Renewable Gas / Bio Gas

Renewable Natural Gas (RNG), also known as bio-methane or biogas, is pipeline quality gas derived from biomass that is fully interchangeable with natural gas. The future natural gas network could include renewable gas from dairy farms, waste water treatment plants, landfills, wood waste and food waste plants.

In the Northeast, there is growing interest and initiatives toward implementing RNG. Vermont Gas is the first utility in the nation with a retail RNG offering. National Grid has been an active proponent for several years of incorporating biogas into the natural gas system. In fall 2018, Con Edison announced it is panning the construction of up to three renewable gas facilities that would turn food waste, sludge, yard and other waste into natural gas. These projects would reduce the need for conventional natural gas by up to 7,100 dekatherms on a peak winter day. Also in fall 2018 Liberty Utilities in New Hampshire announced an RNG project to capture the gas currently being produced by decomposing organic matter at the Bethlehem, NH landfill and process it, so that it will match the chemical composition of conventional natural gas. This project is expected to provide approximately 475,000 dekatherms of Renewable Natural Gas annually in the first 10 years of operation, all of which will be used to serve customers in New Hampshire. The utility notes: "The supply of RNG from the Bethlehem landfill represents approximately 6% of Liberty Utilities' total annual sales in New Hampshire. Capturing, cleaning and using this gas not only combats climate change, it also reduces emissions at the landfill."

Finally, NGA is working in New York State on an "(RNG) Interconnect Guidance Document" intended to enhance understanding of both technical and policy issues to ensure RNG project interconnect success.

Source: National Grid

The U.S. Department of Energy notes that "like conventional natural gas, RNG can be used as a transportation fuel in the form of compressed natural gas (CNG) or liquefied natural gas (LNG). RNG qualifies as an advanced biofuel under the Renewable Fuel Standard."

The Gas Technology Institute (GTI) notes that "Bio-methane and liquid biofuels provide an opportunity to supply affordable, clean, domestically-sourced energy to U.S. and global energy customers. These renewable energy sources can help companies comply with renewable portfolio standard (RPS) requirements, low carbon fuel standards, and other policy-driven efforts intended to promote the use of renewable and sustainable energy resources for power generation, transportation, and other end use market applications."