Provides an introduction to landfill gas as a green energy source for commercial and industrial enterprises.

Executive Summary

Companies are finding that garbage can improve their bottom line. Landfilled garbage produces a naturally occurring gas that can be used to displace conventional fossil fuels. Landfill gas provides corporations and power producers with a significant business and environmental opportunity to transform a harmful waste by-product into an environmentally beneficial and potentially cost-saving fuel source. General Motors, Ford Motor Company, BMW, Daimler-Chrysler, Nestle U.S.A., General Electric, and International Paper have all discovered that landfill gas is a financially attractive alternative to conventional fuels.

This guide is based on the experience of the Green Power Market Development Group, a unique partnership between the World Resources Institute and 10 leading companies dedicated to building corporate markets for green power. The corporate energy professionals supporting the Group have extensive experience managing, procuring, and developing a broad range of energy and renewable energy projects. As transparency is an important ingredient in creating a robust renewable energy market, the Group intends for this series to inform corporate energy managers about how to incorporate green power into their energy portfolios.

This second installment focuses on the Groupâ??s experience in their pursuit of landfill gas-to-energy (LFGTE) opportunities. During the past 2 years the Group has met with engineers and developers to review potential LFGTE projects and evaluate their environmental and economic viability. Several members have since contracted with developers or are developing their own LFGTE projects.

This report is intended to provide corporate energy managers with a basic understanding of the environmental, technical, and economic issues underlying a LFGTE project. In particular, this publication will:

  • provide an introduction to landfill gas as a renewable energy source,
  • present a business and environmental case for LFGTE,
  • outline important aspects of implementing LFGTE projects, and
  • identify policy actions that would facilitate the further development of landfill gas as a source of green energy.

About this series

The Corporate Guide to Green Power Markets is designed to help corporations understand, explore, and evaluate renewable energy opportunities. Published by the World Resources Institute, the Guide consists of a series of installments that will explore different aspects of corporate markets for green power, including:

  • The business case for green power
  • Major green power technologies including biomass, landfill gas (for electricity and for direct use), and wind
  • Strategies for corporate procurement of green power and methods for evaluating green energy opportunities
  • Policies for addressing obstacles to the creation of a robust corporate market for green power.

Installments will include useful tools, strategies, and case examples of corporate experiences with green power.

The series will be based on WRI's experience with the Green Power Market Development Group. Installments will be published approximately every quarter over 18 months (starting July, 2002). If you would like free hardcopies of installments to be mailed to you, please complete the mailing form.