Here’s an overview of key biogas news.
Last week, EPA proposed to eliminate regulation of methane emissions from the oil and gas industry. The most noteworthy response to the proposal came from the large producers. ExxonMobil, Shell, and BP all oppose the rollback. In fact, Shell went on record not that long ago requesting the EPA increase the stringency of oil and gas methane regulation. Anyone else hear an echo of the large automakers’ response to the Administration’s efforts to relax fuel efficiency standards? I detect two related elements at work. First, as I have frequently noted, it’s not obvious that Trump cares at all about the substance of policy.
The world’s first project to turn biogas from sewage into hydrogen and graphite has received substantial financial backing from the Australian government. The venture forms part of Australia’s efforts to develop hydrogen as a clean alternative fuel source. The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has approved up to $9.41 million (€5.78 million) in funding to Hazer Group for the construction and operation of a ‘ground-breaking’ hydrogen production facility in Munster, Western Australia. Hazer is seeking to build a $15.8 million (€15,800,000), 100-tonne per annum facility to demonstrate its hydrogen production technology.
The comment period of the U.S. EPA’s proposed rule to set 2020 renewable volume obligations (RVOs) under the Renewable Fuel Standard, along with the 2021 RVO for biomass-based diesel closed Aug. 30. More than 5,600 comments were filed on the rulemaking. The rule proposes to require 20.04 billion gallons of renewable fuels to be blended with the U.S. fuel supply next year, up from 19.92 billion gallons in 2019. The proposed RVO includes 5.04 billion gallons of advanced biofuels, 2.43 billion gallons of biomass-based diesel, and 540 million gallons of cellulosic fuel. The 2020 RVO for biomass-based diesel was finalized in a separate rulemaking last year.
A delivery of 40 trucks featuring clean engine technology to a major US port drayage company will help California ports meet their emission targets. Total Transportation Services, Inc. (TTSI) has taken delivery of 20 Volvo and 20 Freightliner Class 8 trucks equipped with the new Cummins ISX12N CNG/LNG engine, which uses 90% fewer NOx emissions than the current North American EPA standard. These trucks use renewable natural gas (RNG) – from organic waste that gets refined to meet emissions standards. This is the largest single purchase to date of this new clean engine technology of any fleet servicing the Ports of Los Angeles or Long Beach.
In August 2019, SCS Energy broke ground on construction of a 4,000-scfm landfill gas to renewable natural gas (RNG) plant in Indianapolis. Indy High Btu, LLC engaged SCS Energy to build the RNG plant under an engineer/procure/construct (EPC) agreement. Indy High Btu, LLC is jointly owned by Kinetrex Energy, Southside Landfill, and EDL Energy. The RNG plant employs an iron redox scrubber for hydrogen sulfide removal, membranes for carbon dioxide removal and pressure swing adsorption for nitrogen removal. The plant is on schedule to achieve commercial operation in February 2020.
A major investment in an anaerobic digestion (AD) plant on the Norfolk-Suffolk border signals the long-term viability of green gas, an expert said. Listed environmental infrastructure fund JLEN has announced the acquisition of Warren Power Ltd, which runs an AD plant at Methwold, near Thetford. The £14.8m deal marks the second AD plant in East Anglia to be bought by JLEN, which also owns the Egmere Energy plant in north Norfolk. JLEN says its investment policy is to “invest in environmental infrastructure projects that have the benefit of offering its investors long-term, predictable, inflation-linked cash flows supported by long-term contracts or stable regulatory frameworks”.
Foresight has announced the acquisition of two large scale AD plants as part of the sale of Strutt & Parker (Farms) Limited, one of East Anglia’s oldest and best-known diversified farming businesses. The Euston and Bay Farm plants are located in Thetford and Newmarket. In combination, the plants will produce c. 95,000MWh of power per annum, which is the energy equivalent of powering 30,000 homes in the UK. Both plants are fully operational with remaining operating lives of 17 and 18 years for Euston and Bay Farm respectively. On an annual basis, the portfolio will offset approximately 10,700 tonnes of CO2 compared electricity generated from coal.
The UK Anaerobic Digestion and Bioresources Association (ADBA) has welcomed the publication of the Protecting Scotland’s Future strategy for the coming year by the Scottish Government. A clear aim of the strategy is to end Scotland’s contribution to climate change and to continue working towards achieving its target of net zero emissions by 2045. It responds to 12 specific asks by the recently created Climate Emergency Response Group and pledges to continue to work collaboratively across various sectors. The UK Anaerobic Digestion and Bioresources Association (ADBA) has welcomed the publication of the Scottish Government’s programme of action for 2019-2020 and beyond, which puts emphasis on addressing climate change and achieving its net zero carbon emissions target by 2045 though a range of policies, including decarbonising transport and heat.
Canada’s national clean fuels associations forecast greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reductions of over 50 million tonnes (Mt) per year by 2030 through greater production and use of renewable energy in Canada. The associations, Advanced Biofuels Canada (ABFC), Canadian Biogas Association (CBA), Canadian Gas Association (CGA), Electric Mobility Canada (EMC) and Wood Pellet Association of Canada (WPAC), represent a significant part of the spectrum of Canada’s primary clean fuel industries. Together, we share a belief that investments to increase the production and use of clean and renewable fuels and electric vehicles (EVs) to meet Canada’s GHG emissions targets will stimulate clean growth, create jobs, and achieve significant greenhouse gas reductions over the next decade.
Cutting-edge AI technology could be used to save the equivalent of 40,800 meals a year at the International Convention Centre (ICC) in Birmingham. The venue has been working with its in-house caterer Amadeus to cut food waste by a third to support its sustainability drive. Amadeus have teamed up with Winnow Solutions to install software that monitors both the type and amount of food being disposed of. Data is validated by the user selecting the item that’s being disposed of from a catalogue on an iPad. The iPad is connected to Winnow which then weighs it, allowing for accurate daily and weekly reporting on wastage levels.