From FCC Express
By Owen Roberts
Ontario will invest about $20 million over four years to pilot the use of renewable natural gas from agricultural materials and food waste digestion.
The province says it intends to deliver a cost-shared program to support the production of renewable natural gas, fuelling systems, conversion of transportation fleets to renewable natural gas fuelling, “resulting in quick and economical greenhouse gas pollution reductions.”
Jeff Leal, Ontario’s Minister for Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, says natural gas is an important source of energy for rural Ontario, and for the industrial and commercial farm activities that benefit from it.
“I have heard many times from residents and businesses across rural Ontario about the importance of gaining access to natural gas,” he says.
The provincial government describes renewable natural gas as “fully interchangeable with conventional natural gas and uses the same infrastructure.” Utilities will explore opportunities to inject hydrogen generated from renewable energy sources into the natural gas stream.
Of course, renewable natural gas has a significant agricultural connection.
“Methane released from sources like landfills, municipal green bin collection, agricultural residues, livestock manure, food and beverage manufacturing waste, sewage treatment plants and forestry waste can be renewed and directly substituted for conventional natural gas,” says the province.
Earlier this year, Ontario committed to creating a $200-million natural gas access loan and a $30-million natural gas economic development grant program to help rural communities make the switch.