- Renewable Gas production has rapidly come into vogue, partially due to a wide array of tax credits provided to the sector under the auspices of the U.S.’ Inflation Reduction Act
- The push to develop RNG generation capacity has led to a spate of M&A within the sector, headlined by BP’s $4.1bn acquisition of Archaea Energy in late 2022
- EverGen Infrastructure has been an early mover within the industry, with ambitious stated plans to own and manage 20 RNG-generating facilities across Canada within 5 years
- The company is seeking to capitalize on the exponential growth trends within the sector, which is seeing further momentum as a series of Canadian and American regional governments mandate the obligatory inclusion of RNG within their natural gas feedstock
North American grocery stores toss out billions of pounds of expired meat, rotten fruit and moldy bread every year. Most of that food ends up rotting in landfills, where it releases methane – a potent greenhouse gas, into the atmosphere. Now however, a growing effort is underway to rescue that trash and turn it into energy instead.
EverGen Infrastructure (TSX.V: EVGN) (OTCQX: EVGIF), a British-Columbia based natural gas operator, is seeking to do just that. The firm operates several facilities dedicated towards processing organic waste via an anaerobic digestion process to generate both, renewable natural gas and renewable fertilizer and composting products. The renewable gas which emerges from this process is subsequently injected directly into existing pipelines, where the fuel is combined with conventional produced natural gas.
EverGen Infrastructure has been an early mover within the renewable gas field, publicizing its intentions to own and manage over 20 RNG-generating facilities across Canada within five years; meanwhile and with four revenue generating RNG assets already in operation, the company has expressed their ambitions to grow their cumulative gross RNG generating capacity to 480,000 gigajoules of energy within a medium-term horizon. The move comes as the rest of the industry wakes up to the renewable energy source’s increasing potential.
The United States’ recently passed the Inflation Reduction Act, which has driven much of the recent momentum within the renewable natural gas sector, offering tax credits for companies which are able to build equipment like anaerobic digesters and produce RNG. Meanwhile, the Federal Renewable Fuel Standard as well as California’s Low-Carbon Fuel Standard both provide lucrative incentives for companies that can turn methane-emitting waste products into clean fuel sources.
BP PLC (LON: BP) made perhaps the most significant move over the past year, spending upwards of $4.1 billion to acquire RNG producer, Archaea Energy. The purchase was rapidly followed by a spate of smaller deals within the sector, with companies such as Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX), Republic Services Inc. (NYSE: RSG), and Clean Energy Fuels Corp. (NASDAQ: CLNE) all seeking to gain a foothold in the sector (https://ibn.fm/lsmwD).
“If you look back at the last five years in shale, with the race to secure the best acreage, and what people were willing to pay to do that, you’ve seen a lot of the same in RNG,” Brian Hlavinka, a vice president at gas pipeline operator Williams Companies Inc. (NYSE: WMB).
In 2021, RNG production within the United States was equivalent to 660 million gallons gasoline equivalents (“GGE”), an increase of over 20 percent relative to the previous year. While that is a lot of RNG, it remains just a fraction – about 3 percent – of the total natural gas consumption within the U.S. In Canada, the pace of growth has been even faster. The Canadian Biogas Association recently revealed that the production of biogas and renewable natural gas had the potential to halve the nation’s methane emissions by as much as half as of 2030. The movement has gained further impetus with various Canadian provinces introducing mandates to boost RNG use in recent years; in 2019, Quebec mandated that its gas grid would blend a minimum of 1-percent RNG into its feedstock mix, a figure set to rise to as much as 10 percent by 2030.
EverGen Infrastructure has sought to capitalize on the move towards increased RNG production through both, their ambitious expansion plans as well as a series of long-term offtake agreements signed with a number of Canadian utilities. By mid-2023 and following the conclusion of ongoing works at their Alberta-based GrowTEC operation, EverGen anticipates its production capacity to amount to upwards of 230 gigajoules per day of renewable natural gas – the equivalent of powering 100 British Columbia homes for a month.
“We are a renewable natural gas energy company. We’re a developer, owner and operator of projects that take organic waste and convert that organic waste into renewable energy in the form of renewable natural gas (‘RNG’),” stated Chase Edgelow, Co-Founder and CEO of EverGen Infrastructure Corp. “If you look back at the benefits of bringing in other sources of energy 20 years ago, there wasn’t one silver bullet for the electrical grid to be as renewable as it is today, with wind, solar and hydro. I think renewable natural gas can hold its own, and at the same time solve a massive waste problem and emissions problem from waste,” he concluded.
For more information, visit the company’s website at www.EverGenInfra.com.
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