Study: RNG Fuel Use in California Transportation

By Lauren Tyler, NGT News.

A team from the University of California Davis conducted a study for the California Air Resources Board examining the feasibility of producing large quantities of renewable natural gas (RNG) fuels for use in transportation in California.

As reported, the study found that the state could produce 14 billion cubic feet (bcf) per year of RNG by the 2020s, meeting approximately 85% of current natural gas use in California transportation at Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) credits of $120 per metric ton of CO2.

Further, the study says RNG use could be much higher if the LCFS credits were combined with U.S. federal Renewable Identification Number credits, part of the Renewable Fuels Standard.

Given the appropriate policy and market measures, the state’s RNG production potential is 90.6 bcf per year (approximately 750 million gasoline gallons). Overall, it appears that the main barriers to large-scale RNG use are the state’s high cost of pipeline interconnection and the cost of upgrading to pipeline standards.