Alternative fuels power House committee presentations on Florida’s energy future

Alternative fuels provide an opportunity to become more energy independent while also diverting waste streams.

The House Energy, Communications, and Cybersecurity Subcommittee heard presentations from stakeholders on the diversification of energy in the Sunshine State, a conversation that was dominated by discussion about alternative fuels such as renewable natural gas and liquefied natural gas (LNG).

“Diversification of Florida’s fuel supply is a vital measure in advancing the reliability and sustainability of energy for Floridians,” Florida Natural Gas Association Executive Director Dale Calhoun said. “I am encouraged by bipartisan support for the continued development of reliable and affordable energy sources for Florida families and businesses.”

Representatives from the Jacksonville Port Authority, JAXPORT, also spoke. They explained that the domestic and international maritime shipping community is increasingly turning to liquefied natural gas for its cargo and cruise ship needs.

Companies are increasingly adopting the use of liquefied natural gas, JAXPORT Chief Commercial Officer Robert Peek explained.

“LNG is widely considered to be the most practical maritime fuel because it’s financially feasible, abundant, efficient and safe,” he said. “Another major benefit to U.S. shipping lines is that LNG is sourced through the United States, so they are not reliant on a foreign source.”

Renewable natural gas (RNG) meanwhile, is also becoming an essential part of a diverse energy portfolio. It captures the methane from farm cow waste to create energy that can be stored for later use to power cars or appliances, all while preventing the methane from entering the earth’s atmosphere.

“RNG lowers the carbon intensity of fuel supplies while diverting waste streams, encourages local economic development and adds additional sources of energy,” said TECO Peoples Gas Director of Alternative Fuels Systems Travis Payne. “With so much opportunity to develop RNG in Florida, we have about 20 projects we are considering, from landfills to wastewater treatment plants.”

Currently, Florida ranks 13th in the nation for potential RNG production, making it a resource ripe for cultivation.

The Florida Natural Gas Association promotes, protects and encourages the growth of the natural gas industry in Florida and will be working with lawmakers this and in future Legislative Sessions to identify policies that further that goal.

Staff Reports


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