Here’s an overview of key biogas news.
Reps. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., and Scott Peters, D-Calif., introduced legislation Aug. 13 that aims to extend tax credits for investments in qualified renewable energy production, including closed-loop biomass, open-loop biomass, municipal solid waste, geothermal, qualified hydropower, and marine and hydrokinetic. The bill, titled the Renewable Electricity Tax Credit Equalization Act, or H.R. 4186, was introduced Aug. 13 and referred to the Committee on Ways and Means. To date, no other members of Congress have signed on to cosponsor the bill. Tax incentives for electricity produced from the technologies addressed by the bill have been expired for the past two years, since 2017.
A new renewable natural gas (RNG) project is moving forward in the City of Longmont, Colo. In late July, contractor CGRS Inc. brought in Maverick Steel Inc. to begin erecting the steel on a site at the northwest corner of the city’s wastewater treatment plant (WWTP). The steel provides the frame for an approximately 23,000-square-foot building for Longmont’s biogas treatment and RNG fueling station project, which will transform byproducts from the WWTP into renewable fuel for the city’s trash trucks. The front side of the building will house approximately 10,000 square feet of administrative offices on two stories; the remaining 13,000 square feet will serve as the RNG fueling station.
Plans for a £200 million (€215.8 million) waste-to-energy plant on the outskirts of Preston, UK, have moved one step closer to fruition. Preston City Council’s planning committee voted not to object to the proposals put forward by infrastructure development, asset management and investment company Miller Turner. The firm plans to build the plant at Red Scar industrial estate. Lancashire County Council’s development control committee will make the final decision on whether the facility can be built. Director of planning at Miller Turner, Paul Zanin, told Blog Preston: “We are pleased that Preston’s Planning Committee supported the recommendation to support our plans for Longridge Road Energy Centre.
Renewable biomethane has entered the network at Ireland’s first purpose-built injection facility in County Kildare. Gas Networks Ireland announced the news alongside revealing it has applied for planning permission for a second injection point in North Cork. This is the firm’s first step in its €28 million plan to roll out a network of renewable gas injection facilities in Ireland. Denis O’Sullivan, managing director of Gas Networks Ireland, said: “Renewable gas is a key pillar in our plan to fully decarbonise the gas network by 2050 through a combination of renewable gas, carbon capture and storage and the use of hydrogen.”
Cow manure is getting a new use in California. Southern California Gas and Calgren Dairy Fuels have teamed up on a project to create a dairy renewable natural gas facility and to produce a fuel for alternate vehicles, Kallanish Energy reports. The project is located in the Central Valley in the community of Pixley and is just beginning operations. The facility is the first of its kind in California and is expected to be the largest dairy biogas operation in the U.S. when completed later this year. At the facility, Calgren and partner Maas Energy Works collects cow manure via pipeline from four local dairy farms and processes it in an anaerobic digester that accelerates the natural decomposition process.
In the United States (US), San Francisco-based waste and energy development company Brightmark Energy LLC has recently announced that it has purchased an anaerobic digester northwest of Madison, Wisconsin (WI) that will convert 90 000 gallons per day of dairy waste from three local farms into biogas and other useful products. Brightmark Energy purchased the digester from Clean Fuel Partners, which will continue its work on the project by providing operations and maintenance support. Brightmark Energy purchased the digester from Clean Fuel Partners for an undisclosed sum.
In Sweden, food and consumer goods distributor and retailer ICA Gruppen has declared that road transports for the Group’s Swedish companies will be fossil-free by 2030 at the latest. In the metropolitan areas in Sweden, the ambition is to achieve this goal by 2025. The transport sector is undergoing major changes in pace with realisation that the shift from fossil to fossil-free fuels needs to take place quickly in order to reduce the climate impact from transports. According to a statement, with a new fuel strategy, ICA Gruppen is charting out a “clear direction” for developing its environmental work surrounding transports.
An Atlas Copco oxygen generator is helping a German biogas producer to create cleaner, more sustainable methane. Nat-Ur-Gas Solschen commissioned Bioconsruct, based in the German city of Melle, to design and build their biogas plant in 2016. Desulphurisation of biogas using oxygen produces a more sustainable energy source for the grid and reduces operating costs through improved energy efficiency by up to 50%. The plant currently produces 1500 m3 of biogas per hour with an average methane content of 53%. The biogas is then concentrated further to a methane content of 94% in a treatment plant via membranes.
Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) and Electrochaea today announced the commissioning of the nation’s first scalable biomethanation reactor system at the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) Energy System Integration Facility in Golden, Colo. The technology uses renewable electricity to convert hydrogen into pipeline quality methane for use in homes, businesses and in transportation. Over the next 24 months, the project will assess the commercial viability of this power-to-gas approach to energy storage and decarbonization and provide insights into potential mega-watt scale system designs. The announcement was made in conjunction with NREL’s third annual Partner Forum.
Last week, the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released its “Climate Change and Land” report, which detailed how climate change is already threatening food and water supplies for humans. The report also states that one significant source of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions come from global food production, including landfilling of food waste. Yet it is already within our power to reduce these emissions. David Shonnard is a professor of chemical engineering at Michigan Technological University, the Richard and Bonnie Robbins Chair in Sustainable Materials and the director of the Sustainable Futures Institute.