Andreas Thanos has been in various capacities with the Massachusetts DPU for over twenty years. He serves as Chair of NARUC’s Staff Subcommittee on Gas. He participates in NARUC-sponsored international projects on natural gas. A member of NAESB’s Advisory Council, he is a mentor in ICER’s Women in Energy Mentoring Program, and produces a monthly LNG newsletter.
Lisa Gorsuch is with the Oregon PUC for twenty years, serving as energy expert and Senior Staff Advisor to Commissioners, and is now the Emergency Preparedness Manager in Safety, Security, and Reliability. She serves on multiple NARUC Subcommittees and is Vice Chair of NARUC’s Gas Subcommittee. She was a Senior Enforcement Agent on a multi-jurisdictional organized crime task force prior to joining the PUC and started out as a firefighter/paramedic.
Patricia Lucarelli is the Chief Legal Administrator with the Rhode Island PUC where she has represented the Commission and the Rhode Island Energy Facility Siting Board since 2006. She currently serves as the Chair of the NARUC Staff Subcommittee on Education and Research and the Vice Chair of the Staff Subcommittee on Water.
Renewable Natural Gas or RNG is rightfully a hot topic among regulators, industry, and other interested stakeholders right now. This makes perfect sense because if RNG is left alone as it has been for decades, it poses a far greater threat than what is presently understood.
So, what is RNG? All definitions condense it to pipeline-quality gas, that is fully interchangeable with conventional natural gas. Also referred to as biomethane, it is the purified version of gas that was produced by the decomposition of organic matter under oxygen-free conditions.
Simply, RNG is a product that has resulted from human activity. This human activity is not limited to a specific socioeconomic or geographical group of individuals; rather it encompasses all individuals. Farms, landfills, solid waste and wastewater treatment facilities, all have the potential to either release biomethane into the environment, or harvest, purify, and commercialize it.
However, despite industry and state efforts, there has yet to be developed a profitable way of harvesting this methane and preventing it from being released into the atmosphere. As of today, there are several pilot projects that support both research and collection of RNG. However, what is lacking is a financially viable process to collect, purify as necessary and use this methane for the same processes as conventional natural gas.