Arun Raju, director of the Center for Renewable Natural Gas at UC Riverside, recently received a $146,000 grant from Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) to examine the proposed 100% Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) and explore options that can help achieve emission reduction goals more efficiently and at lower costs.
State officials have approved requirements for the power grid to consist of 50% renewable energy by 2030. However, discussions also are underway in Sacramento to further tighten those requirements to 50% as early as 2025 and 100% by 2045.
The study will examine the limitations of intermittent renewable options, such as wind and solar energy, which are only available at certain hours of the day. They also will evaluate how renewable natural gas could help the state achieve the overall RPS, including potential financial benefits.
California has a largely untapped available renewable resource – biogas from dairies, landfills and wastewater treatment plants, which can be conditioned or upgraded to renewable natural gas. We believe renewable natural gas can play a valuable role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and we look forward to the results of this independent review.—George Minter, regional vice president of external affairs and environmental strategy for SoCalGas
The six-month research project is being conducted under the umbrella of the Center for Renewable Natural Gas, established earlier this year as part of the Center for Environmental Research and Technology (CE-CERT) at UCR’s Bourns College of Engineering. The research team will predict and forecast high renewable energy scenarios in for both electric and natural gas grids. The data will serve to inform policymakers on how best to increase renewable energy use in the future.