Here’s an overview of key biogas news.
A new government consultation published yesterday, in which ministers committed to funding local authorities to introduce weekly food waste collections for all households in England, has been welcomed by the AD industry. A new government consultation published yesterday, in which ministers committed to funding local authorities to introduce weekly food waste collections for all households in England, has been welcomed by the anaerobic digestion (AD) industry. The consultation on consistency in household and business recycling collections in England proposes a requirement that from 2023, all local authorities should offer all households a separate weekly food waste collection. The consultation commits government to ensuring that local authorities are resourced to meet “new costs arising from this policy including upfront transition costs and ongoing operational costs”.
The Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources recently awarded nearly $2.89 million in grants to five infrastructure projects that aim to increase the availability of low-carbon, renewable heating fuels, including wood chips and biofuels. The grants, funded by MDER, are part of the Renewable Thermal Infrastructure Grant Program, an initiative focused on expanding the availability of renewable thermal technologies in Massachusetts. Funding for the grants is available through Alternative Compliance Payments paid by retail electric suppliers that did not meet their Alternative Portfolio Standard compliance obligations through the purchase of Alternative Energy Certificates. The awards include: Caluwe Inc.—$426,035: Funding awarded to Burlington, Massachusetts-based Caluwe will be used to build a showroom storage warehouse in western Massachusetts and purchase a service vehicle.
Up to $63 million in improvements to the Hartland Landfill will be up for consideration by Capital Regional District directors Wednesday. CRD staff are recommending spending about $23.7 million to build a facility to clean up and convert landfill gas into usable natural gas. And, staff say, the region should proceed with an anaerobic digester system at a cost of between $25 million and $40 million to process food scraps into biogas. The expectation is both projects will be funded through money on hand, grants and borrowing, said Larisa Hutcheson, CRD general manager parks and environmental services. “We’re very optimistic that this [gas conversion] project would attract grants both at the provincial and federal level. Alternative fuels is really where the province of B.C. is putting their grant opportunities as well as the feds.”
The government of Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada, is poised to receive a grant from Canada’s federal government to help it expand its landfill-gas-to-energy system. A mid-February announcement from Canada’s Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Ralph Goodale and Canada’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change Catherine McKenna, indicates the city will receive nearly CA$1.3 million (just under $1 million) in funding to help expand its landfill gas collection and recovery system. The funding is considered welcome news by the city’s mayor, Michael Fougere, who comments, “The landfill gas to energy project has been an unqualified success for the City of Regina, significantly reducing the methane gases produced by the landfill by 30 percent while also providing a financial benefit to our residents.”
Clean Energy Fuels Corp. (Nasdaq: CLNE) has set goals to offer Zero-Carbon1 Redeem™ renewable natural gas (RNG) at all of its fueling stations by 2025, summarized in its Corporate Sustainability Report unveiled today at the GreenBiz Conference. By transitioning exclusively to Redeem by 2025 and by achieving Zero-Carbon intensity, Clean Energy would outdistance other alternative fuels, including electric vehicles, which are not excepted to hit that mark until 2045. “In 2014, the first full year it was available, Clean Energy delivered more than 20 million gallons of Redeem to our stations, which represented 7 percent of our overall fuel mix. Last year, we delivered 110 million gallons of Redeem, which represents 53 percent of the RNG delivered in the market today.
Renewable Dairy Fuels, a business unit of Amp Americas, recently announced that it has expanded production at its biogas operation at Fair Oaks Farms in Indiana by 30 percent. The Indiana project was the first dairy biogas-to-transportation fuel project in the country and now has the capacity to produce over 2.3 million gallons per year of 100 percent renewable transportation fuel from dairy waste. RDF’s Fair Oaks facility remains the second-largest dairy biogas-to-transportation fuel project in the country, bested only by RDF’s facility in Jasper County, Indiana, which came online in August 2018 as the largest in the nation. With the completed expansion, the Fair Oaks project, which has been operating since 2011, now converts over 800,000 gallons of manure per day from 20,000 cows into renewable methane that is then captured, purified, and compressed to become RNG.
ReNu Energy and AGO Bioenergy GmbH (AGO) have reached a Cooperation Agreement to join forces in the deployment of bioenergy/waste-to-energy technology, equipment and services in Australia, New Zealand, and Asia-Pacific Region. AGO is a 100 per cent subsidiary of AGO AG Energie+Anlagen, a German based company with over 35 years’ experience in the designing, engineering, construction and supply of equipment to energy projects throughout Europe and Africa. The Cooperation Agreement with AGO will enable ReNu Energy to provide further BOOM solutions whilst also growing its business through the supply of AGO powered equipment, technology, and services. The Cooperation Agreement provides ReNu Energy with the potential to secure significant staged revenues through increased project returns, sales of capital equipment, provision of engineering services and technology transfer.
There have been no large-scale WTE projects in the U.S. since 2015, and biogas and anaerobic digestion development have slowed from previous heights due to the loss of certain federal tax incentives. Meanwhile, energy levels from wind, solar and natural gas continue to grow. The report also mentions 623 operational landfill gas-to-energy sites that weren’t counted toward overall project totals. According to the report, waste-related projects in the U.S. stand in stark contrast to those internationally. China saw a 300% increase in WTE capacity between 2009 and 2016 due in part to government investment, while the UK brought nine new WTE projects online in 2016.
With the start of the year still fresh in our minds, EBA has prepared an overview on the future biogas trends for 2019, taking into account the current EU priorities and the technical developments of the sector. Biogas – more than electricity, heat and biomethane: In June 2018 the EU institutions agreed on a new Renewable Energy Directive for the next decade, including a legally-binding EU-wide target of 32% for renewable energy by 2030. The biogas sector will undoubtedly contribute in achieving this goal. With a total of 17,783 biogas plants and an electricity production of 65,179 GWh in 2017 the European biogas market is established and mature. On the other hand, the number of biomethane plants is still growing quickly, from 187 plants in 2011 up to a total of 540 plants in 2017.
The proportion of biomethane in the Swedish vehicle gas mix continues to increase. New statistics from Statistics Sweden (SCB) show that the renewable share in 2018 is just over 91 percent. In addition, the total sales volume of vehicle gas increased by 1.6 GWh. Statistics for 2018 released by Statistics Sweden on February 19, 2019, show that the proportion of biomethane in vehicle grade gas reached 91.3 percent. Furthermore, the previous trend of decreasing vehicle gas sales volume has been bucked. In 2018, 1.5 TWh of vehicle gas was sold which is 1.6 GWh more than the previous year. Combined, the two metrics are welcome news for the Swedish Gas Association (Energigas Sverige). Vehicle gas has been available in Sweden since the early 1990s. At first, it consisted solely of natural gas, but since the emergence of biogas production and, more recently imports, the share of biomethane has increased year on year.