Washington, D.C. – The American Gas Foundation (AGF) today released an assessment of the potential for renewable gas to play a leading role in enhancing America’s energy security and environmental quality. Renewable gas is pipeline-quality biomethane produced from biomass and is interchangeable with natural gas.
The AGF study entitled “The Potential for Renewable Gas: Biogas Derived from Biomass Feedstocks and Upgraded to Pipeline Quality” suggests that policy makers and other stakeholders should further explore ways to enhance the production, distribution and use of this vital, domestic renewable resource.
“With the right policies, renewable gas could meet half the natural gas needs of all the homes in America,” said Dr. Kathryn Clay, Executive Director for AGF. “Despite its great potential to help us meet our greenhouse gas emissions goals, renewable gas is probably the least discussed renewable energy option available to us as a nation. We need policies that promote renewable gas on par with renewable choices like wind and solar.”
Renewable gas production does not receive tax credits similar to other renewable energy products. Thus the potential of renewable gas to contribute to America’s clean energy portfolio in its most effective and efficient manner is hindered by the existing tax incentive structure on renewable energy.
“The same proven, reliable network that already delivers energy to our businesses and homes can also deliver renewable gas.” Clay said. “Renewable gas is a clear win-win. It can help us address our most pressing economic, environmental and security challenges, without creating the need for a new infrastructure.”
The AGF report suggests that balanced government policies will expand the use of renewable gas across the country. Specific policy changes should incorporate the following:
• Parity – the playing field needs to be leveled so that renewable gas is valued, supported and incentivized in ways equal to renewable electricity or liquid transportation fuel. As a first step Congress should create an investment tax credit for facilities that produce renewable pipeline quality gas.
• Accessibility and integration – our nation’s pipeline infrastructure should facilitate the purchase and transfer of renewable gas in order to more easily meet local, state or federal goals for renewable fuels.