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

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.

GEI Report on California’s Water-Energy Nexus

Click to view the complete GEI Report on Water-Energy Options pdf

California’s Water-Energy Nexus: Pathways to Implementation

Through this seminal white paper, GEI outlines the potential strategic role that water and wastewater agencies could play in helping to reduce the energy consumption embedded in the water services we deliver, increasing renewable generation and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. GEI summarizes key findings and recommendations from recent studies that suggest that water and wastewater agencies have unique characteristics that could be leveraged through appropriate partnerships to provide significant benefits to the State’s electric system. This white paper is an important report on the water-energy nexus in California.

Energy is a cornerstone resource issue for the 21st century. California has set ambitious goals for increasing its renewable energy (33% by 2020), improving its distributed generation (12,000 megawatts (MW)) of local energy generation by 2020, and reducing its greenhouse gas emissions (20% by 2020). e investments California makes over the next few decades to improve energy eciency, expand renewable sources of energy and reduce the use of fossil fuels will profoundly shape the State’s future economy and quality of life.

Since the California Energy Commission (CEC) issued its landmark nding in 2005 – that water-related energy uses account for about 19% of all electricity and 30% of non-power plant natural gas used within the state – California’s water and energy sectors have been collaborating on strategies for achieving the incremental resource, economic and environmental benefits that can be found at the intersection of water, energy and climate. In 2006, a multi-agency Water-Energy Team was established to assist the Governor’s Climate Action Team in identifying and promulgating statewide strategies for reducing water-sector greenhouse gases (GHGs).

2012 Bioenergy Action Plan

Click to view the complete 2012 Bioenergy Action Plan pdf


The 2012 Bioenergy Action Plan outlines strategies, goals, objectives, and actions that California state agencies will take to increase bioenergy development in California.

California has enormous potential to create energy from organic waste materials. Urban, agricultural and forest wastes that would otherwise go to landfills or be burned can, instead, be used to produce electricity, transportation fuels, combined heat and power, and more. Expanding bioenergy also creates jobs, provides local energy, enhances energy security, and helps protect public health and safety by reducing waste materials and fire danger.

LCA of Distributed Generation in California

Click to view the complete LCA of DG in California – NREL pdf


The National Renewable Energy Laboratory was funded by the California Energy Commission’s Public Interest Energy Research Program and managed by the Institute of Energy and the Environment at the University of California Office of the President to conduct a life cycle assessment study on distributed generation. Life cycle assessment is an analytic method for identifying and evaluating the environmental impacts of emissions, resource consumption, and energy use associated with a specific process. In this study, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory examined the production of electricity by existing and emerging distributed generation technologies compared to a typical peaking power plant being built in California, a typical natural gas combined cycle power plant, and an integrated coal gasification combined cycle power plant.

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory conducted a life cycle assessment of the environmental impacts of distributed generation in California. Distributed generation is defined by the California Energy Commission as electricity production that is on‐site or close to the load center and is interconnected to the utility distribution system.

Life cycle assessment is an analytic method for identifying and evaluating the environmental impacts of emissions, resource consumption, and energy use associated with a specific process; in the current analysis, the focus is on the generation of a kilowatt‐hour of electricity. In life cycle assessment , material and energy balances are used to determine the environmental stressors (emissions, resource consumption, and energy use) of all required operations, including raw material extraction, transportation, processing, and final disposal of products and by‐products. The results of this inventory are then used to evaluate the environmental impacts of the technology so that efforts can be focused on reducing negative effects.