Arising out of the United Nations Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) COP 22 is the World Biogas Association (WBA), launched two weeks ago at the international gathering in Marrakesh, Morocco. Renewable Natural Gas (RNG, biomethane), marketed under various brand names around the world, is fast becoming a mobility fuel of choice because of its sustainability, low emissions and increasing availability. Harnessing the benefits of this fuel for transportation is on the agenda of NGV Global 2017 in Rotterdam, in March next year.
Following the adoption by the United Nations of a shared vision for transforming lives by 2030 through the Sustainable Development Goals and the first-ever universal, legally binding global climate agreement between the 195 national governments at the UNFCCC COP21 at Paris in December 2015, WBA has been established to demonstrate the huge contribution the biogas and anaerobic digestion (AD) industries make to these goals and targets, and to facilitate the adoption of these technologies globally.
While much of the WBA’s focus will be on the generation of electricity, it is also calling for participation and contributions from the transportation sector. It recognises that amongst an array of beneficial applications and end uses, anaerobic digestion and biogas contribute by fuelling HGVs, buses, tractors and other vehicles.
There are many obvious examples examples of renewable natural gas already in the transportation sector, inspiring action by their leadership and scale.
- In its 2015 Biogas and Biomethane Report, the European Biogas Association (EBA) reported a steady increase was documented in the biomethane (renewable natural gas) sector, with 87 new biogas upgrading units commissioned. Dr. Attila Kovács, EBA Executive Board Member, will address the audience at NGV Global 2017, on the subject “The expected impact of the new European Renewable Energy Directive on the biomethane vehicle fuel market“.
- In Sweden, in August 2015, the Swedish Gas Association (Energigas Sverige) cited official Swedish statistics for the first six months of that year showing the proportion of biomethane in fuel sales had reached 73 percent, a historically high level and evidence of rising demand.
- In Finland, the government’s newly-released energy and climate strategy aims to cut vehicular emissions and increase the use of renewables. That reportedly includes a target of 50,000 gas-powered vehicles by 2030.
- In USA, Dan Bowerson, Director, Technology & Development for NGVAmerica says the interest in RNG in the US is certainly growing. He provided statistics from the RNG Coalition (RNG trade association in the US). There are:
– 56 RNG projects operating in 24 states
– 48 projects inject into natural gas pipelines
– 37 projects for transportation fuel
– 19 projects for electricity
– Between 20% and 35% of natural gas used in transportation in the US is from RNG
Launching the trade association, the President of WBA, David Newman said:”I am delighted to see this global perspective from the biogas industry. The potential to provide energy security by transforming the millions of tonnes of organic wastes which today are largely unused, is a huge potential indeed. We are part of the Circular Economy, recovering energy and nutrients otherwise lost. We are part of the Bio Economy, delivering feedstocks to potential new industries, through Green Chemistry. We are part of the emancipation of communities detached from electric and gas grids, giving them energy autonomy. We are an ingredient of sustainability, delivering nutrients and renewable energy to the planet. And we have no time to lose to make this happen on a global scale.”
Welcoming the new World Biogas Association, the Chief Executive of the UK’s Anaerobic Digestion and Bioresources Association (ADBA), Charlotte Morton, said: “Biogas is set to become a cheaper energy source than coal, and AD should become one of the leading technologies for mitigating climate change, improving sanitation, ensuring energy and food security and reducing poverty and hunger.
Join the discussion at NGV Global 2017: Natural Gas Fuel – the Choice for a Sustainable Future, from March 20 to 23, in Rotterdam. Go to www.ngv.global for more information.
(Adapted from an article by World Biogas Association)