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California Finalizes Organic Waste Diversion Regulations

In 2016, California enacted Senate Bill 1383 to reduce the most damaging climate pollutants, known as Short-Lived Climate Pollutants.  The bill requires a 40 percent reduction in methane emissions and a 50 percent reduction in anthropogenic black carbon by 2030.  As part of the methane reduction requirement, the legislation requires a 75 percent reduction in organic landfill waste by 2025.  That means diverting more than 15 million tons of organic waste currently going to landfills and converting it to energy and compost instead.

CalRecycle’s regulations to implement the organic waste diversion requirements were just finalized by the state’s Office of Administrative Law.  The key provisions related to bioenergy are contained in Article 12 (beginning on page 92), which sets out requirements for local jurisdictions to procure bioenergy and/or compost generated from the diverted organic waste.

See:  CalRecycle SB 1383 regulations (final)

Governor Proposes California’s 2021-22 Budget

Governor Newsom has released his budget proposal for the remainder of FY 2021 and the next fiscal year, which begins July 1.  The Governor has proposed increased funding for wildfire mitigation, including funding for the use of forest waste, and for heavy duty vehicles.  The proposed budget also includes funding for Healthy Soils, agricultural engine replacement, restoration of natural lands, and a Climate Catalyst Fund to provide low cost financing for clean energy development and other purposes.  Unfortunately, the proposed budget does not include funding for organic waste diversion or dairy digesters.

The Governor’s January budget proposal is available here.

LA County to Expand Food Waste Conversion to Vehicle Fuel

The Los Angeles County Sanitation Districts has pioneered the conversion of food waste to biogas at wastewater treatment facilities.  The Sanitation Districts have been converting food waste to biogas for electricity generation for more than six years.  They are now going to expand their conversion capacity and convert additional food waste to low carbon vehicle fuel.  When the expansion is complete, the Sanitation Districts will generate enough biogas to power the County’s wastewater treatment facility in Carson and produce renewable vehicle fuel equivalent to 2,000 gasoline gallons per day.

Projects like this are helping California to slash the most damaging climate pollutants, replace diesel and fossil fuel gas with low carbon and renewable fuels, and help meet state requirements to reduce landfill waste.

Read more about the project:  LACSD-Converting Food Waste to Fuel

CPUC Issues Proposed Decision on Voluntary RNG Tariff

The CPUC has issued a Proposed Decision that would adopt a voluntary tariff for customers of SoCalGas and SDG&E to choose to purchase biomethane.  The tariff requires that at least half of the biomethane purchased by the utilities is generated in California and half of that portion must come from sources other than landfill gas to help California meet is Short-Lived Climate Pollutant and waste reduction goals.  The tariff will include biomethane generate from biomass conversion (gasification and pyrolysis) as well as the biomethane from anaerobic digestion of organic waste.  The Proposed Decision would approve the voluntary tariff as a three-year pilot program and will then assess whether to make it permanent or replace with a biomethane procurement program.

See:  Proposed Decision on voluntary RNG tariff

WATCH: CalBio Opens Kern County’s First Dairy RNG Project

CalBio hosted a virtual opening of its dairy digester cluster project in Kern County.  This is the first dairy waste to Renewable Natural Gas (RNG) project in Kern County and will provide many benefits to the County and beyond, including production of carbon negative fuel that can replace diesel, improvements to air and water quality, job creation, and economic development.

Watch the video of this exciting event here.

To learn more, see CalBio’s press release:  CalBio Dairy Cluster Biogas to RNG Project

Gladstein Neandross Releases New CA RNG Report

Gladstein Neandross & Associates has just released an important report detailing the RNG (renewable natural gas) projects expected to begin producing vehicle fuel from California’s organic waste in the next four years.  Some of the highlights of GNA’s report are:

  • California will have 160 RNG production facilities online by the end of 2024
  • Those facilities will produce a combined 119 million diesel gallon equivalents of low carbon and carbon negative vehicle fuels, enough to fuel 13,731 natural gas trucks
  • The average carbon intensity of the California produced RNG will be negative 101.74 gCO2e/MJ
  • Over the next 15 years, trucks running on this RNG will cut climate pollution by 51.4 million metric tons and will cut smog-forming pollution by 20.8 thousand metric tons per year.

Download the full report:  GNA Report – CA RNG Supply Assessment, July 2020

Greenlane Biogas Announces Dairy Biogas Upgrading Projects

Greenlane Biogas has signed $15.2 million in new supply contracts using Greenlane’s Pressure Swing Adsorption (“PSA”) biogas upgrading system. The contract is for the supply of biogas upgrading and related equipment for a cluster of dairy digesters located in California. Greenlane’s biogas upgrading systems will generate renewable biomethane for injection into the local gas distribution network owned and operated by PG&E.

Click here for more information about this exciting development.

SoCalGas Announces New Technology to Convert CO2 to Renewable Gas

SoCalGas and its partners, PG&E and Opus 12, have announced the development of a new one-step process to convert carbon dioxide to renewable gas.  This is a very important development as it will provide a way to convert excess solar and wind power to long-duration energy storage (in the form of renewable gas), which is critical to reach 100 percent renewable energy.  It will also reduce emissions from bioenergy by capturing CO2 emissions and converting the carbon to renewable gas.

See SoCalGas Announces Technology that Converts CO2 in Biogas to RNG