Renewable Natural Gas
Piedmont Natural Gas and its parent company, Duke Energy, remain committed to meeting customers’ energy needs affordably and reliably. Our goals are to achieve net-zero methane emissions from our natural gas systems by 2030 and achieve net-zero upstream emissions from purchased natural gas and downstream emissions from customers’ consumption of natural gas sold by 2050.
Renewable natural gas (RNG), also known as biomethane, is an essential part of achieving our Scope 3 goals and helping decarbonize the natural gas system.
The RNG Life Cycle
RNG is considered a carbon-neutral alternative to conventional natural gas and, in some cases, can be carbon-negative, depending on the feedstock. This process involves capturing methane that would ordinarily be emitted into the atmosphere. During decomposition of waste streams, such as agricultural, food and other wastes, methane and other gases are released, creating biogas. To make RNG, this biogas is captured, processed and conditioned to produce a gas that meets traditional pipeline natural gas quality standards. This RNG can be injected directly into pipelines for consumer uses, displacing geological natural gas. For agricultural waste streams, RNG also provides a waste management solution for farmers.
How Piedmont Is Using RNG
Incorporating RNG into our natural gas supply for customers provides an added source of affordable, reliable energy that also helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Piedmont also has started offering RNG at our publicly accessible compressed natural gas (CNG) stations to help our transportation and fleet customers reduce their emissions, as well as reduce the emissions of our own vehicle fleet.
Any RNG supplier that works with Piedmont to inject alternative gas onto our infrastructure must meet strict natural gas quality standards. Piedmont continuously monitors natural gas quality with advanced instrumentation and can automatically stop the receipt of RNG if standards are not met.
The Future of RNG Use & Development
We’re actively investing in several commercial RNG projects. These will bring sought-after renewable energy supplies to the market, removing methane from the agriculture and waste sectors and repurposing it as a fuel delivered to end users through the existing natural gas pipeline network.
We are also developing a strategy to facilitate the production and sale of RNG for natural gas utility customers at a cost that is competitive with geological gas. Our efforts to dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions along the entire natural gas supply chain and add innovative resources like RNG will allow consumers to participate in our nation’s energy transition affordably and reliably.