IEA: ‘Organic waste has huge untapped potential to provide clean energy’

A new report suggests as modern societies and economies increasingly produce organic waste, clean energy resources like biogas and biomethane could benefit sustainable development

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According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), the world’s biogas and biomethane resources could provide 20% of global gas demand and help curb greenhouse gas emissions.

A new report published by the IEA revealed that organic waste ‘holds huge untapped potential to provide clean energy around the world’ along with encouraging a circular economy.

The agency said that biogas could become a local source of power and heat for communities and could also be used as a clean cooking fuel for households.

IEA’s Executive Director Dr Fatih Birol, said: “Biogas and biomethane can play major roles in a sustainable energy future, but for the moment we’re missing out on this opportunity to cut waste and cut emissions. A push from governments can give biogas and biomethane the necessary momentum, with benefits across energy, transport, agriculture and the environment.”

Asia-Pacific, North and South America, Europe and Africa have been identified as regions with the ‘largest opportunities’. According to the report, the availability of sustainable feedstocks for these purposes is set to grow by 40% by 2040.

Dr Fatih Birol added: “As governments seek to accelerate their clean energy transitions, they should not forget the importance of low carbon gases such as biomethane and biogas. Among other benefits, biogas and biomethane also offer a way to bring rural communities and industries into the transformation of the energy sector.”

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