Here’s an overview of key biogas news.
Gov. Kate Brown, D-Ore., recently gathered with NW Natural and other renewable natural gas (RNG) stakeholders to ceremoniously sign a bill that will allow Oregon utilities to acquire RNG on behalf of their customers. NW Natural, a subsidiary of NW Natural Holding Co. and a natural gas service provider in Oregon and southwest Washington, worked with legislators to propose S.B.98 to create the path for RNG to become an increasing part of Oregon’s energy supply. S.B.98 outlines goals for adding as much as 30% RNG into the state’s pipeline system.
The Scottish Government has been forced into a four-year delay in its intended ban on sending biodegradable municipal waste to landfill because some councils said they could not be ready in time. Cabinet secretary for environment Roseanna Cunningham has put the ban back to 2025 from its previous start date of 2021. She told the Scottish Parliament: “The Government remains fully committed to ending the practice of sending biodegradable municipal waste to landfill.” While most local authorities and many commercial operators had long-term or interim solutions in place, “the evidence available suggests that full compliance by 2021 will not be possible without reliance on export options, including landfill in England, with consequent environmental impact and additional financial implications for local authorities”, Cunningham said.
Sens. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, and Pat Roberts, R-Kan., reintroduced the Agricultural Environmental Stewardship Act on Sept. 24. The bill aims to expand the biogas market by providing a 30 percent investment tax credit to help offset the upfront costs associated with building biodigester systems. “Ohio farmers are struggling to safely dispose of livestock waste that could be used for renewable energy,” Brown said. “This legislation will encourage investment in the technology needed to convert these waste materials into natural gas that can be used to power households and businesses across the country.”
In Wednesbury, the UK’s first municipal waste gasification plant is being developed by Kew Technology Ltd, in partnership with the Energy Technologies Institute (ETI), and which can be used to produce clean electricity, heat, hydrogen and liquid fuels from waste. Local West Bromwich MP Adrian Bailey recently visited the facility marking the plant’s capability to supply electricity to the grid from syngas, for the first time. Adrian Bailey, MP for West Bromwich West, recently met with energy experts from Kew Technology and the ETI to discuss the 1.5MWe Waste Gasification Commercial Demonstration Plant, built at the Sustainable Energy Centre in Wednesbury.
Between £26-35 billion is needed to transform the UK’s waste infrastructure to meet future demands, according to an economics report from Suez UK. “The Economics of Change in the Resources and Waste Sector”, paper assesses the key economic drivers within the waste industry and how substantial investment will be needed to meet environmental targets set by current and upcoming government policy – such as the 2050 goal for carbon neutrality and proposals in the Resources and Waste Strategy. Suez’s report breaks down the costs of various changes needed within the industry with an array of figures to reach the estimated needs total.
Xebec Adsorption Inc. (XBC.V) (XEBEF) (“Xebec”), a global provider of clean energy solutions announced it closed several contracts the past month totaling approximately CDN$11.7 million. The orders span the breadth of Xebec capabilities – from renewable natural gas (RNG) generation through several hydrogen purification projects including a fuel cell fueling application, syngas purification from waste gasification, and CO2 capture and use. In Canada, Xebec has been awarded a contract to supply and install a flange to flange biogas upgrading plant.
Brightmark Energy, a San Francisco-based waste to energy development company, announced today that it has partnered with four dairy farms in upstate New York to utilize anaerobic digesters that will convert a total of 225,000 gallons of dairy waste per day from 11,000 cows into biogas and other useful products. After the planned installation of gas upgrade equipment is completed at the Swiss Valley, Zuber, Boxler, and Lake Shore farms, as well as a fifth farm that is expected to be finalized next month, the project is anticipated to generate about 260,000 MMBtu of renewable natural gas each year.
BBI International and the Coalition for Renewable Natural Gas (RNG Coalition) announced this week that the RNG Coalition is collaborating with Biomass Magazine to produce, design and release a new 2020 North American Renewable Natural Gas Facilities Map. The announcement was made in front of more than 300 attendees at RNG WORKS 2019, the industry’s annual two-day Technical Workshop & Trade Expo held this week in Music City. “We’re pleased to work together with Biomass Magazine to generate this new resource,” says Marcus Gillette, director of public affairs at the RNG Coalition.
Dairy Cares reports that the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) announced this month that California’s dairy farms will soon be more than halfway to achieving the state’s world-leading target for reducing methane. The update was part of CDFA’s announcement that an additional $102 million has been awarded this year to support the implementation of dairy methane reduction projects. 93 new projects were funded, including 43 methane digesters that capture methane and 50 alternative manure management projects. There are currently more than 229 dairy methane reduction projects in operation or under development on California dairy farms.
A recent study has revealed biomethane-fuelled cars are the best transportation option to preserve air quality. The research, conducted by IFP Energies Nouvelles in France, reveals that light vehicles running on biomethane are more environmentally-friendly than other technologies. The study compares the carbon footprint of the lifecycle of compressed natural gas (CNG) and biomethane vehicles to that of diesel, gasoline and electric vehicles. According to the European Biogas Association (EBA), this research pre-empts the intention of the European Commission to evaluate ‘the possibility of developing a common Union method for the evaluation of CO2 emissions throughout the lifecycle of these vehicles” in 2023.