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Here’s an overview of key biogas news.
Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) has received approval from the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to begin the next phase of construction of four new dairy biomethane projects in California. Earlier this month, the CPUC approved contracts between SoCalGas and the projects’ four developers for the construction of infrastructure that will connect each biomethane facility to the SoCalGas pipeline system. When the facilities completed, biogas from anaerobic digesters at 35 dairies will be collected and then cleaned to produce pipeline-quality renewable natural gas (RNG).
Canada’s first national Bioeconomy Strategy, Leveraging our Strengths for a Sustainable Future released May 14, 2019 by Bioindustrial Innovation Canada reflects the views of more than 400 industry representatives from across the country. The Strategy recommends action on four key priority areas identified in foundational work by the Advisory Council on Economic Growth, the Economic Sector Strategy Tables, and Canada’s forestry ministers. These priority areas are:1) Creating agile regulation and government policy; 2) Establishing biomass supply and stewardship.
Five new biomethane refuelling stations will be opening across the UK this year to provide renewable fuels for heavy goods vehicles (HGVs). Solihull-based CNG Fuels will be constructing and operating the new fuel stations, to be part of a nationwide network of HGV stations aiming to cater for what the company describes as ‘soaring demand’ for access to biomethane, a renewable alternative to fossil fuel-derived compressed natural gas. Biomethane is derived from organic waste, such as food waste, treated in an anaerobic digester – heated to extremely high temperatures in the absence of oxygen to produce biogas, which is then cleaned and converted to biomethane.
New 2018 data from the California Air Resources Board indicates that the Low Carbon Fuel Standard continues to drive production of a growing volume of cleaner transportation fuels for California consumers: to date almost 3.3 billion gallons of petroleum diesel have been displaced by clean, low-carbon alternatives. The 2018 data also shows fuel producers are in 100 percent compliance with the LCFS. “Renewable and bio-diesel, renewable natural gas, ethanol, and electricity are all seeing growth under the LCFS,” said CARB Executive officer Richard W. Corey. “Californians have the widest variety of cleaner low-carbon vehicles available anywhere in the country.
Summit Utilities Inc., the parent company of Summit Natural Gas of Maine Inc., announced May 23 a new renewable natural gas (RNG) program aimed at supporting the local economy and fighting climate change. The program outlines three steps the company is taking to build a sustainable energy future: Partnering with Maine’s dairy industry to develop home-grown renewable natural gas through the construction of an anaerobic digester in Maine’s dairy capital, Clinton. Matching 5 percent of its Maine residential gas demand for the next year by purchasing renewable gas attributes (similar to carbon credits) at no cost to ratepayers. Developing a voluntary option for Maine
Monday saw the opening of the first Gasum first filling station with liquefied natural gas and biogas in Sweden. The number of filling stations is now set to greatly increase in Sweden in the coming year. Alternatives to diesel are increasing in popularity on the fuel market as carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions need to be reduced in Sweden and Europe. Several fuel companies are now investing in liquefied natural gas and biogas, thus planning to build many stations in the near future. One of them, Gasum, opened their first station in Sweden on Monday. It is their next step towards the 50 stations Gasum has planned in the Nordic countries.
Global biojet fuel marketer SkyNRG announced May 27 it will develop Europe’s first dedicated sustainable aviation fuel production plant in Delfzijl, The Netherlands. The facility is being scaled to produce 100,000 metric tons of biojet fuel and 15,000 tons of biobased liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) per year, along with naphtha, from regional waste and residue streams as primary feedstocks. No oils from so-called food crops such as soybean or palm will be used in production of the biojet fuel, nor will any byproducts from these sources, such as palm fatty acid distillates, be used.
A natural gas distribution company in Maine plans to get into the production side of things with a poop-to-gas renewable energy project to heat homes. Summit Utilities is partnering with Maine’s dairy industry through the construction of an anaerobic digester in Clinton to produce natural gas. Farms will provide the manure. According to Kurt Adams, president and chief executive officer, the company plans to spend about $20 million on the renewable natural gas project. He said it is part of Summit’s ongoing effort to invest in “innovative technologies that mitigate climate change.”
A new report from Bates White Economic Consulting predicts that both supply and demand for renewable natural gas (RNG) in the U.S. transportation sector will grow rapidly over the next five years. The report said the use of RNG in transportation grew to more than 300 million ethanol gallon equivalents last year, due in part to the federal Renewable Fuel Standard. The Coalition for Renewable Natural Gas (RNG Coalition) presented the report to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and White House Office of Management and Budget during a meeting earlier this month.
In 2018, renewable natural gas (RNG) on-road fuel use reached an historic high. Of the 645 million gasoline gallon equivalent of natural gas used as a motor fuel last year, more than 204 million gasoline gallon equivalent was renewable—equating to 32%. In states with a Low Carbon Fuel Standard program in place, like California, that figure is well over 90%. And an increasing number of natural gas fuelers are pledging to dispense 100% RNG at their stations within the next decade as more and more biomethane becomes available and new production facilities come on line. Over the last five years, RNG use as a transportation fuel has increased 577%, displacing over seven million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e).