On August 1, 2012, The National Petroleum Council (NPC) in approving its report, Advancing Technology for America’s Transportation Future, also approved the making available of certain materials used in the study process, including detailed, specific subject matter papers prepared or used by the study’s Task Groups and/or Subgroups. NPC has kindly agreed that one of those reports: Topic Paper #22 — Renewable Natural Gas for Transportation: An Overview of the Feedstock Capacity, Economics, and GHG Emission Reduction Benefits of RNG as a Low-Carbon Fuel — also be made available from the IANGV Knowledgebase website. Read more »
In the December 2012 issue of Energy World (published by Energy Institute), John Baldwin, MD of CNG Services in the United Kingdom, expressed his thoughts about the future of natural gas in the UK, from which the following has been largely drawn.
Gas demand in the UK has been primarily met by indigenous gas production from the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS) but, in recent years, UKCS production has been declining and imports have been rising to meet demand. The demand for gas energy is likely to increase as other solutions will not have sufficient generation capacity. “Therefore, electricity will be generated by a small amount of nuclear, perhaps some coal with carbon capture and storage (CCS) and wind energy, with gas as the predominant supply.” Baldwin says gas alone has the capacity to meet demand on a windless day.
Biogas from anaerobic digestion makes a contribution but is limited in supply to around 10% of domestic customer gas demand.
In the face of transport-generated greenhouse gas emissions (20% of total UK emissions), the government supports the introduction of electric vehicles (EVs), but the shortfall in renewable energy generation means “it is likely that EVs will be adding to carbon dioxide emissions compared to petrol hybrid or low emission diesel cars.” Read more »
The Baltic Biogas project commenced in 2009 and ended 2012. The outcomes and recommendations of the project about how to start using biogas as transport fuel are recorded on the project website at balticbiogasbus.eu/web/. Lennart Hallgren, Project Manager, concludes that biogas buses are the best choice for urban public transport to lower emissions of green house gases and improve inner city air quality while creating energy autonomy and more sustainable jobs. Biogas will also significantly contribute to reaching the EU 2020 targets. Read more »
A New York-based energy research organization has published a report: Renewable Natural Gas (RNG): The Solution to a Major Transportation Challenge — that states use of renewable natural gas as a vehicle fuel is a technologically viable alternative to relying exclusively on petroleum-based fuels for transportation. The new publication was prepared by Energy Vision, a New York-based energy research organization, and CALSTART, a California-based leader in clean transportation technologies. It details the many benefits of converting organic wastes into clean vehicle fuel. Read more »
The Global Methane Initiative (GMI)’s new International Best Practices Guide for Landfill Gas Energy (LFGE) Projects provides a broad overview of the development process for LFGE projects and presents the technological, economic and political considerations that typically affect the success of LFGE projects in international settings. The guide presents best practices that encourage environmentally and economically sound LFGE projects and connects stakeholders with available information, tools and services. It is intended for representatives of national, regional, and local governments; landfill owners; energy service providers; corporations and industries; and representatives of not-for-profit organizations. Read more »
Energigas Sweden, a member-funded industry organisation that works to increase the use of energy gases, published statistics for 2011. A summation of the 2011 production and use of biogas shows that the proportion of biogas that goes to the automotive sector this year is by far the largest. 50% of the produced biogas is upgraded and is now used as a vehicle fuel.
Altogether there are 233 biogas production plants of which 135 sewage treatment plants, 55 landfills, 19 co-digestion plants and five industrial gas plants. Farm biogas plants has increased by five and is now 19 in number. Sewage treatment plants still account for nearly half of the production. The co-digestion plants which include household waste, slaughterhouse waste and manure from farm biogas digested increased volume by almost 20 percent compared to 2010. The amount of biogas from landfills declined simultaneously.
“Despite a glaring demand there is not enough increase in biogas productions. And it is the political signals and long-term rules of the game are missing. The government does not provide any information on the conditions in the future or on operational instruments to get this market,” says Anders Mathiasson, president Energigas Sweden.
(Information from Energigas Sweden news)
Roadmap Report Summary now available in English
Finland’s Ministry of Transport and Communications set up a “Future motive powers in transport” task force in January 2012 define targets and plans for achieving them, for different transport sectors including road, rail, water and air transport in 2020 and 2050.
A sector report covering renewable methane (see endnote) was prepared by the Finnish Biogas Association and North Karelian Traffic Biogas Network Development Programme. A 31 page summary in English of the full interim 133 page Finnish report has recently been published – “Roadmap to renewable methane economy.”
The report outlines a target of 40% use of renewable methane in the transport sector by 2050. This includes the road transport sector, with an interim goal of 2% use by 2020, and the marine sector, which will see at least 20 vessels running on biomethane by 2020.
The final report of the task force will be published in spring 2013.
Endnote: Renewable methane means biomethane, wind methane, solar methane and other methane fuels produced by renewable energy sources.
More information – NGV Global News item: Finnish Transport Sector Sets 40% Renewable Methane Target.
The first UK Biomethane Day 2012 was held June 26, 2012 at the National Motorcycle Museum in Birmingham. The event was staged as part of the Green Gas Grids Project, which is a pan European collaboration aimed at promoting the benefits of biomethane injection and its purpose was to give the audience a detailed briefing in relation to biomethane injection.
The success of this first event ensured continuity through 2017. The event is run by REA and CNG Services and it is the largest gathering in the gas-to-grid industry. With 84 plants having injected biomethane by the end of 2016, “Green Gas” is starting to make a material contribution on the UK’s path to lower carbon.
More information on the UK Biomethane Day can be found on the CNG Services website.