Dairy-derived RNG from Maas Energy’s facilities in Merced began flowing into PG&E’s gas transmission system in December 2021. The project was primarily funded through the California Public Utilities Commission’s Dairy Biomethane Pilot Program, established as part of the state’s strategy to reduce emissions of short-lived climate pollutants. Approximately 55% of California’s methane emissions come from dairies and livestock, according to data from the California Air Resources Board.
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Cyclum Renewables has plans to construct a national network of renewable fuel truck stops powered by renewable natural gas.
The network of large-scale renewable truck stops will facilitate the transition of commercial trucking towards sustainable practices. They will dispense compressed renewable natural gas, biodiesel, hydrogen, and electricity for electric-vehicle charging.
Each station is designed to minimize environmental impact by producing power onsite through RNG turbines and solar, while operating with sustainable business practice, company officials said.
With all the buzz surrounding battery-electric and hydrogen-fuel-cell-electric trucks as the best ways to slash transport emissions, natural gas is once again emerging as a significant challenger to the clean power sources.
But as the trucking industry is forced to phase out emissions, could natural gas re-emerge as a popular option?
If refuse truck fleets operated on renewable natural gas made from organic waste, it could drastically reduce U.S. methane emissions, according to a new report from Energy Vision.
Energy Vision — which has been promoting the production and use of RNG since 2009 — published a new report to assess various alternative fuels and new vehicle technologies for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and other negative impacts from waste and recycling collection truck fleets.
The report examines nine options refuse fleets can use to lower their impacts, ranging from biodiesel and renewable diesel, to fossil and renewable natural gas, to hybrid technologies, to battery electric vehicles, DME, and hydrogen.
Compressed natural gas (CNG), renewable diesel, biodiesel, propane autogas, electricity: Fleets have no shortage of alt fuels from which to choose. While it’s nice to have choices, it can make selecting the right alt-fuel truck complicated. Each fuel type has its benefits and drawbacks, so how do fleets simplify the evaluation process?
Several major news announcements in 2021 shaped the future of the natural gas industry. The announcement in February of a major order of natural gas trucks by Amazon for their fleet was followed by the news that the fleet would be powered by renewable natural gas (RNG). This drove increased development of renewable natural gas infrastructure investment including a joint venture with Clean Energy Fuels Corp. and BP to finance and develop new projects at dairy farms. Chevron is also investing in Clean Energy Fuels Corp’s Adopt-a-Port initiative which provides truck operators – large fleets and owner-operators – serving the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach with cleaner, carbon-negative renewable natural gas (RNG), to reduce emissions. RNG produced from dairy biogas can have a negative carbon intensity which means trucks and buses in California that utilize this fuel leave a zero-carbon footprint while virtually eliminating criteria pollutant emissions.
Sales of natural gas vehicles reflected these developments and there was a late spring jump in alternate-powered truck sales. The California Natural Gas Vehicle Partnership also highlighted this increasing investment in near-zero emission natural gas vehicles and carbon-negative RNG at a press event at the Advanced Clean Transportation (ACT) Expo. Cummins also made their game changing announcement of a new 15-liter near-zero emission natural gas engine for heavy-duty trucks to the North American market. This ultra clean engine can be fueled with renewable natural gas, enabling even the heaviest of work trucks – e.g., long-haul trucks, liquid tankers – that are traversing challenging terrains to achieve sustainable transport.
Hexagon Agility signed a master services agreement in June 2020 with a global logistics customer to deliver renewable natural gas (RNG) and compressed natural gas (CNG) fuel systems for medium- and heavy-duty trucks. Hexagon Agility has now received its 11th set of orders under this agreement and the second order for 2022, representing an estimated value of $26.6 million.
In the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, Clean Energy’s Adopt-a-Port program with Chevron continues to gain momentum, with more fleets switching to RNG. Chevron has committed to provide a total of $28 million of financing to trucking companies serving the ports region as well as owner-operators to purchase new RNG heavy-duty trucks. So far, over 200 heavy-duty trucks have been contracted through the program and over 400 more are being processed, which will help to clean the air in and around the ports and significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Railroads transport goods extremely efficiently, especially in terms of fuel and greenhouse gas emissions. But most locomotives still run on fossil fuels.
Use of cleaner alternatives such as battery-electric or hydrogen requires new locomotives. However, diesel-powered locomotives can be retrofitted to run on natural gas, enabling companies to more cost-effectively reduce GHG emissions without having to retire locomotives that have years of useful life left.
When a fleet is considering an alt-fuel, the environmental benefits might be top of mind, but likely costs are, too.
When thinking through the options, the current cost of the fuel itself is essential, but it’s also just one piece of the puzzle. Consider the bigger picture: purchase price, maintenance costs, tax incentives, and infrastructure should also be factored into costs. According to the Alternative Fuel Price Report, compressed natural gas (CNG) tends to cost less than both gasoline and diesel on an energy-equivalent basis.
“Since adding heavy duty natural gas vehicles to our fleet and taking advantage of infrastructure set up across the U.S., we have learned that natural gas is an effective alternative to diesel fuel’s power and reliability. Beyond its effectiveness, natural gas is staggeringly lower in harmful pollutants than diesel.”
Major investments in fleet and fueling infrastructure, plus information technology and technical services teams, have California-based National Ready Mixed Concrete Co. set to calculate and seize CO2 reduction opportunities in the Product Stage, thoroughly quantified in the company’s deep EPD library, and the less profiled Construction Process, where mixer fleet fuel consumption is a key carbon data point. CO2 factors in the latter have traditionally been overlooked or not fully appreciated.
The City of Grand Rapids, Michigan is updating its facilities fleet with new natural gas vehicles including a CNG sweeper and four CNG refuse trucks. With the new purchases, the city’s eco-friendly fleet will be enhanced to include a total of nine CNG vehicles.
Congratulations to Matheson Postal Services and National Ready Mixed Concrete Co. on being named a Top Green Fleet for 2021 by Heavy Duty Trucking Magazine. Both of these leaders have made significant investments in near-zero emission natural gas vehicles for their fleet.
Clean Energy Fuels Corp. has announced it has broken ground on a renewable natural gas (RNG) digester at Del Rio Dairy in Friona, Texas – its first in a joint venture with TotalEnergies to produce ultra-clean transportation fuel which will be negative carbon intensive. All the RNG fuel produced at Del Rio Dairy will make its way into Clean Energy’s nationwide network of RNG stations.
Cities across the nation are looking for new and innovative approaches to reduce emissions from their transportation systems. Adopting an “all-of-the-above” energy strategy allows cities to utilize multiple clean fuel solutions so municipal fleets can choose the fuel that works best for their unique operations. In Illinois, city fleets are looking at varied solutions to enhance their sustainability initiatives while maintaining an efficient delivery of city services and mobility.
For years, California led the country on policies to advance clean energy and cut climate pollution. But we’ve stopped following the science, and now too many policies focus on long-term goals at the expense of urgent, near-term priorities.
Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas), local officials, and business representatives celebrated the opening of a new fueling station located in Menifee, California, which will exclusively offer renewable natural gas. The new facility is the sixteenth public station operated by SoCalGas. As part of its efforts to reach net zero emissions by 2045 and help the state reach its climate goals, the company is focused on solutions to help reduce emissions in hard-to-abate sectors, like heavy duty transportation.
In the new JENS TALKS series NGVA Europe’s Secretary General Dr. Jens Andersen speaks to industry experts, EU politicians and leading engineers to discuss and promote innovative solutions to reduce emissions, develop new strategies to push renewable and sustainable energy and bring companies and their ideas for the future together.
In the first episode presented by the Hexagon Group, JENS TALKS Business with Eric Bippus, SVP Global Sales and Marketing from Hexagon Agility.
From the largest fleets, to individual owner operators, funding and incentives are still needed to make the switch to cleaner technology in order to effectively reduce emissions, meet customer expectations, and comply with tightening regulations. While new cleaner technologies can have higher upfront costs, they help fleets save money in the long term by lowering fuel and maintenance costs and ensuring higher driver satisfaction. Fleet-friendly, accessible, and technology-neutral funding sources are an integral part of the transition to cleaner technology.
In April, Clean Energy signed an agreement with Amazon to provide low- and negative-carbon renewable natural gas, to be provided at 27 existing Clean Energy fueling stations and another 19 non-exclusive new or upgraded Clean Energy-owned stations that Clean Energy expected to be constructed by the end of the year.
In the United States, Clean Energy Fuels Corporation and bp plc have announced that their renewable natural gas (RNG) joint venture will build on previously announced plans to finance and develop new projects at dairy farms, starting in the Midwest. Located in South Dakota and Iowa, the dairy farms, with more than 30,000 cows, have the estimated potential to convert the methane produced from waste into more than seven million gallons of RNG annually.
The Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada has awarded New Flyer of America Inc. a new contract for 30 Xcelsior compressed natural gas (CNG) 60-foot, heavy-duty transit buses, with options to purchase up to 100 additional buses. RTC has since exercised 32 options (64 EUs).
E-commerce giant Amazon has invested heavily in compressed natural gas commercial vehicles for its European fleet.
In an effort to highlight those advancing natural gas as an effective and efficient transportation fuel, Natural Gas Vehicles for America (NGVAmerica) recognized eight fleets at its 2021 Industry Summit and Annual Meeting this past October.
Methane produced by California’s dairy industry presents a remarkable renewable energy opportunity. Renewable natural gas (RNG) sourced from dairy waste is considered a carbon-negative fuel, meaning RNG takes more carbon out of the environment than it produces.
A new economy-wide technical analysis released by Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) underscores the essential role that clean fuels like hydrogen and renewable natural gas (RNG) will play in a carbon-neutral California.
Natural gas can also deliver the “double-green effect.” The renewable and compressed types can deliver net-sub-zero emissions, and they can qualify for credits in California.
Hexagon Agility, a business of Hexagon Composites, has received its tenth set of orders from a master services agreement signed in June 2020 with a global logistics customer to deliver RNG and CNG fuel systems for medium and heavy-duty trucks.
Shell Oil Products US, a subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell plc, has successfully achieved startup and production of renewable natural gas at its first US biomethane facility, Shell New Energies Junction City in Oregon.