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Renewable natural gas on-road fuel use reaches historic high

Posted on April 16, 2019

Over the last five years, RNG use as a transportation fuel has increased 577%, displacing over seven million tons of CO2e.
Clean Energy
Over the last five years, RNG use as a transportation fuel has increased 577%, displacing over seven million tons of CO2e.
Clean Energy

Natural Gas Vehicles for America (NGVAmerica) and the Coalition for Renewable Natural Gas (RNG Coalition) announced that 32% of all on-road fuel used in natural gas vehicles in calendar year 2018 was renewable natural gas (RNG).

Captured above ground from organic material in agricultural, wastewater, landfill, or food waste, RNG — or biomethane — produces net carbon-neutral and even net carbon-negative results when fueling on-road vehicles like short- and long-haul trucks, transit buses, and refuse and recycling collection vehicles. RNG fuel in 2018 had an EER-adjusted carbon intensity as low as -303.30, according to the California Air Resources Board. By comparison, California’s electricity grid rated between 25.0 and 38.95, according to the report.

Over the last five years, RNG use as a transportation fuel has increased 577%, displacing over seven million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e). NGVAmerica and the RNG Coalition report that in 2018 a total of 645 million gasoline gallon equivalent of natural gas was used as a motor fuel. Of that, more than 204 million gasoline gallon equivalent was renewable.

“The environmental advantages of using renewable natural gas to replace fossil fuels in on-road transportation have driven substantial growth in development and investment in new RNG production across the U.S.,” said Johannes Escudero, RNG Coalition CEO. “The number of North American RNG production facilities has multiplied more than two-and-a-half times in the past five years to almost 100 today, while RNG fuel use has increased nearly six-fold.”

RNG motor fuel use has eliminated 7,251,351 metric tons of CO2e over the last five years. Put into perspective, RNG motor fuel is:

  • Lowering greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to removing 1,539,565 gasoline passenger cars from our roads for one year.
  • Reducing CO2 emissions equivalent to 815,950,377 gallons of gasoline or 712,313,458 gallons of diesel consumed. That’s equal to the total energy used by 868,321 U.S. homes for one year.
  • Avoiding greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to running 1,537 wind turbines for one year, or replacing 275,434,003 traditional lightbulbs with LEDs.
  • Sequestering carbon equal to growing 119,902,624 tree seedlings for 10 years or 8,534,274 acres of U.S. forests for one year.
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