Renewable natural gas (RNG) is not a fossil fuel. RNG (biogas or biomethane) is an ultra-clean and ultra-low-carbon natural gas alternative. It is produced by harnessing the methane emitted when organic waste breaks down (e.g., livestock manure, forestry, food waste), allowing California to sustainably manage its vast volumes of waste products and mitigate short-lived climate pollutants.
Made from 100% renewable sources
Renewable Natural Gas is pipeline quality gas that is fully interchangeable with fossil natural gas but is produced from a renewable feedstock and can be used as a 100% substitute for, or blended with, conventional natural gas.
- Nearly 50% (16 million tons) of waste decomposing in California’s landfills could be used to produce energy
- Using this waste to generate electricity would reduce annual CO2 emissions from fossil fuels by approximately 7 million metric tons
- Converting biomethane from California’s 500+ wastewater treatment plants to electricity and fuels would reduce the state’s annual GHG emissions by more than 1 million metric tons
- Using the digested material in place of inorganic synthetic fertilizer would significantly reduce GHG emissions
- Wildfires, largely fueled by dead trees, are responsible for 52% of California’s black carbon emissions, more than all diesel vehicles and power plants combined
- In addition to reducing the risk of wildfires, converting forest biomass to power can lead to much needed job creation
Livestock and Dairy Manure
- California’s 1.7 million dairy cows produce more than 50% of the state’s methane emissions, a highly potent GHG
- Converting dairy waste to energy reduces GHG emissions, provides income to dairy farmers and helps protect local air, water, and soil quality.
The Lowest Carbon Intensity Fuel
As a transportation fuel, RNG is fully interchangeable with conventional natural gas. Currently in California, nearly 60% of the natural gas transportation fuel comes from renewable sources.
RNG has the lowest carbon intensity rating of key transportation fuels when comparing the well-to-wheels GHG emissions of various fuels in heavy-duty trucking applications. Based on the California Air Resources Board’s carbon intensities, RNG can reduce GHG emissions by 40 to 125% or more, depending on the feedstock.
Various government, industry and academia studies have found that America has sufficiently technically recoverable feedstock to produce from 35 to 70 billion diesel gallon equivalents (DGE) of RNG per year. Focusing on California, multiple reputable sources have found that sufficiently large volumes of RNG can be produced today to displace the state’s on-road heavy-duty truck diesel usage.
Key benefits of RNG as a transportation fuel include:
40-125% GHG Reductions
(varies by feedstock)
with fossil natural gas
and job creation throughout California
1: http://www.arb.ca.gov/fuels/lcfs/fuelpathways/pathwaytable.htm, CARB, February 2017. Adjusted for heavy-duty truck applications