Since 2009, Ohio’s fleet use of cleaner burning, domestic natural gas fuel for vehicles has grown exponentially, and with a range of developments in the renewable natural gas markets, Ohio stands to dramatically boost its carbon reductions.  In 2009, there were fewer than 100 natural gas vehicles (NGVs) in Ohio. By 2019, that number had reached nearly 7,000. Correspondingly, the amount of natural gas used as a motor fuel grew during that period, from around 27,000 gasoline gallon equivalents (GGEs) to nearly 23,000,000 GGEs, driven by sizable adoption of natural gas in transit, refuse, municipal, and regional delivery fleets. Due to Ohio fleets’ increasing transition to natural gas over petroleum fuels, nearly 15,000 fewer annual tons of greenhouse gasses are emitted and the numbers continue to grow.

With the massive success of NGVs in our state, Ohio has an ideal opportunity to support another growing industry and to transition with ease to using renewable natural gas (RNG) for cost savings and sweeping reductions in carbon emissions. RNG is made by taking organic waste streams such as agricultural waste, food waste, sewage and landfill waste and capturing the methane resulting from the waste’s decomposition and using it for fuel instead of flaring it to the atmosphere as a potent greenhouse gas.

New and growing RNG production is coming online every day.  Just last week, Rice Acquisition Corp said its planned $1.15 billion merger with Aria Energy LLC and Archaea Energy LLC was approved by its stockholders and will create the largest public renewable gas company in the United States. RNG is seeing ever higher demand and numerous companies, like oil major Chevron Corp and power provider NextEra Energy, have announced projects focusing on this renewable gas.  The deal with Aria and Archaea, expected to close on or around Sept. 15, creates a platform focused on the capture and conversion of waste emissions from landfills into low-carbon RNG, electricity, and green hydrogen. The combined company is expected to be the largest producer of RNG by volume starting next year, when its project Assai in Pennsylvania comes online.

With the rapidly expanding RNG production capacity across the nation and in the buckeye state itself, Ohio is well positioned in this growing market. Ohio’s economy and fleets have an opportunity to keep expanding the RNG fuel production industry as well being a largescale user.  Such developments will not only massively boost Ohio’s renewable energy consumption, but also generate a renewable fuel that reduces lifecycle carbon emissions from fleet vehicles by 70-100%.  Not only that, but all the equipment used to run vehicles powered by fossil natural gas is the same as the equipment used to run RNG vehicles. There is a clear and affordable pathway to using this fuel in thousands of Ohio vehicles. Ohio is also already home to nine operational RNG production facilities, with five more currently planned or under construction.

For more information on how your fleet can save money and carbon emissions by utilizing RNG, contact Consulting Services Manager Brandon Jones at [email protected] or call Clean Fuels Ohio at 614-884-7336.