Written on: March 22, 2021
We recently interviewed Joy Alafia, president and CEO of the Western Propane Gas Association (WPGA); Leslie Anderson, president and CEO of the Propane Gas Association of New England; and Tom Jaenicke, vice president of propane marketing, Warm Thoughts Communications, who are among the founding members of the Renewable Propane Alliance.
They offered helpful context around renewable propane as a general term, what the Renewable Propane Alliance is all about, why it’s important and who is involved.
“Renewable propane is quite simply propane that is derived from sustainable sources,” says Alafia. “Currently the most popular and viable way today, is generating renewable and sustainable propane from things like animal fat and vegetable oil.”
The importance of this cleaner, greener fuel for the near—and not so near—future is certain. Anderson said, “It can be used to offset another energy source, which reduces our overall greenhouse gas emissions.”
“Conventional propane already plays a significant role in reducing carbon emissions when replacing more carbon intensive fuels and as the availability of renewable propane increases, it brings with it the potential for net-zero carbon emissions from a sustainable energy source,” says Jaenicke.
Supply is another important issue. “Of the 10 billion gallons of propane sold in the U.S., only four to five million gallons last year was renewable propane,” Jaenicke states. “The purpose of the Renewable Propane Alliance is to work with producers, wholesalers and retailers to identify the demand and increase the supply of renewable propane, no matter where you’d like to market it across the country.”
Alafia adds, “Another key role for the Renewable Propane Alliance is to educate consumers on the evolution of the propane industry. Many companies are looking for ways to reduce their carbon footprint, and renewable propane provides them with that avenue to achieve their own sustainability targets.”
Ultimately, at this point in time, the first goal of the Alliance is raising awareness about renewable propane. Anderson says, “It’s important that we educate people about renewable propane, because they don’t know it’s out there and it’s really part of the solution as we move forward.”
She explains that the Alliance includes “all the great thinkers within the industry today, the people that are looking down the road at where our industry is going to be—five years, 10 years, 20 years from now.”