Getting to net zero by 2050—and cutting emissions in half by 2030—is going to require policymakers to be creative about sources of renewable energy. Technologies like Renewable Natural Gas (RNG) and hydrogen could be an answer to our environmental and economic challenges. Here’s why:
Siting New Energy Infrastructure is Challenging
In recent years, communities, states and even neighboring countries have increasingly resisted building wind, solar and hydro infrastructure in their backyards. Technologies like RNG and hydrogen can utilize existing transmission and distribution infrastructure – allowing renewable energy projects to move forward and protecting the billions of dollars that ratepayers have already invested in our energy systems.
Emissions Can Be Reduced Exponentially
Methane, one of the most potent greenhouse gases caused by food and organic waste, is now one of our largest sources of emissions. Fortunately, Massachusetts has more than a dozen anaerobic digestion systems that can capture these emissions – each of which can fuel about 2,000 homes.
We Need Technologies that are Quick and Efficient to Produce
With less than a decade to make significant reductions in our emissions, there is a premium on technology that can be brought online quickly and efficiently. Since hydrogen comes from water and RNG comes from organic waste through the anaerobic digestion process, they do not require electricity to produce which adds to costs and emissions. This is good for our homes, businesses and communities as well as our planet.
Economic and Social Mobility is Closely Tied to Our Energy Infrastructure
Existing energy infrastructure supports thousands of union jobs that help us advance social and economic mobility. By repurposing, rather than abandoning, pipe infrastructure to transport non-carbon emitting energy, we can support skilled career paths that reduce the gender wage gap, break the intergenerational cycle of poverty impacting many communities of color, and provide affordable healthcare and retirement benefits to working families.
To learn more about the potential climate impact of Renewable Natural Gas in Massachusetts, click here.