ESG & Industry Updates

National Grid to Pivot NY to Renewable Nat Gas, Green Hydrogen Power

Posted by Kelly Burke on Jul 7, 2022 3:30:00 PM


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National Grid has announced it plans to transition New York away from natural gas by 2050 via a combination of renewable natural gas and green hydrogen. New York City alone creates 70% of the State’s emissions, and almost half of those are a direct result of heating buildings and heating water with fossil fuels across its 1 million+ buildings.

National Grid’s strategy is that renewable natural gas and green hydrogen will be used in tandem with electrification projects and renewables like solar. The renewable natural gas and green hydrogen are necessary for reliability of the grid, at least with current technology in place.

I wrote an article for Oil & Energy magazine this month on the topic. You can read that in its entirety here: National Grid says it will pivot to renewable gas and green hydrogen.

Additionally, a quick overview on renewable natural gas & green hydrogen is below.

Renewable Natural Gas

Renewable natural gas, or biogas/biomethane is captured when methane is released from landfills, wastewater treatment plants, food waste, and livestock manure. Emissions from these sources are recurring and otherwise contribute to greenhouse gas emissions but with the renewable natural gas process, they are harnessed, purified, and used to provide gas for cooking, heat, etc, through pipelines in the same manner as conventional natural gas.

Renewable natural gas is chemically similar to conventional, and can run through the same pipeline systems which is a huge plus for infrastructure concerns. However, the infrastructure to purify the captured emissions is essentially nonexistent currently.

There is some concern among environmentalists that biomethane pushes could push agricultural operations to scale further in order to be more cost effective. However, it is worth pointing out that the emissions from the agricultural sector are so high currently, that it seems unlikely capturing spilloff would ultimately function as a detrimental factor in terms of the broader emissions picture.

Even with that particular criticism aside, the infrastructure upgrades and purification setups needed and their associated costs make it unlikely that renewable natural gas can serve as a comprehensive replacement on its own.

Green Hydrogen

Green hydrogen is the cleanest of the hydrogen options and produces zero carbon emissions. It’s produced by electrolysis. H20 is split into hydrogen and oxygen, so there is no waste and the environmental impact is zero. If the process is powered by renewable sources like wind or solar, it is considered a green fuel and has no environmental emissions cost.

The issue with green hydrogen is the infrastructure costs that would be associated with required upgrades to pipeline infrastructure. Currently, 26 pilot programs are running in the United States to test use in existing pipelines as well as production and storage methods.

So while green hydrogen may be the most promising of the solutions long term, it definitely is LONG term.

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Topics: New York, Biofuels, carbon emissions, renewable energy, hydrogen

Dennis K Burke Answers the Call on Hurricane Sandy

Posted by Ed Burke on Dec 5, 2012 3:16:00 PM


On October 29th, Hurricane Sandy slammed down on New York and New Jersey, leaving a wake of destruction in its path, including demolished houses, flooded subways, and thousands of families without power. In the immediate aftermath, Dennis K Burke began dispatching fuel trailers to help support utility vehicles responding to the widespread power outages in New York and New Jersey. Shortly after, we responded to FEMA's need for operational support refueling emergency vehicles. In New York City, the focus was on FEMA refueling operations for light towers, generators, heaters, and mobile command centers.

Several of our dedicated drivers were in it for the long haul, working countless hours, sleeping in their trucks at the FEMA command centers, refueling critical locations to support the storm recovery. They worked all day and night, powering up generators for local police stations, fueling the Army and National Guard response vehicles, and delivering to LaGuardia and JFK International Airports to support ground and emergency equipment. Our drivers were fueling generators that powered local housing complexes and tent cities, and providing fuel for huge dewatering pumps to work at clearing the flooded subways.

We could not have been more honored and proud to take part in the recovery effort. Our hearts go out to all the families and individuals impacted by Hurricane Sandy, and we look forward to continuing to support their efforts at rebuilding their lives and their communities.
Dennis K Burke Times Square NY
(Photo Courtesy of PRNewswire, Burke Relief Convoy leaving Chelsea MA Headquarters on display in Times Square)


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Topics: Hurricane Sandy, FEMA, Times Square, New York, New Jersey

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