Here’s an overview of key biogas news. In the last 2 weeks, governments took actions to reduce waste and develop biogas or RNG in transportations, and, all around the world, companies and organizations invest in clean technologies, fueling stations for NGV or BioNGV and in finding alternatives fuel for planes.
On Sept. 10, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 100. The legislation requires retail electricity suppliers within the state to secure 100 percent of their power from renewables or zero-emissions sources by 2045 and updates the state’s existing renewable portfolio standard (RPS). Also on Sept. 10, Brown also issued an executive order establishing a new target to achieve carbon neutrality by 2045. “This bill and the executive order put California on a path to meet the goals of Paris and beyond. It will not be easy. It will not be immediate. But it must be done,” said Brown said.
The Chief Executive of the UK’s Anaerobic Digestion & Bioresources Association (ADBA) has today called for the government to “do the right thing” and commit to universal separate food waste collections in England in its forthcoming Resources & Waste Strategy. ADBA Chief Executive Charlotte Morton has personally written to senior ministers across government in recent weeks following suggestions that the inclusion of universal food waste collections for England in Defra’s forthcoming Resources & Waste Strategy is “unlikely”. Separate food waste collections are currently only available to a quarter of households in England but to all households in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.
In Sweden, natural gas vehicle (NGV) sales increased by 41 percent in the first half of 2018. And new car registrations for July and August indicate that the government’s introduction of “bonus-malus” environmental rules for new vehicles that came into effect July 1, may already have had a positive influence on NGV sales. Figures from Statistics Sweden show that new NGV registrations increased by 41 percent in the first half of 2018 compared with the same period last year. Also at a European level, NGVs have increased. According to the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA), the demand for LPG and NGV vehicles also increased strongly during the second quarter of 2018 – up 35.2 percent thanks to a “notable uplift” of natural gas-fuelled car registrations, 139.8 percent.
The new main goals are nearly the same as those in the previous plan, with the major change being a swap of the old goal to “increase the citywide recycling rate” for “achieve zero waste citywide.” The targets have undergone more change than the main goals. Perhaps the most significant is that the previous version, which said “by 2032, send zero solid waste to landfills per year,” has been altered in version 2.0 to leave the “zero waste” target date ambiguous. The new version does aim to achieve 80% waste diversion by 2032. The numerous sub-goals have undergone more drastic changes. Some of the previous ones already have been achieved, such as instating a polystyrene foam container ban. A new sub-goal is to expand the foam ban to additional points-of-sale — such as big box stores and supermarkets — and to increase the fee on disposable bags, which was implemented in 2010.
United Airlines, Inc., has made history by becoming the first US airline to publicly commit to reducing its own greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 50 percent by 2050 compared to 2005. The airline will continue to invest in the company’s ongoing environmental initiatives to support this commitment, including expanding the use of more sustainable aviation biofuels, welcoming newer, more fuel-efficient aircraft into its fleet and implementing further operational changes to better conserve fuel. Announced on September 13, United’s pledge to reduce its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 50 percent relative to 2005 represents the equivalent of removing 4.5 million vehicles from the road each year, or the total number of cars in Los Angeles and New York City combined and further strengths the carrier’s ambition to be “the world’s most environmentally conscious airline”.
Xebec Adsorption Inc. (TSXV: XBC) (“Xebec”), a global provider of clean energy solutions announced today that it will co-develop a prototype reactor to produce Renewable Natural Gas (RNG) using a Power-to-Gas (P2G) process with McGill University. This process combines electricity generated from renewable sources with carbon dioxide (CO2) generated from waste. The project is being funded by Xebec as the Industrial sponsor and by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) through a Collaborative Research and Development grant of $360,000 over a period of three years. Electricity generated from renewable energy sources (e.g., wind and solar) is increasing worldwide. In 2016, the installed wind power in Canada was ~12,000 MW (6% of the electricity demand), with the highest share1 provided by Quebec and Ontario.
Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) today announced it will soon begin using renewable natural gas for the first time at the 25 utility-owned natural gas vehicle fueling stations across its service territory, as well as at six fueling stations in the San Diego area. Last month, the utility received approval from the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) for a pilot program to purchase the renewable fuel and capture the additional environmental credits generated. Today, it published a Request for Offer (RFO), and expects to complete gas purchase agreements in the near future. Renewable natural gas (RNG) is produced from the methane generated in landfills, wastewater treatment plants, food processing and dairies and depending on its source, can be low-carbon or in some cases, even carbon-negative. It can be used to fuel trucks and buses, to generate electricity, to heat homes and businesses, and to cook.
Puregas Solutions, a part of the Finland-headed marine, oil, and gas technology group Wärtsilä Oyj, has announced that it has been contracted to supply a turnkey biogas upgrading plant to the United States (US). The plant will upgrade biogas from an existing anaerobic digester (AD) to produce biomethane for injection into the gas grid. It has been ordered by an undisclosed “leader in sustainable agricultural practices”, in the state of Oregon. The order is the first for Wärtsilä in the US. The Puregas solution will process and upgrade 3 100 cfm (cubic feet per minute) of biogas into renewable natural gas (RNG). The biogas is derived from the anaerobic digestion (AD) of manure from more than 50 000 dairy cows. The RNG will then be injected into a pipeline for use as a transportation fuel in California, the adjoining state.
Finland-headed Gasum Oy is investing in the construction of around 50 gas filling stations for heavy-duty vehicles (HDVs) in Finland, Sweden, and Norway by the beginning of the 2020s. The investment will multiply the size of the Nordic HDV gas filling station network, enabling considerable emission cuts compared to fossil diesel. According to Gasum, the demand for cleaner fuel solutions is growing significantly in heavy-duty road transport, and responding to this demand will be even more strongly at the core of the energy company’s business in the future. According to Gasum, the most competitive alternative among the low-emission fuels for this purpose is liquefied natural gas (LNG). In the Nordic countries, heavy-duty road transport plays a key role in the logistics system while at the same time generating a significant proportion of road transport emissions.
In California, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) and Smart Carbon Freight Centre formally launched their newest project, Transforming Heavy Transport – designed to accelerate emissions reductions across global freight and logistics operations. The launch was held at the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco on September 11. According to the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), a Switzerland-headed global, CEO-led organization of over 200 leading businesses working together to accelerate the transition to a sustainable world, freight emissions account for approximately 30 percent of transport-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from fuel combustion. This number is set to quadruple over the next 30 years with an intensified international trade.