Southeast RNG Conference Focus on Growing Region’s Potential

Given the Southeast U.S. is a huge livestock industry bastion, contains a number of natural gas pipelines, and is growing in population and energy usage/need, it’s the perfect location to capitalize on Renewable Natural Gas (RNG).  Five to the thirteen states with the greatest RNG production potential in the Southeast.

Renewable Natural Gas has been hailed by some proponents as the fuel with no downside: capturing biogas given off from large organic matter, including landfills, livestock farms, wastewater treatment plants, among others. Then upgrading the biogas to pipeline quality RNG.

Following its sold-out Appalachian RNG conference recently held outside Pittsburgh, the RNG Directory is presenting its second regional, one-day program, Southeast RNG Conference on Oct. 4, at the Charlotte Airport Hilton.

“Our RNG conferences focus on creating regional awareness of the opportunities. It’s exciting to be part of these projects, which are adding jobs and revenue to local communities while addressing climate change,” said Tom Gellrich, CEO and Founder of RNG Directory.

The use of renewable fuels, including RNG, is a direction many utilities have been following for years. Behemoth Southeast power producers, including Southern Co. and Duke Energy, both have announced plans to sharply reduce, if not eliminate, all emissions. Local and state governments are helping said push.

And with abundant livestock, along with numerous landfills, wastewater treatment plants, etc., all states in the region – and the companies doing business in those states – should take a closer look at RNG.

“An Industry Research report, released earlier this year, forecasts RNG growth at a CAGR of 44%,” said Gellrich. “Major oil and gas companies such as BP are jumping in; BP recently acquired landfill RNG leader Archaea Energy.”

But your doesn’t have to be an oil Supermajor to get involved with RNG. The U.S. EPA reports the U.S. has 3,000 active landfills, while U.S. Farm Data states the country has more than 200,000 dairy farms.

As state previously, the Southeast is a major livestock industry player, with Georgia, North Carolina and Arkansas ranked one, two, three in U.S. poultry production. North Carolina is ranked third in the nation in hogs and pigs’ inventory, Six Southeast states (Florida, Arkansas, Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, and Louisiana) are ranked in the nation’s Top 25 states in the number of beef cattle.

“There is plenty of opportunity for ‘mining’ these sources of natural gas,” according to Gellrich.

Methane generated by decomposition is traditionally allowed to leak into the atmosphere. Methane is acknowledged to be a potent greenhouse gas with warming potential 25–34 times greater than carbon dioxide, according to University of Utah data. Avoidance of methane emissions actually gives RNG a negative carbon intensity.