GNA Article on Need for Biogas to Reduce Vehicle Emissions

California announced recently that it has met its 2020 climate target two years ahead of schedule.  Buried in the announcement, however, is the disturbing news that greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector are continuing to go up.  This important article by Cliff Gladstein of Gladstein, Neandross & Associates explains that the state’s nearly exclusive focus on electric vehicles puts the state’s long-term climate goals at risk and ignores the near-term opportunities to reduce climate and air pollution by using biogas in low-emission natural gas vehicles.

Read the full article here.

California Awards $70 Million to Dairy Digester Projects

The California Department of Food and Agriculture just announced $69.9 million in awards to dairy digester projects that will convert methane from cow manure to carbon negative biogas for transportation fuel and pipeline biogas.  According to the Legislative Analyst’s Office, these are some of the most cost-effective investments that the state can make in greenhouse gas reductions.  They will also help to reduce pollution from dairies and from diesel-powered, heavy duty vehicles.  This is a win-win for the climate and for Central Valley air quality.

To learn more about the awards and the projects, click here.

 

California Bioenergy, Land O’Lakes Partner to Advance “Barn to Biogas” in California

CalBio and Land O’Lakes are creating an innovative farmer-led model for “barn to biogas” that can shape nationwide solutions to agricultural methane emissions reduction and unlock new revenue streams for dairy farmers.CalBio provides the expertise needed to develop, execute and manage on-farm methane digesters, as well as market R-CNG credits in California, in a manner that is cost effective for farmers. This partnership with CalBio will also help Land O’Lakes dairy member-owners in California to meet new state standards that call for a 40 percent reduction in dairy and livestock manure-related methane emissions from 2013 levels by 2030.

“CalBio’s dairy digesters are proven in California. We are excited to expand that work even further through this collaboration with Land O’Lakes and their member-owners in California,” said Neil Black, president of CalBio. “Our expertise and ongoing operational support will help dairy farmers make the most of a significant new revenue stream through biogas generation, while allowing them to stay focused on doing what they do best – producing wholesome, delicious food in a sustainable way.”

Learn more about the CalBio partnership.

CPUC to Consider Revising Pipeline Biogas Standards

California has some of the strictest pipeline biogas requirements in the country, which can add significantly to the costs of pipeline biogas projects.  As a result, the state enacted legislation in 2016 requiring the California Council on Science and Technology (CCST) to review the standards for the heating value (BTU) and siloxanes.  The CCST report recommends that the CPUC consider reducing the BTU requirement to as low as 970.  CCST recommends further study on the siloxanes standard and suggests that monitoring requirements be reduced for biogas sources that are unlikely to have siloxanes (diverted organic waste, dairy, forest and agricultural waste).

Click here to see the CCST study and executive summary.

Governor, Legislature Agree on $1.4 Billion Cap & Trade Investment Plan

The Governor and Legislature have reached agreement on how to spend $1.4 billion in Cap & Trade auction revenues.  The bioenergy related funding allocations in the Cap & Trade Investment Plan are:

  • $175 million for clean vehicle rebate program
  • $180 million for clean trucks, buses and offroad vehicles
  • $112 million for agricultural diesel engine replacement
  • $12.5 million for low carbon fuel production
  • $5 million for Healthy Soils
  • $210 million for healthy forests and forest carbon
  • $99 million for dairy methane reduction
  • $25 million for waste diversion
  • $40 million for transformative climate communities/research

This is the full Cap & Trade Investment Plan 2018-19

BAC Members Receive $32 of $35 Million for Dairy Digesters

In late October, the California Department of Food and Agriculture announced the recipients of $35 million in grants for dairy digester research and development.   Of the 16 projects that received CDFA funding, 15 are being developed by BAC members Anaergia, Calgren Dairy Fuels LLC, California Bioenergy, and Southern California Gas Company.  Congratulations to all !!

See CDFA’s announcement and the project descriptions.

CA Legislature Passes Bills to Reauthorize Cap & Trade, Low Carbon Fuel Standard

California’s Legislature has passed a package of bills to extend the state’s Cap & Trade program and Low Carbon Fuel Standard to 2030.  The bills passed with a 2/3 vote, which provides much greater legal certainty for the programs than they have had for the past decade.  Although California extended AB 32 with legislation – SB 32 – that passed in 2016, SB 32 passed with only a majority vote.  That was sufficient to extend regulatory programs to reduce climate pollution and to increase the required reduction to a 40 percent reduction by 2030.  The Governor wanted a 2/3 vote for extension of the Cap & Trade program, however, since it involves an optional fee to purchase allowances and could be subject to legal challenges without a 2/3 vote.

The three bills included in the 2/3 vote are:

1) AB 398 (E. Garcia) – extends Cap & Trade and the LCFS programs to 2030; states that the intent of the Legislature is that cap & Trade revenues will focus on reduction of short-lived climate pollutants and other air pollutants, healthy forests and sustainable agriculture, low and zero carbon fuels, and R&D related to clean energy and climate issues.

2) AB 617 (C. Garcia) – increases monitoring and penalty provisions for air quality protection.

3) ACA 1 – requires that an initiative be placed on the 2018 ballot that asks voters to require a 2/3 vote in 2024 to authorize expenditure of Cap & Trade revenues.

National Academy of Sciences Paper Underscores Need for Bioenergy

Some energy advocates and environmental groups have been claiming that the U.S. can meet all its energy needs with solar, wind and energy storage. The National Academy of Sciences has released a paper that criticizes that view as likely to be dangerously expensive if achievable at all. The NAS paper strongly recommends the inclusion of bioenergy in a low carbon portfolio to provide power that is easily dispatchable (available when needed) and that can be carbon negative.

Download the 6-page paper by the National Academy of Sciences:  NAS – Need for diverse portfolio to decarbonize

World Leaders in Bioenergy

The San Francisco Chronicle printed a Letter to the Editor by BAC’s Executive Director about the benefits of bioenergy for grid stability, to reduce landfilling and prevent burning of organic waste.  The LTE focuses on Germany and Denmark, where bioenergy provides a much larger share of the countries’ renewable power than in California.

See World Leaders in Bioenergy – SF Chronicle LTE

All Power Labs Featured in Sierra Magazine

Sierra Magazine, the magazine of the national Sierra Club, features an article about Tom Price, Director of Strategic Initiatives for All Power Labs.  In the article, Tom explains the many benefits of gasification of organic waste, how the technology works and why its starting to take off in California.

Read the article here.