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Incorporating RNG into the Gas System

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Gas utility providers are working to overcome technical challenges and implement renewable natural gas (RNG) as a clean energy source.

Utility companies play a critical role in society by supplying a source of energy to users, enabling the modern conveniences we have come to expect. Energy production from fossil fuels, however, has been associated with climate change, and suppliers are becoming increasingly aware of the role their business plays in contributing to carbon in the atmosphere. Gas utilities in particular are facing the challenge of reducing methane emissions and decarbonizing the gas network to move toward cleaner and more affordable energy sources.

The roadmap to this cleaner energy future is paved with challenges and obstacles, as well as opportunities and improvements — as is true of any pathway to a new normal. A balance must be struck between transitioning to cleaner energy and ensuring uninterrupted, safe delivery of energy to utility customers. Established utility gas systems, processes, protocols, and regulations have successfully provided uninterrupted, safe delivery of energy. This, however, is no longer enough. The goal now is to take those successful processes and adapt them to be not only reliable, safe, and affordable, but also sustainable. This article presents renewable natural gas (RNG) as a potential solution. It describes some technical challenges of implementing RNG, as well as solutions and opportunities.

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