Right now, emissions concerns are at the forefront of policy discussions. With the transportation sector responsible for a large percentage of our carbon footprint, a new approach is necessary. Air travel and long-haul transportation are particularly carbon-intensive. But change is possible. From powerful natural gas trucks to renewable aviation fuel, the technology exists to reduce our carbon footprint and shift towards a more sustainable future.
According to Natural Gas Vehicles for America (NGVAmerica), the world’s cleanest heavy-duty truck engine runs on natural gas and produces 90% fewer NOx emissions than current industry standards. Furthermore, it already surpasses the EPA’s upcoming stricter Clean Trucks rule, effective Model Year 2027. This is a significant development in the ongoing global effort to reduce emissions from transportation.
Natural gas is a clean-burning fuel that produces fewer greenhouse gas emissions than traditional diesel or gasoline, making it an attractive option for heavy-duty trucks and other commercial vehicles. In addition to its environmental benefits, natural gas offers economic advantages. It is often cheaper than diesel or gasoline alternatives, and the infrastructure for natural gas refueling is becoming more widely available. As a result, more fleets are considering natural gas vehicles as a way to reduce their operating costs while also reducing their environmental impact.
The Pacific Northwest is on the cutting edge of renewable natural gas and hydrogen. Recently, an airplane running on renewable hydrogen made its first successful flight in Moses Lake. This is a significant milestone in the transition toward more sustainable aviation.
With tangible examples of hydrogen aircraft in use, investments in this technology will benefit everyone. There are several research and development initiatives underway to explore the potential. Governments and industry leaders are also beginning to recognize the potential of hydrogen and investing in its development. Most notably, the multi-billion-dollar investment included in the Inflation Reduction Act for renewable natural gas and hydrogen technology.
Hydrogen can be a game-changer for aviation and transportation if we recognize where strategic investments can be made and where to leverage new technology. Combining existing infrastructure with cutting-edge inventions and adaptations can help us reach our climate goals quickly and efficiently.
Dan Gage is President of Natural Gas Vehicles for America