Biogas, RNG could reduce five times more GHG emissions in Canada

With the right government policies, Canada could reduce five times more greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions through biogas and RNG.

New research by the Canadian Biogas Association, based on modelling by Navius Research, shows biogas and RNG projects currently reduce 8 megatonnes of GHG pollution by making clean energy out of methane derived from landfills, agriculture and other organic waste (1 megatonne is equal to 1,000,000 tonnes).

Research shows that the number will grow only 2.5 megatonnes by 2030 under existing policies. Meanwhile, a combination of new policies could deliver 26.7 megatonnes of emissions reductions in 2030.

The 26.7 megatonnes of reductions would achieve more than half of Canada’s 2030 methane pledge while also helping to close the 66-megatonne gap in Canada’s overall 2030 target, calculated by the environment commissioner last year.

The Canadian Biogas Association’s study also shows a potential 40 megatonne GHG reduction through biogas and RNG by 2050 – five times current reductions – which gives green gas an important role in hitting the Government of Canada’s legislated target of net-zero emissions by 2050.

To achieve these reductions, the government needs to scale up two policies proving successful at the provincial level. The first is a country-wide renewable gas mandate, similar to what is in place in Quebec and British Columbia. A federal renewable gas mandate would require all natural gas suppliers to add renewable gases to their mix.

The second policy is a carbon offsetting system that rewards landfills and farms for voluntarily collecting and utilising methane. Alberta and Quebec have similar policies in place already.

“Right now, Canada has 279 biogas and RNG producers doing good work destroying GHG emissions,” said Jennifer Green of the Canadian Biogas Association.

“We now have a clear understanding of how to multiply that number, but it will take government leadership.”

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