PG&E has partnered with California dairies to make enough renewable energy over the next five years to power 150,000 homes. And since we have more cows than any other state, there's a world of good that can be done right here in Central California. Manure naturally releases methane gas into the atmosphere. When released, methane gas is over 20 times more harmful to the environment than carbon dioxide. Which means that even if we didn't turn methane into clean energy, it would still be in our best interest to keep it from being released into the atmosphere.
So how does it work? The manure is flushed into a tank or a tented lagoon, where the manure decomposes and the methane gas bubbles off, before being captured under the cover. The gas is then pumped from the digester, then purified and compressed into PG&E's gas pipelines. After purification, the methane gas is the same as traditional natural gas, except that it's renewable and cleaner. PG&E then burns the gas to create power for our customers.
We're looking for more dairy farms and spreading the word as much as possible. Because the more methane we keep out of the air, the better off we'll all be.