RNG Market Analysis
The biogas market has made tremendous strides in development since the early 2000s, according to a new report, Renewable Natural Gas, from Navigant Research that cites a variety of applications such as electricity generation, heating, and transport. “As decarbonization and sustainability continue to be pressing issues for the global economy, biogas and renewable natural gas (RNG) offer solutions that are vital to these efforts,” notes Navigant. “The global biogas market is expected to continue to grow with a large and relatively established market in Europe and a rapidly growing market in Asia Pacific.”
Navigant states that the biogas market “largely developed out of strong policy support and incentives that made projects economically viable along with regulations mandating certain levels of adoption. Transportation mandates such as the federal U.S. Renewable Fuel Standard and California Low Carbon Fuel Standard have been instrumental in the RNG market, which represents only a fraction of the overall biogas market. The biggest threat to the biogas market is the possibility of discontinuation of policies and incentives that originally brought market growth.” The report, available for $3,950, projects global biogas production and revenue regionally and by feedstock, segmented into waste, industrial, agriculture, and wastewater.
SoCalGas Pushes Ahead With RNG
Last April, the Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas) announced its vision to be the cleanest natural gas utility in North America, “delivering affordable and increasingly renewable energy to its customers.” As part of that vision, SoCalGas committed to replace 20% of its traditional natural gas supply with renewable natural gas (RNG) by 2030.
To kickstart the plan, SoCalGas has been pursuing regulatory authority to implement a broad RNG procurement program with a goal of replacing 5% of its natural gas supply with RNG by 2022. The utility also filed a request with the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to allow customers to purchase renewable natural gas for their homes.
On an American Biogas Council webinar, Jared Liu-Klein of SoCalGas explained the Voluntary Green Tariff being developed. If approved by the CPUC, the program will be open to all residential customers and to commercial and industrial customers for whom SoCalGas purchases gas. “Residential customers will select from fixed monthly dollar amounts to purchase RNG,” said Liu-Klein. “Commercial and industrial customers will be able to select either from set dollar amounts or a percentage of their total gas load.” The webinar also included representatives from Summit Utilities in Maine and VGS (formerly Vermont Gas), speaking about their voluntary RNG purchase programs.