Here’s an overview of key biogas news.
The U.S. House of Representatives on May 15 voted 208 to 199 to pass a fourth COVID-19 stimulus package. The bill, known as the HEROES Act, would provide dedicated relief for biofuel producers by establishing the Renewable Fuel Reimbursement Program. The program provides a 45 cent per gallon payment for qualified fuel produced by eligible producers from Jan. 1, 2020, through May 1, 2020. Qualified fuel includes any renewable fuel or advanced biofuel that qualifies as biofuel under the Renewable Fuel Standard, including corn ethanol.
The project will turn cow manure and food waste into renewable natural gas, which will be sold to a nearby college. After milk prices collapsed in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, Chase Goodrich knew his family’s Vermont dairy farm needed to diversify its revenue. More than a decade later, construction is finally underway on the Goodrich Family Farm on an anaerobic digester that will turn cow manure and food waste into a renewable natural fuel for use by a local college and gas utility.
Innogy Energo s.r.o., currently the largest public network of CNG stations in the Czech Republic, has announced its plan to test 100% renewable gas in its 63 CNG filling stations located throughout the country by the end of June. Innogy obtains the bioCNG from the Rapotín Energy Recycling Center (ECR), which belongs to the Energy financial group holding. “Biomethane is a full-fledged alternative to electromobility, but at significantly lower input costs. It is as renewable as electricity produced from the sun or wind and does not require any additional engine modifications.
Plans for a renewable energy plant at a Philadelphia refinery complex may still be in the works following a court decision that clears the way for the property’s sale, reports State Impact Pennsylvania. The renewable energy plant, to be developed by RNG Energy Solutions, signed an agreement with Philadelphia Energy Solutions (PES) in 2017. A plan was presented to and praised by city officials in 2018, and the process of obtaining city and state permits had begun. As proposed, the plant would have the potential to turn 1,100 tons of commercial food waste from the Philadelphia region, that otherwise would be burned or sent to landfills and incinerators, into 22,000 to 24,000 gallons of renewable natural gas every day using anaerobic digesters.
Wartsila Corp (HEL:WRT1V) has entered into a 12-month co-development agreement with Vantaa Energy Ltd that could lead to the construction of a carbon-neutral synthetic biogas production facility in Finland. The two Finnish companies have agreed to conduct a joint concept feasibility study for a power-to-gas plant at Vantaa Energy’s waste-to-energy facility in the city of Vantaa. Through this process, the pair will confirm the optimal size of the project along with the cost of synthetic biogas for use in district heating.
The World Biogas Association (WBA) has appointed a council to support its development and that of the global industry. Since forming in November 2016, the WBA has worked on several important projects highlighting the potential of biogas and its role in a low-carbon future. Recently, it rallied its members, including industry giants Engie, SUEZ and SHV to sign a declaration committing the biogas sector to deliver a 12% reduction in global greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. Now, the WBA Council will help to further the organisation’s goals.
Weltec Biopower is to build a biogas plant in Veria, Greece, this summer. The main investor and operator of the project is one of the largest abattoirs for cows and pigs in Greece. The 500 kW plant, which Weltec has planned in partnership with its Greek partner, Tetoros Machinery, is set to go live in mid-November. According to Greek research institute CRES, the waste from animal husbandry and slaughtering in Greece amounts to 17.5 million tonnes per year. This equates to a potential biogas capacity of around 370 MW.
In the United States (US), U.S. Gain, a leader in the development, procurement and distribution of renewable natural gas (RNG) for the transportation and energy markets, has announced that it has reached an off-take agreement with DTE Biomass Energy Inc., for RNG produced at Statz Brothers Farms located in Marshall, Wisconsin (WI). Purchased RNG will be taken to the California transportation market. Two digesters located at Statz Brothers Farms have been making renewable electricity since 2009 and as their power purchase agreement neared expiration, the farm was seeking new opportunities to utilize the onsite digesters.
Leading industry trade body, the Gas Vehicle Network, GVN, statistics show that in 2019 almost 80% of the total dispensed volume of gas for transport fuel was biomethane-a renewable and sustainable low carbon fuel. Mike Foster, CEO of the Gas Vehicle Network said: “Clean, low carbon, gas powered vehicles are an obvious, sustainable ‘no brainer’ for the freight and transport industry. These latest statistics- a 22% increase from 2018- clearly show the direction of travel for the HGV sector.”
Growing supplies of renewable natural gas is key to reducing emissions from trucks and buildings, says Southern California Gas Co. The largest dairy renewable natural gas production facility in the US is now even bigger, according to its operator, Calgren Dairy Fuels. Four additional dairies were recently added to the company’s dairy digester operation in Pixley, California. Now, a total of 10 dairies are sending methane from their cows’ waste to be processed into renewable natural gas (RNG).