What is believed to be the world’s largest biomethane refueling station operated by CNG Fuels will support low-carbon heavy goods vehicle deliveries in Wales and South West. Photo credit: CNG Fuels
The adoption of RNG is rapidly gaining ground as a decarbonization strategy in North America, including with high-profile fleets like UPS, Amazon, Waste Management, LA Metro and NYC Transit.
But use of biomethane is on the rise elsewhere—primarily in Europe. Governments there support it as a key strategy for decarbonizing fuel and energy systems. For example:
- In northern France, half of the city of Lille’s fleet of over nearly 500 buses runs on biomethane—produced locally from residents’ household waste.
- In Italy, the European leader in CNG vehicle use, grocery store chain Lidl is adopting bio-methane fueled tractor trailers.
- In northern Italy, Air Liquide and an Italian partner have begun work on two agricultural biomethane projects, which will connect to a new fueling facility for heavy trucks.
- British supermarket chain Waitrose is replacing diesel trucks with CNG models using biomethane. Parent company, The John Lewis Partnership, plans to convert all 600 of its “heavy goods vehicles” to biomethane by 2028, and is building a biomethane fueling station nears its distribution headquarters.
- Another chain of UK supermarkets, ASDA (owned by Walmart), plans to transition its core fleet of 1,000 tractor units to biomethane by 2024.
- Baked-goods manufacturer Warburtons, based in the north of England, is transitioning its 125-tractor “primary fleet” to biomethane over five years, starting in 2021.
- Since January 2020, the English city of Bristol has rolled out 77 buses fueled by biomethane produced from food waste.
- Just west of Bristol, what is billed as the world’s largest public-access biomethane fueling station is under construction, near the intersection of two of the UK’s busiest freight routes. Expected to open in late 2021, the facility will be able to fuel 80 heavy-duty vehicles per hour, initially dispensing biomethane made from food waste, and then switching to fully carbon-neutral biomethane made from manure in 2022.
- In Berlin, biomethane made from the city’s household waste fuels 150 of the city’s refuse collection trucks.
With businesses and local, regional and national governments looking for ways to meet their waste management and emissions- reduction targets, particularly in the transportation sector, RNG/biomethane stands out as the only readily available fuel that can be net-carbon-neutral, or even net-negative. So this fuel promises to be an important addition to the portfolio of solutions needed to secure a global sustainable future.