I was privy to a very exciting presentation from Anthony LaRusso of (can you believe it!) national grid, on renewable gas. They have released a white paper outlining possible sources of renewable gas and policy suggestions for getting these sources hooked up to the gas pipe. They have pretty much done all of the footwork for us so we are ready to go with a plan of action to make natural gas drilling obsolete. I think this is exactly what we need to convince everyone that Hydrofracking is unnecessary, and to show that we are not just naysayers but have an alternative plan to keep the gas and clean water flowing.
It seems that the main hurtle is getting renewable gas the same recognition and support that other renewable are getting. Right now the only way to get the rebates that solar and wind get is to use it use the renewable gas to generate power and pump that into the grid. The problem is that so much efficiency is lost through power generation (75%, or 50% with combined heat and power if there is a heating load available) that it isn’t worth it for most projects. Pumping the gas into the pipes and burning it in an high efficiency furnace on the other had utilizes 95% or more of the energy of the gas.
We must demand:
1. Offer the same incentives and credits equivalent to renewable electricity.
2. Require renewable gas purchase similar to the Renewable Portfolio Standards for the power sector.
3. Give the option to buy renewable gas similar to the option that people have for buying renewable electricity.
Please check out these links to find out more and spread the word to the anti-frack network.
An interesting document from the Gas Technology Institute that gives a taste of the possibilities for replacing all petroleum products with renewable gas derived byproducts:
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