SACRAMENTO — The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) has awarded nearly $102 million in grant funding to dairy methane reduction projects across the state. These projects, part of the Dairy Digester Research and Development Program (DDRDP) and the Alternative Manure Management Program (AMMP), will reduce greenhouse gas emissions from manure on California dairy farms.
More specifically, 43 DDRDP projects, totaling $67.4 million; 50 AMMP projects, totaling $31.5 million; and three demonstration projects, totaling $3 million, have been funded. The projects will collectively reduce an estimated 789,536 metric tons of greenhouse gases (MTCO2e) per year.
“The awards allow our dairy families to produce clean renewable energy,” said CDFA Secretary Karen Ross. “These efforts promote energy-secure economies, which are long-lasting and important contributions to local rural communities and our planet’s well-being.”
Dairy manure produces methane when it decomposes. Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas (GHG) that traps more than 25 times more heat in the atmosphere as carbon dioxide within a 100-year timeframe, which contributes to global warming. Dairy digesters help capture methane emissions use them to produce electricity or natural gas.
Changing manure management practices so that manure is handled in a dry form (AMMP) also helps to significantly reduce methane emissions.
Since 2015, 213 dairy families in California have participated and contributed to methane reduction efforts through the AMMP and DDRDP programs. Together, all DDRDP and AMMP projects reduce an estimated 2.2 million metric tons of greenhouse gases (2.2 MMTCO2e) per year, which is equivalent to removing more 460,000 cars from the road. This is approximately 25 percent of the 2013 California inventory for dairy and livestock manure methane emissions.
These GHG reduction approaches collectively contribute to the state’s Short-Lived Climate Pollutant Strategy under Senate Bill 1383, which aims to reduce California’s methane emissions from the dairy and livestock sector to 40 percent below 2013 levels by 2030.
Financial assistance for the installation of dairy digesters and non-digester projects comes from California Climate Investments, a statewide initiative that uses Cap-and-Trade program funds to support the state’s climate goals. CDFA and other state agencies are investing these proceeds in projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and provide additional benefits to California communities, such as job creation.
The Dairy Digester Research and Development Program (DDRDP) and the Alternative Manure Management Program (AMMP) are part of California Climate Investments, a statewide program that puts billions of Cap-and-Trade dollars to work reducing GHG emissions, strengthening the economy, and improving public health and the environment – particularly in disadvantaged communities. The Cap-and-Trade program also creates a financial incentive for industries to invest in clean technologies and develop innovative ways to reduce pollution. California Climate Investments projects include affordable housing, renewable energy, public transportation, zero-emission vehicles, environmental restoration, more sustainable agriculture, recycling and much more. At least 35 percent of these investments are located within and benefiting residents of disadvantaged communities, low-income communities and low-income households across California. For more information, visit the California Climate Investments website at www.caclimateinvestments.ca.gov.
–California Department of Food and Agriculture
For more articles out of California, click here.