Are Low-to-Zero-Emission Trucks Cost Competitive?

Medium- and heavy-duty vehicles (MHDVs) account for only 5% of vehicles on the road in the United States, yet they are responsible for 21% of transportation-related greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Reducing MHDV emissions can have a major impact to reduce GHGs and improve air quality. Zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs)—such as battery electric vehicles (EVs) and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles—offer a longer term solution; vehicles that use renewable biogas can lower GHGs significantly right now.

While projecting future technology adoption is complex and many factors influence consumer decisions, economics play a key role in choosing technologies for commercial vehicle applications. A recent study by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) explored how the total cost of driving for zero-emission and diesel MHDVs could evolve over time under different scenarios, from the present day to 2050.

“With continued improvements in vehicles and fuels, ZEVs are rapidly becoming commercially viable, potentially reaching total cost of driving parity or better compared to diesel vehicles by 2035 in all market segments,” said NREL’s Catherine Ledna, a decision support analyst who led the study.

Incentives such as the zero-emission MHDV purchase tax credits made possible via the 2022 Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) further accelerate total cost of driving competitiveness and spur emissions reductions up to 70%.

Paving the Way to Zero Emissions

Biogas has a role to play in the transition to zero emissions — biogas systems can fuel EV electricity demand, while also offering additional renewable energy that’s available 24/7 to help stabilize electric grids.

Most biogas systems capture methane — a powerful greenhouse gas with up to 80 times the climate warming potency of carbon dioxide. This means that biogas capture, cleaning, and re-use as an energy resource results in even greater emission reduction on a lifecycle basis than fuels or electricity that only reduce or avoid carbon dioxide emissions, like wind and solar.

Biogas — called renewable natural gas (RNG) or biomethanecan be deployed today to fuel trucks that operate on compressed natural gas.

Reclaiming and using biogas serves an important function in recycling organic waste, reducing the burden on landfills and communities.

Photo: NYC DOT, under CC 2.0 License.

What is Biogas?

Common Sources of Biogas

Biogas is a mixture of methane and carbon dioxide produced as organic materials decompose in the absence of oxygen. Typical sources are landfills, water treatment facilities, manure management systems, and source separated organics such as food waste or biomass from agriculture. Biogas can be a renewable source of energy, but can contribute to greenhouse gas emissions when not responsibly managed. Read more

FirmGreen Recognized by Global Energy for Alternative Energy Leadership

FirmGreen is pleased to announce that it has been recognized by Global Energy as the winner of its Alternative Energy Project Specialist of the Year – West USA.

The entire team at FirmGreen is honored to have this recognition. The company has won numerous international awards for its innovations in the field of renewable energy generation from alternative fuel resources such as landfill gas, digestion of municipal waste streams, and biomass.

“We feel that our dedication to solving local waste handling and clean energy generation for our clients will result in a true win-win proposition.” — Steve Wilburn, FirmGreen, Inc. CEO

Read the full story at: AI Global Media

Learn more about our renewable energy generation

FirmGreen Project in Brazil Will Help Transform Wasteland

From Newport Beach, California, the U.S. energy company FirmGreen, Inc. (FirmGreen®) is making big waves in green technology as the first international shipment of its proprietary biogas cleaning equipment begins this week, with more shipments to follow. Bound for the Novo Gramacho Landfill near Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, this USA-made equipment and the landfill gas cleanup project will transform a wasteland and support hundreds of jobs for American manufacturers and Brazilian workers over the next two decades. Such equipment exports are welcome news in a U.S. economy facing an ongoing trade deficit and job shortfalls hovering at some seven million, since the start of the 2007 recession.

From Wasteland to Green Energy

Interestingly, the Novo Gramacho landfill where this innovative project occurs is depicted in the internationally acclaimed documentary and 2011 Academy Awards nominee, Waste Land. In 2010, FirmGreen negotiated an agreement with Brazil’s Gás Verde, S.A., who is the project developer and the plant’s owner-operator, to turn Waste Land’s “dirty gas,” a natural by-product of trash decomposing, into clean usable gas using FirmGreen technology. The resulting biogas is an environmental-friendly, highly useful fuel with the energy-equivalent of natural gas.

To fabricate the specialized gas cleaning equipment required for the project, FirmGreen contracted with an established company out of Dublin, Ohio: Guild Associates. Guild employees are also helping start-up Gás Verde’s Biogas Plant. FirmGreen’s CEO, Steve Wilburn, commented, “Our world continues to face significant economic challenges, yet this project demonstrates how bi-cultural teamwork can generate hundreds of jobs, in this case throughout six U.S. states—Indiana, Wisconsin, Ohio, California, Michigan, and Texas as well as Brazil. Brazilian contractors are manufacturing some of the Novo Gramacho project components and will take a lead role during plant installation. Together, we are building a sustainable, renewable energy process that is environmentally friendly and good for the citizens of both countries.”

Petrobras, the largest company in Latin America by market capitalization and revenue, will use the biogas from the project to generate over 10% of the thermal energy needed to run its Duque de Caxias Refinery. Petrobras has an impressive record supporting clean energy technologies, and according to the U.S. Government’s EPA LMOP calculator, the Novo Gramacho Biogas Plant will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 1.4 million metric tons, annually. The Novo Gramacho Biogas Project is slated to begin commercial operations late this year.

Wilburn asserts, “FirmGreen’s business model demonstrates Americans can, and should, take global leadership roles in renewable technologies. We have the skilled labor pool and can-do spirit that makes America great. We can replicate this process in landfills worldwide. We can help rebuild America as an exporter of green technology to the world markets.”

An internationally recognized energy executive and devoted conservationist, Wilburn has had success with similar projects developed in the United States. Most recently, FirmGreen’s Green Energy Center in Ohio won an EPA LMOP Project of the Year Award for converting landfill gas to electricity and CNG for vehicle fuel. Remarkably, FirmGreen has achieved this success without any federal, state, or government subsidies.

Visit the movie website to find out more about the lives of the catadores:

Ohio Green Energy Center Wins 2009 Innovation Award

LONG BEACH, CA – FirmGreen, Inc. announces that its Green Energy Center (GEC) project developed in partnership with Solid Waste Authority of Central Ohio (SWACO), was recognized by Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) with the 2009 Innovation Award. SWANA’s Excellence Awards were held at its annual Wastecon show, held September 22-24 in Long Beach, CA. Read more

Green Energy Center Gets Project of the Year Recognition from U.S. EPA

EPA’S Landfill Methane Outreach Program Recognizes Ohio Landfill Gas-to-CNG Fueling Operation

FirmGreen, Inc. (FGI) was recognized today at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) Landfill Methane Outreach Program (LMOP) annual conference with a Project of the Year Award for its Green Energy Center (GEC). Read more

Green Energy Center Underway

Today, FirmGreen, Inc. (FGI) of Newport Beach, California announced that it signed an agreement with the Solid Waste Authority of Central Ohio (SWACO) to design, build and operate the first phase of its Green Energy Center (GEC) sited near Grove City, Ohio. Read more