Q&A with Tyler Henn, VP and General Manager, Clean Energy Renewables
Please tell us a little bit about renewable natural gas and why it’s getting so much attention. Renewable natural gas, or RNG, is biogenic methane that is naturally generated during the decomposition process of organic waste such as food and other waste from sources like dairy farms and landfills.
We capture and purify it, then put it back into the pipeline for our customers under the brand name Redeem. And what makes it so exciting for us and our customers, is that it’s the cleanest transportation fuel available, reducing greenhouse gas emissions by up to 70% today over diesel.
There’s been a lot of discussion about matching RNG with some of the new technologies here. Can you talk about that? Absolutely. Not only is RNG already the cleanest fuel around, but the studies we’re seeing when you combine it with the new Cummins Westport Low-NOx engine are simply astounding.
UC Riverside has tested the technology and found emissions to be .002 g/bhp-hr, 90% below the CARB standard, and 99.8% cleaner than a 2010 diesel truck. And we’re already seeing industry leaders like FedEx, LA Metro, Republic Services and Santa Monica Big Blue Bus transitioning their fleets to the technology.
Obviously electric trucks have caught some of the attention lately, Where do you see RNG fitting in? First I think the market recognizes that it will be quite a while, maybe 10-15 years, until electric trucking comes to the heavy-duty trucking sector. Second, and this is lost on a lot of people, electric vehicles aren’t as green as some claim.
In fact, when you account for the emissions created from producing the electricity that runs those cars, which often comes from coal-burning power plants, our RNG combined with these new engines provides cleaner emissions than electric, based on a well-to-wheels comparison. With electric, people always talk about tailpipe emissions but they choose to ignore the upstream emissions of making that electricity. You can’t have it both ways.
The market for RNG certainly has been growing. Is the industry prepared for the growth? Absolutely, and I expect it to continue. We’ve seen our volumes grow from 20 million GGEs in 2014 to approximately 60 million GGEs in 2016, almost a 200% increase, so we’re certainly enjoying the benefits.
And the industry is prepared to grow along with it. Here in California I know that CARB commissioned a study and validated that there are substantial sources of RNG right here in California.
So you see the RNG industry here in California expanding? The entire RNG industry across the nation is expanding, but especially here in California. If you were here Monday you know that a study by the RNG Coalition was released stating the industry could create up to 130,000 new high-paying jobs, and add $14 billion to California’s economy. So I think the growth will be a benefit to all of us.
This interview submitted by Clean Energy Fuels appeared
in the ‘Powered by Fleets & Fuels’ ShowTimes daily magazine
at ACT Expo 2017 in Long Beach, Calif.
ACT Expo 2018 – the next Advanced Clean Transportation (ACT) Expo – has been scheduled for April 30-May 3, 2018 – again at Southern California’s Long Beach Convention Center.
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Source: Fleets & Fuels at ACT Expo 2017 in Long Beach