Energy Environmental Economics (E3)
[Green Car Congress] A new study by Energy Environmental Economics (E3) consulting suggests that low-carbon gas fuels are a viable option for meeting California’s greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction goals and can simultaneously help achieve pollution emission reduction targets.
Low-carbon gas fuels or “decarbonized gas” refers to gaseous fuels with a net-zero, or very low, greenhouse gas impact on the climate. These include fuels such as biogas, hydrogen and renewable synthetic gases produced with low lifecycle GHG emission approaches.
The report examines the potential role of decarbonized gas fuels, and the existing gas pipeline infrastructure, to help meet California’s long-term climate goals. It compares two technology pathway scenarios for meeting the state’s goal of reducing GHG emissions: an electrification scenario, where all energy end uses are electrified and powered by renewable electricity; and a multi-energy framework, where both electricity and decarbonized gas fuels play significant roles in California’s energy supply.
The study concludes that a technology pathway for decarbonized gas could help meet the state’s GHG reduction goals and may be easier and could be less costly to implement in some sectors than a high electrification strategy. The findings point to the need for a significant program of research and development to make decarbonized gas a reality and allow consumers, businesses and policymakers greater flexibility and choice.—Rodger Schwecke, vice president of customer solutions for SoCalGas