Tag Archives: state

BCSE Technology Brief: States Take the Lead on Renewable Natural Gas

The policy landscape is changing for renewable natural gas, and market opportunities for the domestic, renewable, clean fuel and energy source are expanding as well. Under the leadership of one of BCSE’s partner organizations, the Coalition for Renewable Natural Gas, states are advancing policies that promote the use of renewable natural gas (RNG). These policies are needed to create market certainty, which is necessary to drive greater development, deployment and utilization of RNG.

Thirty-seven states and DC have Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) programs, which can be met in part by producing renewable electricity from RNG. Many states and regions are also adopting policies that facilitate the use of RNG for transportation fuel. The Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) is the California regulation that requires a 10% reduction in transportation fuel carbon intensity by 2020. Governors of CT, DE, ME, MD, MA, NH, NJ, NY, PN, RI, and VT signed a 2009 memorandum of understanding committing to develop a regional low carbon fuel standard. Many states are considering new policies to create new markets for RNG, such as California’s Senate Bill 1440, which would establish a biomethane procurement goal for gas corporations.

As the policy landscape continues to evolve, states and the federal government should continue to support policies that promote the use of renewable natural gas, and result in longer term market certainty for this renewable energy and ultra low-carbon fuel.

RNG has many applications that make it a valuable and flexible resource. It can be blended with or substitute for conventional natural gas in vehicles as well as in commercial, industrial and residential end-use applications. RNG can be used to power your home or business’ natural gas appliances. It can also be converted to Compressed Natural Gas (R-CNG) or Liquefied Natural Gas (R-LNG) to fuel natural gas vehicles; many cities have transitioned their diesel bus fleets to natural gas engines fueled by renewable natural gas.

The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) is a federal program administered by the US Environmental Protection Agency requiring transportation fuel sold in the United States to contain a minimum volume of renewable fuel. Renewable Natural Gas meets the highest standards of RFS2 for lifecycle GHG emissions reduction, and currently comprises greater than 95% of all the cellulosic biofuel under the RFS program.

Many are familiar with natural gas, and with renewable resources, but what exactly is renewable natural gas?

Renewable Natural Gas (RNG, Biomethane) is an ultra-low carbon alternative to traditional natural gas. When organic waste breaks down naturally, it emits methane gas, also called biogas, a mixture of carbon dioxide and hydrocarbons. Renewable natural gas is biogas that has been upgraded to transportation fuel grade specifications or natural gas pipeline quality standards such that it may blend with, or substitute for, geologic natural gas. Large amounts of biogas (the raw, freshly emitted and untreated gas) can be collected at local landfills, wastewater treatment plants, commercial food waste facilities and agricultural digesters (dairies, etc.).

For more information on RNG, please see the RNG Coalition website at www.rngcoalition.com


Businesses, States, Cities Lead the Way on Climate Action in the United States (June 1, 2018)

June 1, 2018

Contact: Laura Tierney
Email: [email protected]
Office: 202.785.0507

Businesses, States, Cities Lead the Way on Climate Action in the United States

Washington, DC – BCSE President Lisa Jacobson issued the following statement on the progress of clean energy and climate action in the United States today:

“A surge of climate action is taking place in the United States, lead by American leaders in cities, states, the private sector, universities and other parts of society.  This action is taking place across these diverse cross-sections of America because there are economic, environmental and public health benefits.

“We are decoupling economic growth from emissions reductions.  Costs are falling in a broad range of clean energy technologies that have made significant emissions reductions possible – and we are not seeing corresponding increases in costs for American businesses and households.

“We believe these trends will continue because of the wide-spread benefits of climate action and preparedness to the U.S. economy.  Investments and deployment of clean energy are already well underway in the United States – with an increasingly diverse set of solutions from the energy efficiency, natural gas and renewable energy sectors emerging as the growth sectors of the U.S. energy landscape. “

The latest edition of Sustainable Energy in America Factbook chronicles the latest in this clean energy transformation as of 2017, including:

  • 93% of new power capacity built in the U.S. over the past 25 years has come from natural gas and renewable energy, including hydropower.
  • Natural gas and renewable energy accounted for 50% of all electricity generation in 2017, up from 31% in 2008.
  • The energy productivity of the U.S. economy grew 2.5% in 2017 as economic growth continued its long-term trend of decoupling from energy use. Energy productivity has increased 17.3% since 2008.
  • The U.S. power sector is driving the economy’s de-carbonization as its emissions fell 4.2% in 2017. Power sector emissions now sit 28% below their 2005 peak.
  • American consumers devoted less than 4% of their total annual household spending on energy in 2017.

Download the press release.

New Factsheet Reveals Clean Energy Accounts for 25% of Electricity Produced in Minnesota (March 1, 2018)

March 1, 2018
CEEM Contact: Amelia Cerling Hennes, [email protected] | 507.251.5140
BCSE Contact: Laura Tierney, [email protected] | 202.785.0507

New Factbook Reveals Clean Energy Accounts for 25% of Electricity Produced in Minnesota
Clean Energy Spurring Minnesota Job Growth and Changing Energy Landscape

ST. PAUL, MINN. – Renewable energy now accounts for a quarter of Minnesota’s electricity generation, with wind alone providing 18 percent—according to the 2018 Minnesota State Energy Factsheet released today. This confirms that Minnesota is on track to meet the state’s Renewable Energy Standard seven years ahead of schedule. The findings were discussed today with business and industry leaders and state policy experts.

The 2018 Sustainable Energy in America Factbook and the Minnesota Factsheet, compiled by research firm Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) for the Business Council for Sustainable Energy (BCSE), outline key trends influencing national and state investment and economics, energy supply, and energy demand. As the American energy sector continues its transformation to cleaner, cheaper sustainable energy, Minnesota remains a leader.

  • The American Council for an Energy Efficiency Economy (ACEEE) ranks Minnesota 9th out of all 50 states for its overall energy efficiency programs (up from a rank of 10th last year).
  • In 2017, annual solar capacity additions overtook those for wind in Minnesota.
  • The explosive rise of community solar in 2017 contributed to the leap in solar installations in the state – the Minnesota Department of Commerce counted 245MW of new community solar additions last year, nearly five times more than the 42MW added in 2016.
  • According to the 2017 Clean Jobs Midwest Report the clean energy industry is powering Minnesota’s economy by supporting more than 57,000 jobs.
  • Minnesota leads the region for utility spending on efficiency programming – it comes in as the 2nd highest spending (by percentage of revenue) in the region.
  • Minnesota added a full 600 MW of renewable capacity in 2017.

Industry leaders are seeing these trends play out in Minnesota:

“The incredible growth of solar and wind is helping fuel the transformation of Minnesota’s energy system,” said Stephen Jones, Vice President, Solar at Blattner Energy. “The number of jobs in sustainable energy continue to increase as well, which benefits our state.”

“Clean energy businesses are punching above their weight when it comes to contributing to Minnesota’s economy. Not only are they creating jobs four times faster than any other sector – they are also helping keep energy dollars local by harnessing our homegrown renewable resources. Minnesota has made incredible progress. Stable, forward-looking policies will only usher in even greater clean energy investment, well into the future,” said Gregg Mast, Executive Director of Clean Energy Economy Minnesota.

“The contributions of sustainable energy to Minnesota’s economic competitiveness are direct, dramatic and dynamic,” said Lisa Jacobson, President of the Business Council for Sustainable Energy. “We examine sustainable energy trends across the country – and Minnesota is a clear stand out. The trend lines in the 2018 Factbook are clear: sustainable energy is benefiting Minnesota consumers, businesses and manufacturers. And that adds up to one conclusion: clean energy delivers for Minnesota.”

Clean Energy Economy Minnesota (CEEM) was proud to partner with the Business Council for Sustainable Energy (BCSE) along with Greater MSP, the McKnight Foundation, Saint Paul Area Chamber of Commerce, and the Science Museum of Minnesota and to discuss the Factsheet findings with the businesses impacted by clean energy growth.

The 2018 Factbook is provided in a PowerPoint format (totaling 132 slides) and is intended to serve as a reference guide of energy statistics throughout the year. The Minnesota Factsheet is a shorter companion resource that can be used as a quick guide.


About Clean Energy Economy Minnesota (CEEM): CEEM is an industry-led, non-profit organization dedicated to strengthening Minnesota’s clean energy business ecosystem. CEEM provides a unified voice for clean energy business across the state. Our mission is to provide educational leadership, collaboration, and policy analysis that accelerates clean energy market growth and smart energy policies.

About the Business Council for Sustainable Energy (BCSE): BCSE is a trade association representing the energy efficiency, natural gas, and renewable energy sectors. It advocates for policies at the state, federal, and international level that promote the deployment of the full portfolio of commercially available clean energy products, technologies and services.

Download the press release.