B.C. Local Government Renewable Natural Gas Roadmap

BACKGROUND

This collaborative research initiative will help build the capacity of B.C. local governments to generate renewable natural gas (RNG).

Natural gas is the source of one-quarter of British Columbia’s greenhouse gas emissions. Renewable natural gas, derived from organic waste, has the potential to reduce these emissions by displacing fossil fuel-derived natural gas for all uses.

Over the long-term, other renewable fuels can replace natural gas for most residential and commercial building uses. Methane, the primary natural gas constituent will, nevertheless, remain important for many applications such as high temperature industrial heat, and will likely become increasingly important in district energy, heavy-duty trucks, and long-haul freight.

Local governments are well-placed to enable RNG development as they control key organic and liquid waste feedstocks and may be be positioned to aggregate forest and farm feedstocks. Local governments are often working to meet climate and waste diversion targets and have been making substantial infrastructure investments in pursuit of those goals; RNG generation could provide a cost effective and strategic alternative.

Local governments have the potential to harness waste feedstocks to produce clean, renewable energy, creating new economic opportunities while reducing approximately one million tonnes of GHGs annually.

EXISTING MUNICIPAL RNG PROJECTS

In British Columbia, there are several existing municipal renewable natural gas projects using a range of feedstocks managed by local governments, including landfill gas, organic solid and liquid wastes. Examples of which are indicated below (source: Canadian Gas Association and the Canadian Biogas Association).

Delta, B.C. – Digester

Start date: 2015
Status: Operating

Kelowna, B.C. – Landfill

Start date: 2014
Status: Operating

Richmond, B.C. – Wastewater treatment plant

Start date: 2016
Status: In development

Salmon Arm, B.C. – Landfill

Start date: 2013
Status: Operating

Surrey, B.C. Biofuel facility

Start date: 2017
Status: Operating

PROJECT OBJECTIVES

Through collaborative research, this initiative will help build the capacity of B.C. local governments to generate renewable natural gas. Renewable Cities is engaging with the Government of BC, local governments, utilities, and industry to develop a set of deliverables that meets the following objectives:

  1. Provide practical guidance to local governments to evaluate renewable natural gas potential and enable development
  2. Outline supportive policy options locally, provincially, and federally that would enable local governments to strategically contribute to B.C.’s RNG development

Project outcomes will be available in winter 2019.

PROJECT DELIVERABLES

Renewable Natural Gas Roadmap

Government Policy Options White Paper

This report will delineate technological and business and operational options for local governments, identify various barriers, and generate guidelines for feedstock assessment. It will highlight case studies that demonstrate various models and technology, financing, and policy precedents.

This output will identify fiscal, regulatory, and voluntary options to enable local governments to strategically contribute to RNG development.

NEWS & EVENTS

PARTNERS

This project is supported by the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions, North Growth Foundation, Sitka Foundation, and FortisBC.

More information: Contact info@renewablecities.ca / 778-782-8851 or subscribe to the Renewable Cities mailing list
Image credits: City of Burnaby, City of Surrey

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