Canada just scratching RNG surface: report
Despite rapid growth over the last decade, Canada is just scratching the surface of its biogas potential, the Canadian Biogas Association (CBA) says in a new report released May 14.
Between 2011 and 2020, the number of operating biogas facilities across the country jumped by nearly 50%, and there are now 279 operating from coast to coast. Collectively, they are capturing methane from agricultural waste, from landfills and green bin recycling programs and from municipal wastewater treatment facilities, and turning it into 196 MW of clean electricity and 6mn GJ of renewable natural gas (RNG) every year.
But the CBA’s Canadian 2020 Biogas Market Report calculates that those projects are only capturing 13% of the country’s easily accessible biogas potential, and the decade of the 2020s could see another surge in growth, especially as provinces like BC and Quebec mandate biogas and RNG as part of their energy mix.
“It’s more important than ever that we tell Canada’s biogas story,” CBA executive director Jennifer Green said. “Biogas can deliver reliable and clean energy while reducing Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions and driving economic development in both urban and rural areas.”
Biogas offers a “full package” solution for Canada’s climate targets, she said, and the potential for growth is significant. Anaerobic digesters in the agricultural sector alone, the market report says, could bring an incremental 100 PJ of clean energy to the Canadian landscape. Across Canada, 27 new biogas projects are now underway.
“Studies have shown that biogas and RNG could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 14mn mt in 2030 and 62mn mt in 2050,” the CBA says. “The resource is there, commercially proven, and ready to be seized.”