Renewable Natural Gas Leaders to Share Expertise on Developing Biogas Projects at "Power of Waste" Conference

SoCalGas, PG&E and Energy Vision to host third annual "Power of Waste" conference, a free workshop on the role of this renewable fuel in meeting California's climate and clean air goals

Sep 12, 2018

LOS ANGELES, Sept. 12, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Leaders in the renewable natural gas industry will gather in Los Angeles on October 2 to share the keys to successful biomethane development. Utilities Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas), Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), and the national nonprofit organization Energy Vision, will jointly host the free one-day conference, "The Power of Waste: Renewable Natural Gas (RNG) for California."  The event will be held at SoCalGas' Energy Resource Center in Downey, California, on Tuesday, October 2, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Experts will discuss high-value end-use markets for renewable natural gas, and the role of the state and utilities in advancing renewable natural gas. The conference will include panel presentations on the latest renewable natural gas technologies, and regulatory and legislative solutions to developing more renewable natural gas projects. Attendees will also hear case studies on projects that produce biogas from diverted food waste and other organics, and how renewable natural gas can cost-effectively reduce greenhouse gas emissions, short-lived climate pollutants, and criteria pollutants to meet California's climate and clean air goals.

"Renewable natural gas is ripe for further development in California, and SoCalGas wants to connect to as many biogas operations as possible to deliver this climate-friendly fuel to our customers," said Sharon Tomkins, SoCalGas vice president of customer solutions and strategy. "SoCalGas anticipates that 50 to 100 new renewable natural gas projects will be developed in California over the next 10 years based on laws designed to curb climate emissions. This conference is a chance for biogas project developers, government leadership, local and state agencies, utilities, academia and the media to learn as much as possible about the biogas business."

"RNG is the lowest-carbon fuel available today, and California is the major market for it," said Matt Tomich, president of Energy Vision. "The California Air Resources Board has done the carbon accounting that show it can be net carbon-negative on a lifecycle basis, especially when used as a transportation fuel. It doesn't just slow GHG emissions; it actually helps reverse them. Energy Vision has studied renewable natural gas projects using waste from dairies, landfills, waste water treatment plants, food, agriculture and forests across the country since 2009. This strategy will provide a tremendous opportunity for California to repurpose its waste into valuable energy and significantly improve air quality across California. We are pleased to see the commitment of SoCalGas and PG&E to advancing this strategy."

"Renewable gas provides a tremendous opportunity for California to repurpose its waste into valuable energy. Just as California has done with electricity, we need to continue to lead in addressing the challenge of climate change and renewable gas offers significant opportunity to help California meet its ambitious greenhouse gas goals. Using waste from dairies, landfills, waste water treatment plants, food, agriculture and forests will significantly improve air quality across California," said Christine Cowsert, PG&E's Senior Director of Asset Management & System Operations. "PG&E is excited to participate in workshops such as "The Power of Waste" which help bring together multiple stakeholders to address and overcome the technical, policy and commercial challenges inherent in these projects. We look forward to sponsoring this workshop and the further advancement of clean energy solutions."

Renewable natural gas from other states has already begun to clean the air and reduce greenhouse gas emissions in California's transportation sector, which accounts for more than 80 percent of smog forming emissions and about 40 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in the state.  The latest generation of natural gas engines for heavy-duty vehicles can reduce smog-forming emissions by more than 90 percent. When fueled with renewable natural gas, these trucks reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent or more. Already, more than 70 percent of natural gas trucks in California are fueled by renewable gas delivered by SoCalGas pipelines.

As California policymakers have sought to expand the production and use of renewable energy, SoCalGas has been working to increase the amount of renewable natural gas produced in California and delivered to its customers. Renewable natural gas can be produced from waste at landfills, wastewater treatment plants, food processing and dairies. According to a recent study by Navigant, Consulting, Inc. replacing 16 percent of the traditional natural gas supply with renewable gas can achieve greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions equivalent to converting 100 percent of buildings to electric-only energy by 2030. By using a mix of both in- and out-of-state resources, the renewable natural gas strategy is three times more cost effective in reducing GHGs than an electrification pathway.

The collection of methane from landfills, wastewater treatment plants, agriculture and dairies is essential for California to meet the climate change and air quality goals outlined in existing law. Methane from these projects can then be used as renewable natural gas for transportation, home heating, hot water, cooking, industrial uses, and to generate electricity.

Research shows nine out of 10 California families use natural gas in their homes and prefer it by a margin of 4 to 1 over electricity, indicating that renewable natural gas would help achieve California's ambitious climate goals while meeting consumer preference.  Strong majorities of consumers—nearly 80 percent—prefer to use natural gas for cooking in their homes, and nearly two-thirds of consumers believe gas is their most affordable energy choice. According to the American Gas Association (AGA), households that use natural gas for water and space heating, cooking and clothes drying save an average of $874 per year compared to homes using electricity for those applications.

In addition, renewable natural gas is available when needed—day or night—to fill in for use in homes or electric generation when solar or wind energy are not being produced.

For more information on renewable natural gas, go to: socalgas.com/smart-energy.

Biogas project developers, government leadership, local and state agencies, facility operators, equipment vendors, utilities, academia and the media are invited to attend the Power of Waste workshop at no cost. To register, click here.

About SoCalGas
Headquartered in Los Angeles, SoCalGas® is the largest natural gas distribution utility in the United States. SoCalGas delivers affordable, reliable, clean and increasingly renewable natural gas service to 21.8 million customers across 24,000 square miles of Central and Southern California, where more than 90 percent of residents use natural gas for heating, hot water, cooking, drying clothes or other uses. Natural gas delivered through the company's pipelines also plays a key role in providing electricity to Californians—about 60 percent of electric power generated in the state comes from gas-fired power plants.  

SoCalGas is committed to investing in its natural gas system infrastructure, while keeping bills affordable for our customers. From 2013 through 2017, the company spent nearly $6 billion to upgrade and modernize its natural gas system to enhance safety and reliability. The company is also committed to being a leader in the region's clean energy future, and is working to accelerate the use of renewable natural gas from dairy farms, landfills and wastewater treatment plants and the development of renewable energy storage technologies. SoCalGas is a subsidiary of Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE), an energy services holding company based in San Diego. For more information on renewable natural gas, go to: socalgas.com/smart-energy. For more information visit socalgas.com/newsroom or connect with SoCalGas on Twitter (@SoCalGas), Instagram (@SoCalGas) and Facebook. 

About Pacific Gas and Electric Company
Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation, is one of the largest combined natural gas and electric energy companies in the United States. Based in San Francisco, with more than 20,000 employees, the company delivers some of the nation's cleanest energy to nearly 16 million people in Northern and Central California.

PG&E has proudly served northern California communities, families and businesses since 1905 and is committed to become the safest, most reliable, affordable and clean energy company in the country. PG&E is making strategic investments in new technologies and processes, including biomethane and low-carbon gas alternatives, that help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Since 1998, the company has reduced its SF6 emissions rate by more than 85 percent and total emissions by more than 70 percent. 

About Energy Vision 
Energy Vision is a non-profit organization which researches, analyzes and promotes currently viable technologies and strategies for accomplishing the transition to a sustainable, low-carbon energy and transportation future. Learn more at www.energy-vision.org

 

About Southern California Gas Co.: Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) has been delivering clean, safe and reliable natural gas to its customers for more than 145 years. It is the nation's largest natural gas distribution utility, providing service to 21.6 million consumers connected through 5.9 million meters in more than 500 communities. The company's service territory encompasses approximately 20,000 square miles throughout central and Southern California, from Visalia to the Mexican border. SoCalGas is a regulated subsidiary of Sempra Energy (SRE), a Fortune 500 energy services holding company based in San Diego.

 

SOURCE Southern California Gas Company

For further information: Melissa Bailey, Office of Media and Public, Information, (213) 453-6537, mbailey@semprautilities.com


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