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

GNA Releases Report on Ultra Low Emission Trucks

Gladstein Neandross & Associates recently released GameChanger, a groundbreaking report on the potential for ultra-low emission vehicles running on biogas to cut greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution.  Heavy duty trucks using an ultra-low NOx engine that runs on renewable gas can cut toxic air contaminants and particulate matter by more than 90 percent.  When fueled with biogas from dairy waste or food waste that would otherwise have been landfilled, the trucks can cut greenhouse gas emissions by more than 100 percent compared to diesel powered trucks.

To read more, download GameChanger_FullReport

E3 Releases Study on Decarbonizing Pipeline Gas

Energy and Environmental Economics (E3) released a study on Decarbonizing Pipeline Gas to Help Meet California’s 2050 Greenhouse Gas Reduction Goal.  The study found the costs of decarbonized gas and electrification to be similar, but the flexibility and operational benefits of decarbonized gas to be beneficial, particularly in some sectors.

The study’s main conclusions are:

  • Decarbonized pipeline gas can help to reduce emissions in sectors that are otherwise difficult to electrify, either for technical or customer-acceptance reasons. These sectors include: (1) certain industrial end uses, such as process heating, (2) heavy duty vehicles (HDVs), and (3) certain residential and commercial end uses, such as cooking, and existing space and water heating.
  • The production of decarbonized gas from electricity could play an important role in integrating variable renewable generation by producing gas when renewables are generating power, and then storing the gas in the pipeline distribution network for when it is needed.
  • A transition to decarbonized pipeline gas would enable continued use of the state’s existing gas pipeline distribution network, eliminating the need for new energy delivery infrastructure to meet 2050 GHG targets, such as dedicated hydrogen pipelines or additional electric transmission and distribution capacity.
  • Pursuit of decarbonized gas technologies would help diversify the technology risk associated with heavy reliance on a limited number of decarbonized energy carriers, and would allow consumers, businesses and policymakers greater flexibility and choice in the transition to a low-carbon energy system.

To learn more, download E3_Decarbonizing_Pipeline_01-27-2015

State of the Sierra Nevada’s Forests

The Sierra Nevada Conservancy, a California state agency, issued this important report on the State of the Sierra Nevada’s Forests, finding that “urgent action is needed in the Sierra Nevada to avoid devastating impacts on California’s environment and economy.”  The report recommends increased forest biomass to energy generation to reduce catastrophic wildfires and air pollution.

To learn more, download StateOfSierraForestsRptWeb

BAC Releases Groundbreaking Report on Renewable Gas

See BAC’s groundbreaking report on how to decarbonize California’s gas sector.  The report describes the role of natural gas in California, the potential for renewable gas to generate power and fuels, and the need for a Renewable Gas Standard to cut greenhouse gas emissions, create jobs and increase energy security.   Download BAC Report on Renewable Gas Standard.  The report finds that:

  • California imports more than 90 percent of the natural gas it uses, costing the state thousands of jobs and billions of dollars per year.
  • Natural gas causes more than a quarter of the state’s greenhouse gas emissions and is a significant source of air and water pollution.
  • Organic waste alone can produce enough renewable gas to replace ¾ of all the diesel used by motor vehicles in California or enough electricity to power 2 to 3 million homes.
  • Renewable gas produces two to six times as many jobs per megawatt as fossil fuel gas.
  • Replacing just 10 percent of California’s gas supply with renewable gas would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by tens of millions of metric tons per year, while cutting wildfire, air pollution and landfilling.