2012, outpacing the growth of other industries in the state.

“This year’s [North Carolina Clean Energy Industry Census report] not only reveals good news for the clean energy industry; it demonstrates powerful news for all of North Carolina,” said NCSEA executive director, Ivan Urlaub. “Consider the rise of clean energy business sectors like building efficiency and energy storage, which are creating immediate jobs and lowering business expenses, while preparing our state to affordably meet future energy demand. Our state is not only better off with clean energy, it’s thriving – and becoming a national model for how clean energy development can help strengthen economic competitiveness.”

Driven largely by the state’s market-based clean energy policies, North Carolina was recently named one of the fastest growing markets for clean energy solutions, and is ranked fourth nationwide in installed solar power. NCSEA created the Census in 2008, a first of its kind nationally, to help measure the impact of North Carolina’s clean energy policies and identify where policy is and is not achieving the results that policymakers, economic developers and industry members envisioned. One such policy is the Renewable Energy Investment Tax Credit, which has reportedly returned $1.93 for every $1.00 utilized by state and local governments.

You can read the full 2014 North Carolina Clean Energy Industry Census report here.