National Grid looking for new sources of renewable natural gas
National Grid has issued a request for information (RFI) to better understand renewable natural gas (RNG) and hydrogen availability for its customers in Massachusetts and New York, after the announcement of its vision for fossil-free heat in the Northeast. Procurement of RNG and hydrogen, one of four pillars in National Grid’s sustainable energy programme, will enable the business to create a 100 percent fossil-free gas network for consumers who cannot electrify.
As we move closer to net zero, we want to hear from suppliers and developers who can help us continue to meet our customers’ energy demands safely and reliably using existing networks,” said James Holodak, Vice President, Energy Procurement, National Grid. “Our study reveals that these resources have enormous potential to aid in the clean energy transition, and this RFI is an exciting first step toward fulfilling that promise.”
RNG is now being used to heat homes in the United Kingdom, and trials in Australia are underway. The United States is spending heavily on hydrogen technologies in order to bring them to market. The Department of Energy has set aside hundreds of millions of dollars to spur innovation in the hydrogen economy over the next few years.
To combat climate change, considerable reductions in greenhouse gas emissions are required across the board. National Grid is working to reduce emissions in the power, transportation, and building heat sectors, which together account for almost 40% of emissions in Massachusetts and New York.
A 100 percent fossil-free gas network, when combined with targeted electrification and improved energy efficiency, can provide a clean energy future to over 20 million people in New York and Massachusetts that is more economical and reliable than an all-electric path. National Grid’s fossil-free vision will not only lead to a net-zero energy future and help states meet their climate targets, but it will also give more affordable sustainable energy options for customers and communities.
Natural Gas Is Renewable
Renewable natural gas (RNG) is a readily available resource produced by decaying materials at farms, landfills, wastewater treatment plants, and other locations. RNG has a dual benefit in that it can absorb greenhouse gases before they are emitted and thus have an impact on our climate. We can then harness and purify it to use in place of fossil-fuel natural gas in our existing infrastructure. In the fight against climate change, this fossil-free energy is a double win. RNG for heating is promoted in nearly twenty states around the country.
National Grid continues to lead the way in enabling offshore wind development in the United States, and these assets can be leveraged to produce hydrogen via electrolysis.
The hydrogen produced is carbon-free because the only consequence of this process is water vapour. Hydrogen is especially valuable since it may be stored for future use when our wind and solar assets are not providing enough energy. This is a fossil-free method of decarbonizing a variety of industries, including heating, electricity generation, and transportation.