Organic debris, animal products and waste, lawn clippings, food scraps and urban wastewater. What do all these things have in common?

They all play a role in the future of natural gas.

Capturable from dairies, wastewater treatment plants and landfills, renewable natural gas (RNG) is quickly growing as a source of natural gas in the United States. Completely interchangeable with fossil natural gas, RNG has the potential to help us achieve massive reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.

A recent study by Navigant Consulting showed that making the switch to RNG can be up to three times more cost-effective in reducing greenhouse gasses compared to electrification. In fact, replacing less than 20% of traditional natural gas with renewable natural gas can achieve the same emissions reductions as 100% electrification in buildings by 2030.

RNG’s meaningful decarbonization impact is two-fold: Burning RNG for fuel results in a net decrease in methane emissions, while also reducing the need to extract traditional natural gas from the ground.

Production facilities treble in just 5 years

Over the last half-decade, the number of renewable natural gas facilities has grown by 3x, with the total number of RNG producing plants reaching 115 in the United States alone, as of the start of 2021.

Modern RNG cleaning technology can create pipeline-quality natural gas appropriate for safe use by any and all natural gas appliances and applications.

Peoples Gas and Alliance Dairies partnership to boost RNG supply in Florida

An example of this shift to adding more renewable natural gas to the supply chain is taking place right now in Florida. The state’s largest natural gas distribution utility, Peoples Gas, has partnered with Alliance Dairies to build and maintain an RNG production facility near Gainesville, FL, where the waste of 6,500 cows will be converted to approximately 105,000 MMBtu of RNG.

105,000 MMBtu is enough natural gas to fuel 4,400 homes.

The ratio of just 1.47 cows per home, highlights the incredible potential of natural gas as a renewable energy source.

Timothy O’Connor, VP of Sustainability for Peoples Gas noted, “With this renewable natural gas facility, Peoples Gas will be a leader in Florida’s clean energy future.” Capturing and cleaning biogas from dairies prevents methane and other emissions from being released into the atmosphere while offering customers a net-zero or negative emission level fuel source.

The future of ‘going green’ for the dairy industry

What’s happening in Florida and around the country is just the beginning. The dairy industry, which has received negative press in the past for greenhouse gas emissions, is on its way to being repositioned as a sustainability powerhouse, converting waste into the very energy that can combat climate change.

Share This