The World’s Convergence on Renewable Natural Gas

By | 2018-04-02

More and more, the face of the energy sector in our society is changing. Governments and companies all over the world rely on renewable natural gas (RGN) and anaerobic digestion to accelerate energy transition of cities, states, and countries. These are among the most sustainable and economically advantageous alternatives in the energy sector. The Gas for Climate initiative recently published a study highlighting the importance of biomethane to meet climate targets in a cost-effective way. According to the European Biomethane Map 2018, the number of biomethane installations producing RNG  in Europe has been considerably increasing; it went up 165 % between 2012 and 2016, reaching more than 500 installations today. Here is an overview of recent actions taking place all around the world to promote anaerobic digestion used for the production of renewable natural gas. Indeed, one of the latest decisions worth mentioning is the investment of €4.7 billion in Italy in this industry.


France: Support of Farm-based Anaerobic Digestion

Ministry of Ecology Energy Transition established a working group on anaerobic digestion last February as part of Multi-Annual Programming Period on Energy (PPE). Last week, this working group issued 15 recommendations that aim to simplify and accelerate anaerobic digestion projects in France, to lower biomethane on-farm production costs and to help farmers to increase incomes. France wishes to catch up with Germany regarding the number of anaerobic digestion installations.

Recommendations include:

  • Creation of a 100 billion euros guarantee fund to help farmers making initial investment
  • Decrease of processing time for installations classified as for environment protection (ICPE) (from one year to six months)
  • Creation of a single window approach to simplify processing of regulatory applications
  • Launch of training program for farmers
  • Support of decarbonization of transportation for agricultural activities
  • Promotion of larger-scale projects to lower the costs
  • Creation of a national portal on anaerobic digestion for general public


 France-Québec Collaboration: Research and Innovations in Renewable Natural Gas

In March, at the 20th Alternate Meeting of the Premier of Quebec and the Prime Minister of France, Énergir, GRDF and GRTgaz signed a collaboration agreement to share best practices and researches in renewable energy development, fighting against GHG and promoting innovation and circular economy.

The planned annual meetings will especially focus on:

  • Valorisation of natural gas in energy transition
  • The development of renewable energy in France and Quebec
  • Technologies and innovations in renewable gas and anaerobic digestion, devices and counting technologies, their use and mobility issues.


Normandy: Anaerobic Digestion Projects with GRDF

Gaz Réseaux Distribution France (GRDF), the main distributor of natural gas in France, is currently studying 48 potential projects for farm-based anaerobic digestion of green wastes. Their commissioning is scheduled in a year or two and would provide enough energy for the annual consumption of 50,000 homes. The GRDF has set the target of obtaining a 100% green gas by 2050.


California: Production of Biogas from Dairy Cows

SoCalGasCo, SDG & E, PG & E and Southwest Gas announced last January that they would start accepting proposals for pilot projects to capture and process biogas from dairy cows to produce renewable natural gas. The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUP), the California Air Resources Board and the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) will select 5 of the most promising projects based on GHG reduction potential, environmental costs and benefits, among others.

These projects are part of the California Public Utilities Commission’s program to reduce methane emissions from agriculture in the state by 2030. In addition, the Department of Food and Agriculture plans to provide $ 75 million more in grant founding this year to support biogas development. They plan to set up 120 projects by 2022.


Washington: New Law to Propel Renewable Natural Gas

On March 22, Jay Inslee, Washington governor, signed a bill to increase the use of RNG, develop voluntary gas quality standards and promote production of renewable natural gas in Washington, DC, USA. This law will allow the state to reduce its methane emissions, use more renewable energy such as renewable natural gas, and promote rural economic development.

The law aims to:

  • Reinstate and expand financial incentives to stimulate investment in renewable natural gas projects
  • Support the collaboration of the Washington State University Extension Energy Program, the Department of Commerce and the Utilities and Transportation Commission to make recommendations for the promotion of sustainable renewable natural gas by September 1, 2018.
  • Develop voluntary quality standards for renewable natural gas that would be injected into the state’s natural gas pipeline system.


A Real Motion toward Renewable Natural Gas

All around the world, we are seeing a real accelerating movement towards renewable natural gas and anaerobic digestion. Those energies actually address a number of issues that companies, cities, and states face, among others. For example, we can mention the need to further develop waste valorization, strict government regulations for treating residual materials and existing national targets to reduce GHGs.

BiogasWorld’s mission fits perfectly in this way of seeing environmental issues. Our clients and their projects are located all over the world. You can also take advantage of these favorable circumstances for the development of anaerobic digestion projects. Check out our biogas project calculator or current anaerobic digestion and RNG bids. Do not hesitate to contact us to find out how we can help you realize your project!