RNG Reaches 32% of Natural Gas Fuel Sold in USA

| USA: Washington DC | Source: NGVAmerica

NGVA Chart from infographic re RNG growth 2018Natural Gas Vehicles for America (NGVAmerica) and the California-based Coalition for Renewable Natural Gas (RNG Coalition) celebrate the achievement of Renewable natural gas (RNG) reaching 32 percent of all on-road fuel used in natural gas vehicles in calendar year 2018. Given the spate of RNG developments covered by NGV Global News in the first quarter of 2019, that figures looks set to reach new ground in 2019.

Captured above ground from organic material in agricultural, wastewater, landfill or food waste, RNG – or biomethane – produces net carbon-neutral and even net carbon-negative results when fueling on-road vehicles like short- and long-haul trucks, transit buses, and refuse and recycling collection vehicles.  RNG fuel in 2018 had an EER-adjusted carbon intensity as low as -303.30 according to the California Air Resources Board.  By comparison, California’s electricity grid rated between 25.0 and 38.95. [1]

Over the last five years, RNG use as a transportation fuel has increased 577 percent, displacing over seven million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e).  NGVAmerica and the RNG Coalition report that in 2018 a total of 645 million gasoline gallon equivalent of natural gas was used as a motor fuel.  Of that, more than 204 million gasoline gallon equivalent was renewable. [2]

“Proven and affordable natural gas vehicle technology is over 90 percent cleaner than federal EPA nitrogen oxide emission standards,” said Dan Gage, President of NGVAmerica.  “And when those American-made heavy-duty trucks and buses are fueled with renewable natural gas, they are up to 125 percent cleaner than the cleanest diesel technology in terms of carbon emissions.  RNG-fueled vehicles are the most immediate and cost-effective heavy-duty option when seeking to combat climate change.”

“The environmental advantages of using renewable natural gas to replace fossil fuels in on-road transportation have driven substantial growth in development and investment in new RNG production across the U.S.,” said Johannes Escudero, RNG Coalition CEO. “The number of North American RNG production facilities has multiplied more than two-and-a-half times in the past five years to almost 100 today, while RNG fuel use has increased nearly six-fold.”

RNG motor fuel use has eliminated 7,251,351 metric tons of CO2e over the last five years.  Put into perspective, RNG motor fuel is: [3]

  • Lowering greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to removing 1,539,565 gasoline passenger cars from our roads for one year;
  • Reducing CO2 emissions equivalent to 815,950,377 gallons of gasoline or 712,313,458 gallons of diesel consumed.  That’s equal to the total energy used by 868,321 U.S. homes for one year;
  • Avoiding greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to running 1,537 wind turbines for one year or replacing 275,434,003 traditional lightbulbs with LEDs; and
  • Sequestering carbon equal to growing 119,902,624 tree seedlings for ten years or 8,534,274 acres of U.S. forests for one year.

Details of the report (including graphics) can be accessed at: https://www.ngvamerica.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/RNG-Driving-Down-Emissions.pdf and http://www.rngcoalition.com/infographic.


NGVAmerica is a national organization of over 200 companies, environmental groups, and government organizations dedicated to the development of a growing, profitable, and sustainable market for vehicles powered by natural gas or biomethane.

NGVAmerica is an affiliated association of NGV Global.

[1] California Air Resources Board, Low Carbon Fuel Standard Program, Certified Fuel Pathways, 2017. Note: Carbon intensities noted are from California Air Resources Board fuel pathways through 2018.
[2] Total Natural Gas in Transportation Figure derived from U.S. EIA’s Annual Energy Outlook (2019).  RNG numbers derived from U.S. EPA Renewable Fuel Standard Program reporting.
[3] 7,251,351 metric tons of CO2e figure calculated using CARB’s LCFS carbon intensity numbers and the U.S. DOE’s Argonne National Laboratory Heavy-Duty Vehicle Emission Calculator.  GHG equivalency results calculated using the U.S. EPA’s calculator at: https://www.epa.gov/energy/greenhouse-gas-equivalencies-calculator.
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