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RNG Opportunities for Wisconsin ‘America’s Dairyland’

RNG experts will be speaking on June 13, at the first Midwest RNG Conference – Summer 2024, at the Sonesta Milwaukee West Wauwatosa. The all-day program is produced by the RNG Directory and Shale Directories.

Renewable Natural Gas (RNG) converts emissions-producing waste from landfills, farms, wastewater treatment facilities, and other organic sources into a sustainable fuel. Trillium calculates dairy cow waste as having a

-283 gCO2e/MJ, the lowest Carbon Intensity rating of any fuel pathway as certified by CARB. Consuming RNG actually reduces carbon emissions! Graphic courtesy Trillium.

RNG is a fuel with no downsides. Leveraging existing infrastructure, RNG can power vehicles, produce electricity, or replace fossil natural gas in our grid. It has been a low-profile market for the last ten years. That is changing, driven by climate change laws, Wall Street’s ESG funds, DOE, EPA, and State tax credits, grants, and loans. These forces are fueling explosive RNG growth estimated at 40+% CAGR through 2028 according to Market Growth Reports.

Wisconsin is ground zero with 12% of the US animal manure RNG projects as tracked by the Environmental Protection Agency’s AgStar database LINK. It is no wonder, it is a dairy powerhouse as the nation’s number two milk-producing state, according to Statista LINK.

Who benefits from RNG? It is a long list, but it starts with the local community. Constructing the facilities to produce bio-gas from wastes and then purify the bio-gas into RNG. That drives local jobs – direct and indirect. Local economic activity produces local taxes.

Dairy farmers get a percentage of the project profits for their waste. Manure, now converted to RNG, does not migrate into Wisconsin’s seemingly endless lakes, creating human and environmental health issues.

For Wisconsin, the dairy cow becomes much more than the farm, milk, and cheese. It now has the job of providing energy, jobs, taxes, and a cleaner environment in both reduced air emissions and water. Who knew?

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