It is finally here. Fuel made of methane extracted from landfills goes on sale in 40 stations across California. Clean Energy Fuels, the company that started this, has the aim to expand the network nationwide and sell around 15 million gallons in California, only this year.
The increasing popularity in vehicles that run on clean fuel became more apparent as the extensive extraction of shale gas promised the transportation industry a way to meet the harsh emissions standards. In addition to this, the government introduced numerous incentives to companies, which contribute to reducing carbon emissions.
All of this encouraged Clean Energy Fuels to boost their production of methane biofuel and surprise customers by providing more than enough supply of the product. The company named their fuel Redeem, and they sell it at the same price as any conventional natural gas fuel thanks to federal incentives that allowed the company to balance the much more expensive production.
The methane fuel is also much cheaper than diesel. This news was welcomed by the company’s customers AT&T, Verizon, Mattel and Williams-Sonoma and the larger operators like SuperShuttle and Hertz, as they now do not have to comply with geopolitics. Another benefit of course is the fact that these companies can now make use of their numerous green credentials.
Redeem also comes with a number of environmental benefits. The process of fuel production requires capturing of the methane produced in landfills before it can escape into the atmosphere. When burnt, methane is much less toxic and harmful than any of the gases that are released through the diesel exhaust.
To prevent methane from escaping before it can be captured for fuel production, many companies and projects across Europe and the U.S. are working on developing technologies and systems that can prevent atmospheric pollution.
Now that producers are turning to methane-capture for fuel making, analysts predict boost in long-term investments, something which has been quite risky in the field until now. This is especially the case, since Clean Energy executives demonstrate how Redeem is 90% cleaner than diesel.
The trends are clear. Many large transportation companies are increasingly turning to gas to fuel large trucks, not only because the fuel is much cheaper, but also because this is the only way towards a clean and sustainable business.