Natural gas vehicle industry makes RNG pledge

By NGVAmerica | August 23, 2021

NGVAmerica, the national organization representing the natural gas in transportation industry, has pledged that by 2030, 80 percent of natural gas vehicle (NGV) on-road motor fuel in the United States will be derived from renewable sources, rising to 100 percent by 2050.

Last year, renewable natural gas (RNG) collected at local landfills, wastewater treatment plants, commercial food waste facilities, and agricultural digesters displaced conventional natural gas derived from fossil sources as the dominant on-road NGV fuel source nationwide.  

Moreover, the carbon intensity of RNG biofuel continues to drop.  California fleets that fueled with bio-CNG in 2020 achieved carbon negativity for the year, with an annual average carbon intensity score of -5.845 gCO2e/MJ.  Latest data puts the carbon intensity of bio-CNG in California’s system at -16.57 gCO2e/MJ (Q1, 2021). 

NGVAmerica’s pledge meets the aggressive climate solution response sought by the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in its recently released Sixth Assessment Report, Climate Change 2021: The Physical Science Basis which calls for new focus on “short-lived air pollutants” like recoverable methane emissions by capturing them at their source and repurposing them for good.

“NGVAmerica recognizes that climate change is real and immediate investment is needed to clean and decarbonize all transportation sectors,” said NGVAmerica President Dan Gage.  “The RNG motor fuel solution addresses two very real climate change concerns by capturing a waste liability, turning it into a green energy asset, and then using the resultant biofuel to displace diesel, cleaning up and decarbonizing those sectors that are the dirtiest and hardest to abate.”

By establishing an aggressive timeline to transition to 100 percent carbon-free natural gas biofuel in our nation’s refueling system, the natural gas in transportation industry offers the most affordable, scalable, and immediate solution to eliminate criteria pollutants that harm public health and drastically lower the carbon footprint of heavy-duty commercial fleets.

Investing in commercially available NGVs fueled by RNG is the most cost-effective and immediate climate positive change policymakers can affect.  The recently approved Senate Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act of 2021 includes multiple opportunities to advance RNG motor fuel usage for clean school buses and ferries, transit buses, port operations, and heavy-duty freight hauling.

Adopted by the board of directors during its recent Q3 board meeting, NGVAmerica commits to: 

  1. Further accelerate the use of ultra-low to negative carbon natural gas in our fleets and as part of the supply provided to our transportation customers, marking 80 percent by 2030 and 100 percent by 2050;
  2. Support the procurement of natural gas from energy production and distribution companies that undertake responsible best practices to effectively minimize fugitive methane emissions and flaring; and
  3. Support continued advancements in the use of natural gas as a transportation fuel by working with other stakeholders including government authorities to improve the efficiency of future natural gas engine technology and further control emissions from natural gas engines.  

There are currently 190 RNG production facilities in operation in North America with an additional 232 facilities under construction or under substantial development (e.g., permitting).

A copy of NGVAmerica’s complete statement is available at: https://ngvamerica.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/NGVAmerica-Climate-Change-Statement-FINAL-7.29.21.pdf