RNG Use Rises as Policy Makers, Businesses See Benefits

By California Natural Gas Vehicles Coalition.

Investment in RNG as an ultralow-carbon transportation fuel is growing—spurred in large part by federal and state programs such as the Renewable Fuel Standard and California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard—and its fans are coming from all sectors: CARB, local air districts, public and private fleets, and the University of California.

“The focus on reducing short-lived climate pollutants is driving increased interest in developing RNG technologies,” said Coalition President Thomas Lawson. “In both the private and public sector, there is a more concentrated effort to reduce methane—and capturing it for use as a clean transportation fuel that displaces diesel is a win-win.”

According to the Coalition for Renewable Natural Gas (RNG Coalition), its members are on track to produce more than 622 million gallon equivalents of RNG in 2018, including more than 541 million for transportation. That’s 16 times the 2014 volume (as measured for the Renewable Fuel Standard), and enough RNG to displace more than 15 percent of diesel consumption in California. Right now, RNG projects are currently operating or under construction in 27 states, including California, Oregon, Washington, and Arizona.

“Between 2011 and 2016, the RNG industry has developed nearly as many projects as it developed in the 30 years prior. RNG production quintupled between 2013 and 2015, and is expected to triple again by the end of 2018,” said Johannes D. Escudero, CEO and executive director of the RNG Coalition.