Drones to the Methane Rescue

Autonomous inspection robots integrated with Percepto’s AIM (Autonomous Inspection & Monitoring) software scrutinize industrial sites. Photo courtesy of Percepto.

The energy industry is taking to the air with drone solutions to tackle a top source in human-caused emissions.

As the drive to cut greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions accelerates, the focus is turning increasingly to reducing methane. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), one-third of the warming from greenhouse gases today is due to human-caused emissions of methane, a potent greenhouse gas that has trapped about 30 times as much heat as carbon dioxide in the last 100 years.

The agency believes that sharp cuts over the next decade will have a near-term beneficial impact on the climate. Late last year, it proposed new protections to meaningfully reduce pollution from the oil and gas industry—including first-time reductions from existing sources nationwide—in a new Clean Air Act rule. The EPA intends to issue a final rule before the end of 2022.

Of course, methane emissions are not just a U.S. challenge.

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