Written on: September 22, 2023
Today, most people agree that we must explore every possible avenue to decarbonize how we power our vehicles, heat our homes and fuel our residential and commercial equipment. As with all major challenges, combatting climate change requires innovative thinking and buy-in from both public and private stakeholders.
Unfortunately, in many New England states, we’ve seen an aggressive push from activists and policymakers to ignore green advances in traditional fuels in favor of an agenda of forced electrification. This narrow, poorly considered strategy could impose massive expenses on households and businesses and imperil our already fragile electric grids.
Even so, there’s been movement in recent weeks to make green, efficient and affordable renewable propane gas (rPG) available to more users in the Northeast.
On September 12, Massachusetts received its first delivery of renewable propane. The NGL Supply Wholesale Springfield terminal in West Springfield received a shipment of rPG for distribution to retailers in the region.
“The cost is just slightly more than traditional propane today,” Anderson said, “but we anticipate, as more of it is produced, that that cost is going to come down. And if you think about the added benefit that you get by knowing you’re helping the climate and helping the planet by using renewables — I think a lot of people are willing to spend a little bit more to get that.”
Propane retailer Hocon Gas made news on September 15 when it brought in Connecticut’s first renewable propane shipment. The rPG delivery will supply Hocon’s propane autogas filling station. Autogas made from conventional propane is far more eco-friendly (and affordable) than gasoline or diesel. It emits less carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide and nitrogen/sulfur oxides. Renewable propane has even better greenhouse gas performance, with a typical carbon intensity that’s roughly 23% that of gasoline or diesel.*
There is certainly a market for renewable propane autogas in the Constitution State. Connecticut has over 600 propane autogas-fueled school buses, the most of any state in New England.
These are just the most recent rPG deliveries in the Northeast. They follow the April 2022 arrival of two 30,000-gallon rail cars of rPG to Ray Energy in Troy, NY. That fuel served end users in New York and Vermont. Ray Energy recently delivered a propane blend containing 5% rPG to Maine for the grand opening of the state’s largest school bus autogas dispensing facility.
These events show how, even though renewable propane isn’t in wide use yet, its availability is continuing to grow — and there is an appetite from households and businesses for access to it. The Propane Education & Research Council found that the U.S. has the capability to produce 40 million gallons of rPG each year, and that number could reach 277 million gallons by 2027. We’ll need the support of businesses and policymakers to realize that growth. Renewable propane is a fantastic opportunity to lower greenhouse gas emissions without endangering the power grid or forcing expensive equipment conversions on everyday Americans.
You can learn more about how renewable propane is leading the way in decarbonization here.
*Source: Propane Education & Research Council