By Amanda Bilek | July 22, 2013

In my last Biomass Magazine column, I wrote about the enormous potential of biogas in meeting our transportation needs and as a component of a diverse fuel mix. New projects and data are demonstrating that biogas as a transportation fuel is no longer a vision, but a market reality. Under both the federal renewable fuel standard 2 (RFS2) and California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard, biogas is an emerging contributor to a diverse, low-carbon fuel mix.While  progress is encouraging, there is still a large amount of untapped potential, leaving plenty of room for expansion and opportunity for innovative project models.
Starting with the RFS2, the first several months of 2013 have been an impressive growth period for biogas transportation projects. According to U.S. EPA data, biogas has generated nearly 2.3 million gallons of advanced biofuels in the first five months. Nearly 70 percent of those gallons were produced in March, April and May. The total advanced biofuel pool was 194 million gallons, and while the 2.3 million gallons of biogas fuel represents a small portion, steady growth in March, April and May is definitely a positive sign. Furthermore, the majority of advanced biofuel gallons is attributed to imports of Brazilian sugarcane ethanol, whereas biogas gallons are supplied by domestic projects, representing an important economic development for many U.S. states. Previous analysis concludes the potential for using biogas as advanced biofuel is much larger than current use, demonstrating there is room for significant growth.
In California, under the LCFS program, biogas is already helping to achieve program goals and is projected to make an even larger contribution in the future. In 2009, California established a policy to reduce the carbon intensity of […]