Our Waste, Our Solution: RNG a Ready Answer for Fugitive Methane

By | 2024-05-08

The first few months of 2024 have offered more excitement for renewable natural gas (RNG) proponents across North America. Our journey now isn’t just about turning what we once saw as waste — from our farms, our cities, and our industries — into energy. It’s about rewriting the narrative of energy production to one that embraces our responsibility to the planet.

The RNG industry has witnessed significant breakthroughs recently. Take, for instance, Waga Energy’s launch of its first RNG project in the U.S., introducing innovative waste-to-energy technologies to a New York landfill. Then there’s the ambitious initiative between TotalEnergies and Vanguard Renewables, which aims to launch 10 new RNG projects over the next 12 months. These developments underscore a deep commitment to expanding our RNG capabilities, with contributions from both innovative upstarts and some of the largest energy companies in the world.

On the policy front, there’s a growing acknowledgment of the growing demand for cleaner transportation fuel options like RNG. New Mexico earlier this year enacted a clean fuel standard program that should offer further avenues for RNG demand in the transportation sector in the coming years. More states are currently considering clean fuel standard legislation of their own, inspired by California’s model program overseen by the California Air Resources Board.

Despite positive strides, industry members must remain steadfast in their commitment to educate and advocate for RNG. In California, we have recently allied with biofuel and clean energy groups to educate the public on the benefits of clean fuel standard programs through the “Low Carbon Fuels Work” campaign. This effort will help Californians understand the important environmental impact of biofuels under the state’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS), which has cut transportation emissions dramatically in recent years (in 2022 alone the program reduced emissions by 26 million metric tons — the equivalent of taking 5.8 million gas-powered cars off the road).

As we look forward, RNG Coalition is optimistic. With climate change concerns running high, it has never been more urgent that we find more sustainable means of handling our waste emissions. RNG, sourced from the refuse of our landfills, the output of our farms, and the byproducts of city life, offers a promising and impactful solution that can help protect our environment for present and future generations.