RNG as a Decarbonization Strategy


‘The Energy Transition’ has begun


By Kathy MacBeth, EcoEngineers


The year 2020 saw a huge push to decarbonize the U.S. energy system — from the well field to the consumer. The movement has been dubbed “The Energy Transition,” and the darling of the decarbonization shift by far is renewable natural gas (RNG).

However, biogas and renewable natural gas has been in play for several years. Biogas from municipal solid waste landfills, municipal wastewater treatment facilities, and agricultural (manure) and organic waste was authorized as a cellulosic feedstock by the USEPA in 2014, which qualified it for energy credits under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). RNG is also a big player in California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS). The new feedstock incentivized project developers and owners to invest in RNG projects destined for the natural gas pipeline system — and ultimately the transportation market as a low-carbon fuel. Developers needed access to the pipeline to demonstrate a physical pathway to dispensing at the pump in order to qualify for RFS and LCFS energy credits.  Then, only a few natural gas utilities (mostly interstate pipeline companies) were prepared for the biogas gold rush — as we referred to it back then.

EcoEngineers facilitated its first RNG strategy session for the leadership team of a leading gas utility company in 2017.  The firm was grappling with a number of issues including safety, regulatory requirements, and interconnect requests from clients and developers. We held a training and education workshop to help them understand how they could best leverage RNG as a business strategy.

Although it has taken some time for natural gas utilities to embrace RNG, 2020 was indeed a waterfall year as we witnessed the following:

While the above list is not complete by any means, it demonstrates that RNG is a viable strategy for decarbonization of the U.S. energy system.  And to think we are just over a year into The Energy Transition!

EcoEngineers remains on the front lines and is deeply engaged with the natural gas community. We are also working along with their supply-chain partners, who are tightening operations in the well field and at midstream to reduce their carbon emissions.  EcoEngineers is committed to building out a clean energy economy, and we see RNG as critical strategy to fulfilling that promise.  #cleanenergy #zerocarbon #cleanair #cleanwater

Kathy MacBeth headshot EcoEngineers

Kathy MacBeth

Kathy MacBeth is the Director for Strategic Development at EcoEngineers. She works in tandem with RNG and other low-carbon fuel clients during the business development phase to help with strategy and scope of work creation to ensure the client’s expectations are clear, concise, and delivered on by the EcoEngineers team. Ms. MacBeth has over 20 years’ experience as a business development and brand management expert in the technology, environmental, and engineering industries. For more information about low-carbon fuels, decarbonization strategies, or EcoEngineers, contact Kathy at kmacbeth@ecoengineers.us.