Environmental Power Corp.: Changing Manure into Gold?
In 2002, Environmental Power Corp. (EPC), a small company developing renewable energy projects, was attempting to commercialize its "digester," a facility that extracted methane from manure, reduced manure's environmental impact, and generated electricity. The company addressed two promising convergent markets: the farm waste management market and the renewable energy market. One of the main challenges was to put together a financial scheme that satisfied the conflicting interests of four groups of stakeholders: the farmers who lacked cash, the investors who distrusted the electricity trading business after the Enron scandal, the utilities who resisted long-term commitments to buy electricity, and the government who was reconsidering its agricultural and energy policies. The primary challenge is to provide a process that reduces animal waste pollution and at the same time provides a positive renewable energy source.