Here’s an overview of key biogas news.
The Virginia Clean Economy Act, which requires nearly all coal-fired plants in the state to close by 2024, has been signed into law. On 12 April, Governor Ralph Northam signed the act an amended the Clean Energy and Community Flood Preparedness Act, that requires Virginia to join the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. The Virginia Clean Economy Act focuses on several key areas, such as establishing renewable portfolio standards and energy efficiency standards. The law requires new measures to promote energy efficiency and sets a timeline for closing old fossil fuel power plants.
The Port of Seattle has stepped up its environmental efforts and unveiled a plan to halve emissions by 2030. In a statement, the Port of Seattle Commission agreed the plan at its meeting on April 14 2020. Additionally, it said the plan stems from authorization for a 10-year supply contract with U.S. Gain for Renewable Natural Gas (RNG), a low-carbon natural gas alternative produced most often from landfill waste. RNG produces no new carbon emissions because it replaces fossil fuels and recycles existing carbon in the atmosphere.
Local farms are producing so much produce right now, there’s nowhere for it to go. Many crops take 60 to 90 days to grow, so there’s no way to pull the plug on more fruits and vegetables arriving soon. “Right now we’re supposed to be starting our busy season but that is not coming to fruition with the issues with COVID-19,” Tom Ikeda, Co-Owner of Ikeda Brothers farming said. Many local farms are a lot slower these days as the demand from the food service industry has been on a massive decline. “With schools closing and restaurants not being open, it’s really shrunk the avenues we have that our produce goes to,” explained Dan Sutton, general manager of the Pismo Oceano Vegetable Exchange (POVE).
U.S. Gain recently completed a gas processing facility at Clover Hill Dairy in Campbellsport, Wisconsin. The result is good news for the renewable natural gas industry, the environment and the farm. Anaerobic digesters break down organic matter and, as the bacteria used in the process “work,” they generate biogas. The non-methane components of the biogas are removed so the methane can be used as a fuel or energy source. The upgrade at Clover Hill Dairy was necessary to begin production of renewable natural gas (RNG), a cleaner and more desirable alternative fuel that reduces transportation emissions and ultimately, the end-users’ carbon footprint.
Balmoral Tanks has introduced a range of glass fused to steel (GFS) liquid storage tanks and hopes to support the ‘green energy revolution’. The Aberdeen, Scotland-based company manufactures storage tanks for the water, wastewater, anaerobic digestion (AD) and processing sectors. Its new tanks provide “a new level of excellence” in glass enamel coating technology, according to the company’s managing director Allan Joyce, which will enhance the firm’s capability to provide clients with the right product for every project.
Some UK gas network companies have launched a major new project to have the country’s gas grid ready to switch to hydrogen-ready boilers, Kallanish Energy reports. The so-called Gas Goes Green program was commissioned last week by five UK gas network companies: National Grid, Wales & West Utilities, Northern Gas Networks, Cadent and SGN. It’s also promoted by the Energy Networks Association (ENA). The project is aimed at delivering the changes needed to move Britain’s 284,000km of gas pipelines to zero carbon hydrogen and biomethane.
A joint survey matching organic waste producers to their nearest anaerobic digestion (AD) operators has been launched in the UK. The Anaerobic Digestion and Bioresources Association (ADBA) and the Renewable Energy Association (REA) created the survey in response to the increase in organic waste surpluses, caused by the COVID-19 lockdown. According to the organisations, one of the main consequences of the lockdown has been a large amount of additional organic wastes generated by the closure of markets for food and drink producers such as farms, fisheries and breweries.
Today, the Gas for Climate consortium published the ‘Gas Decarbonisation Pathway 2020-2050′ study by Guidehouse (formerly called Navigant), analysing the transition towards the lowest cost climate neutral system by 2050. Such a fully integrated energy system was described in the Gas for Climate study published in 2019. This new study highlights that additional EU climate and energy policies are needed to position Europe on the road to net zero by 2050. Its central and aspirational Accelerated Decarbonisation Pathway examines which investments and innovations have to take place in order to achieve a 2030 greenhouse gas reduction target of minus 55%, and climate neutrality by 2050.
Natural Gas Vehicles for America (NGVAmerica) and the Coalition for Renewable Natural Gas (RNG Coalition) announced that 39% of all on-road fuel used in natural gas vehicles in calendar year 2019 was renewable natural gas (RNG). Captured above ground from organic material in agricultural, wastewater, landfill or food waste, RNG produces carbon-neutral and even carbon-negative results when fueling on-road vehicles such as short- and long-haul trucks, transit buses, and refuse and recycling collection vehicles. RNG fuel has the lowest EER-adjusted carbon intensity of any on-road motor fuel—as low as -400.
Food waste’s role in climate change has long been a driving topic for publications like BioCycle, as well as for environmental groups, organics recyclers and other invested parties. The Drawdown report echoes those conversations already playing out in the sector, but is notable for its emphasis on the extent to which waste reduction and the industry can play a role in dramatically limiting global warming. The group’s findings maintain that point could be possible within the next two decades if human behaviors change dramatically.