Renewable natural gas (RNG) is a GHG-neutral energy source that is produced from organic waste from farms, forests, landfills, and water treatment plants. At the molecular level, RNG is identical to natural gas. It can be blended seamlessly with conventional natural gas and injected into the existing natural gas infrastructure. Furthermore, it can easily be substituted for conventional natural gas in end-use applications without further adjustments.

While RNG is more costly than conventional natural gas, it remains a relatively cost-effective option compared with other energy sources. As shown in Figure 1, the current delivered cost of RNG is lower than that of electricity and hydrogen.1

In 2017, Canada’s gas distribution companies set an aspirational target of five per cent RNG blends by 2025 and 10% by 2030. At that time, there were only eight production facilities in Canada, injecting about 4,500,000 GJ of RNG into the natural gas pipeline system annually.

Figure 1: Cost comparison of several fuel sources.

Source: CGA, Hydro-Quebec, NRCan Hydrogen Strategy for Canada.
Note: H2-SMR CCS reflects “blue hydrogen” and H2-Electrolysis reflects “green hydrogen.”

Just how much RNG development has occurred since then?

Today, the number of RNG projects has nearly doubled. Across the country, RNG producers have partnered with Canada’s gas utilities to build and commission 15 projects that are producing pipeline-grade RNG. The total RNG production of these facilities is almost 5,950,000 GJ per year, enough to heat close to 66,150 homes. That amount of RNG would offset nearly 310,000 tonnes of CO2e, equivalent to removing more than 67,250 passenger cars from the road.

Figure 2: Number of RNG projects and production capacity in 2017, 2021, and projections in 2025.

However, the growth in RNG does not stop there.

Several RNG projects are either currently in development or have been announced; by the end of 2025 more than 30 projects are expected to be online. The annual RNG capacity will nearly double to 10,250,000 GJ, enough to heat more than 115,000 homes. This would reduce GHG emissions by nearly 467,500 tonnes – equivalent to removing 102,000 passenger cars from the road.

Canada is among several nations that are investing in RNG projects. As shown in Figure 3, most of the global supply comes from Europe and North America, with Germany, the United States, and France leading in production.

Figure 3: RNG/Biomethane production facilities in Europe, Canada, and the United States.

The growth of RNG projects over the last four years has been tremendous and the next four years promise more of the same. This trend speaks to the important role that RNG will have in Canada’s future energy mix. For more details on RNG projects across Canada, please visit

  1. RNG and hydrogen costs are calculated by assuming the same transmission and distribution costs as natural gas.