Oregon Department of Energy Publishes Inventory of Renewable Natural Gas Potential in the State
SALEM — The Oregon Department of Energy today announced a new inventory report of biogas and renewable natural gas potential in Oregon. RNG is a lower carbon fuel produced using methane from long-term waste streams like wastewater, agricultural manure, landfill waste, food waste, and residual material from forest and agricultural harvests.
In 2017, the Oregon Legislature directed ODOE to conduct an inventory of potential biogas and RNG production, feedstock or resource quantities and locations, and supply chain infrastructure. The department found that depending on the method used to produce the RNG, Oregon could have enough resources to replace 10 to 20 percent of the state’s total yearly use of natural gas, the bulk of which is currently imported from other states.
“Once in the pipeline, RNG is indistinguishable from fossil-fuel generated natural gas,” said Daniel Avery, ODOE Senior Policy Analyst and the inventory’s primary author. “Oregon homes, businesses, and vehicles have the potential to run on renewably-sourced, low carbon renewable natural gas—and help Oregon achieve our greenhouse gas reduction goals.”
With input and guidance from a 50-member advisory committee, the report also outlines barriers to using RNG, as well as a number of recommendations that could help move the industry forward. Some of the recommendations include allowing natural gas companies to buy and sell RNG, studying how to best expand natural gas transportation fueling infrastructure, and exploring financial incentives to support the industry.
“We appreciate the work of the RNG Advisory Committee members and industry stakeholders who helped develop this inventory report,” said ODOE Director Janine Benner. “We look forward to working with Oregon leaders on next steps for RNG use in our state.”
The full report, including RNG data, identified barriers, and all recommendations, is available on ODOE’s website. Avery will present the report’s findings to the Oregon House Interim Committee on Energy and Environment on September 24, and to the Senate Interim Committee on Environment and Natural Resources on September 25.