Here’s an overview of key biogas news. This week, USA governments moves forward with bioenergy and renewable energy actions. Companies get involved in RNG and finds new feedstock to produce it. Researches and reports show dynamism of the industry.
Today, the U.S. Department of Energy announced the selection of 36 projects totaling $80 million to support early-stage bioenergy research and development (R&D). This R&D will enable cost-competitive, drop-in renewable hydrocarbon fuels, bio-based products, and power from non-food biomass and waste feedstocks. This work supports the Department of Energy’s (DOE) goal of reducing the cost of bio-based drop-in fuels to $3/gallon by 2022 to continue to provide consumers with affordable, reliable transportation energy choices. “The selections announced today highlight some of the most innovative and advanced bioenergy technologies that have the potential to produce new sources of reliable and affordable energy for American families and businesses,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Perry. “Developing all of our domestic energy resources is critical to keeping our nation prosperous and secure.”
On Aug. 28, the California Assembly passed Senate Bill 100 by a vote of 44 to 33. The legislation aims to require retail electricity suppliers within the state to secure 100 percent of their power from renewables or zero-emissions sources by 2045. The bill passed the California Senate on May 31 by a vote of 25 to 13. The legislation passed by the Assembly will now go back to the Senate to reconcile some minor differnces. It will then be considered by Gov. Jerry Brown. SB 100 was first introduced in last year by California Sen. Kevin de León, D-Los Angeles. The legislation directs the California Public Utilities Commission, California Energy Commission, and Air Resources Board to adopt policies and requirements to achieve total reliance on renewable energy and zero-carbon resources by 2025. It also requires a renewable portfolio standard (RPS) benchmark of 50 percent renewables by 2026, increasing to 60 percent by 2030.
The Maryland Energy Administration (MEA) recently announced a $2 million increase to the available funds for the Animal Waste to Energy Grant Program for the 2019 fiscal year. The program has up to $6 million in previously allocated funds, and has entered into a memorandum of understanding with the Maryland Department of Agriculture to make available an additional $2 million allocated via the Strategic Investment Fund. The program aims to encourage replacement of fossil fuels with biofuels to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, decrease dependency on foreign fuel, and build an additional revenue stream for farms. The program has two areas of interest (AOI), farm/pilot scale (capacities less than 2MW) and community/regional scale (capacities greater than 2MW). Businesses, government agencies, and non-profits are eligible for the program.
The worlds largest bioLNG plant, featuring Puregas Solutions technology, has been officially opened by Norwegian Prime Minister, Erna Solberg. The biogas upgrading and liquefaction plant was installed at the Norske Skog Skogn paper mill. The plant will convert the cleaned biogas from fishery waste and residual paper mill slurry into liquid bioLNG fuel. The plant, which will upgrade up to 3,000Nm3/h of raw biogas to Renewable Natural Gas (RNG), will be part of the largest biogas liquefaction plant in the Nordic Countries producing fuel for public transport vehicles. Construction was managed by the Scandinavian Biogas subsidiary Biokraft AS.“We are extremely proud to be involved in this project. Our unique CApure process is ideally suited to Liquefaction Projects as we are able to reduce the CO2 content of the biomethane to below 50ppm, making liquefaction possible”, said Sven Fischer, Key Account Manager bioLNG, Puregas Solutions.
CenterPoint Energy, Inc., a US-based power and gas transmission and distribution company, has recently filed a proposal with the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (MPUC) seeking approval to introduce a renewable natural gas (RNG) green tariff pilot program to its Minnesota customers. If approved, CenterPoint Energy customers would be able to enroll in the program as early as spring 2019. The company is one of the first natural gas providers in the United States to offer RNG to clients. According to CenterPoint Energy, the proposed program offers its customers in Minnesota (MN) the option to purchase renewable natural gas (RNG) through their monthly bill. RNG is chemically nearly identical to conventional natural gas but is sourced differently.
A new joint venture between Raízen and Geo Energética will create ‘the world’s first’ commercial scale plant to use the sugar cane by-products vinasse and filter cake as feedstocks in biogas production and power generation, according to a statement from the Brazilian-American Chamber of Commerce. Geo Energética claims to currently be the only company to use filter cake and sugarcane vinasse for biogas generation and power generation, at its 4MW demonstration plant. For the new joint venture Raízen will take an 85% state, and Geo Energética 15%. “With this initiative, Raízen reinforces its pioneering efforts in innovation and industry development with a focus on clean and renewable energy, in line with public policies, such as the RenovaBio,” said João Alberto Abreu, executive vice president of Raízen’s Ethanol, Sugar and Energy area.
Government initiatives and widespread enactment of stringent environmental laws to subdue the greenhouse gas emissions will drive the Europe biogas market, according to a report from Global Market Insights. Adoption of these systems has significantly escalated across the region owing to the rapid integration of renewable sources as a substitute for fossil fuels. The EU 2020 strategy aims at 20 per cent increase in energy efficiency and renewable adoption, with simultaneous decrease in emissions when compared to 1990 levels. Ongoing regulatory reforms to encourage the adoption of bioenergy along with rapid industrialization will propel the anaerobic digestion market share. Carbon tax, direct subsidies, tax rebates, feed in tariff, financial assistance and renewable portfolio standards are some of the incentives which will boost the product penetration over the forecast timeframe.
The Natural & bio Gas Vehicle Association (NGVA Europe) and the European Biogas Association (EBA) have released a roadmap document that unveils the contribution that g-mobility will play to mitigate Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions moving rapidly towards carbon neutral solutions for a more sustainable future.The concept of g-mobility stands for gas as a transport fuel that enables cleaner mobility, low-emissions transport and efficient use of gas in passenger cars, trucks, public transportation, and ships. It has vast potential to enable a cleaner future for transport, in which use of natural and renewable gas contribute to decarbonisation and improved air quality. Estimations about the European Natural Gas Vehicles (NGVs) market evolution show a potential in reaching a fleet of 13 million units in 2030, meaning a factor x 10 compared to today’s situation.
Europe uses natural resources unsustainably and the European Union has put in place policies on circular economy and bioeconomy in response. A new European Environment Agency (EEA) report argues that implementing these two concepts in tandem, by applying specific design principles within a systemic approach, would improve resource efficiency and reduce environmental pressures. The EEA report ‘The circular economy and the bioeconomy — Partners in sustainability‘ shows that the two policy agendas have similar objectives and areas of intervention, including food waste, biomass, and bio-based products, and that they would benefit from stronger links, particularly in product and infrastructure design, and collaboration throughout the value chain.
Biomass could cover the energy needs of all 28 member states of the EU from 19 November to the end of the year, according to Bioenergy Europe. The figures have been announced as part of the build up to Bioenergy Europe’s ‘European Bioenergy Day’, which will be held on 19 November to mark the point in the year from which Europe’s energy needs could be met with bioenergy. Significantly, the date falls two days earlier than in 2017. Bioenergy Europe, a recent rebrand of AEBIOM, converts the forecasts for Europe’s energy consumption into calendar format in order to make the calculations. The figures state that Europe will rely on fossil and nuclear energy for 293 days in 2018, and renewables, including bioenergy, for a total of 72 days.