We’re working with the Business Council for Sustainable Energy and the Gas Technology Institute to provide a briefing for Congressional staff on renewable natural gas tomorrow. Renewable natural gas is an important part of the portfolio of clean energy solutions. But what is renewable natural gas you say?
Renewable natural gas is a biogas which has been upgraded to a quality similar to natural gas. One of the attractions of renewable natural gas is that by upgrading the quality to that of natural gas, it becomes possible to distribute the gas to customers via the existing gas grid, and burned within existing appliances.
We’ve had biogas on our radar for a while. A growing number of our members are interested in this energy option.
As are some really big energy players like Royal Dutch Shell. This energy giant announced just last week their decision to discontinue investment in renewable technologies such as wind, solar and hydro power because they feel they are not economic. Instead Shell plans to invest more in biofuels – like renewable natural gas — which do not use food-based crops and are less harmful to the environment.
I’ve actually written on biogas before on this blog but here’s a little more information. Biogas originates from biogenic material and is a type of biofuel. One type of bio-gas is produced by fermentation of biodegradable materials such as biomass, manure or sewage, municipal waste, green waste and energy crops. The other principal type of biogas is wood gas which is created by gasification of wood or other biomass.
Biogas can be used as a low-cost fuel for any heating purpose, such as cooking. Biogas can also be used in modern waste management facilities where it can be used to run any type of heat engine, to generate either mechanical or electrical power. Biogas can be compressed, like natural gas, and used to power motor vehicles.
Leave a comment if you have questions on biogas and I’ll be happy to try and answer them. I’ll also write later about my thoughts on the briefing. We are excited about the opportunity to continue educating others about the options we have using renewable natural gas and our existing distribution network.