Hydrogen and Renewable Natural Gas

Helping Alberta Transition to a Clean Energy Future

Renewable Natural Gas (RNG)

RNG is natural gas produced from organic waste including food waste, animal manure, wastewater sludge, forestry waste, and garbage. The gas is captured, cleaned, and injected into Apex Utilities’ pipelines to be used in the same way as natural gas from any other source. Capturing methane that would otherwise escape into the atmosphere, and using it to make renewable energy makes RNG a carbon neutral energy source. As the RNG mixes into the existing natural gas infrastructure, it displaces equivalent volumes of conventional natural gas and lowers greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions overall.

RNG Production

The RNG production potential in rural Alberta is significant. RNG acts like conventional natural gas in all heating applications. Therefore, Apex Utilities can send it directly to your home without upgrading or adjusting any of your existing appliances.

The basic process of biogas production is outlined below:

Anaerobic digestion:

  • Organic waste is delivered to a digestor, a temperature-controlled tank devoid of oxygen.
  • Naturally occurring micro-organisms break down the organic matter into raw biogas and digestate (solid material). Biogas is primarily composed of methane, but it also contains between 25 and 50 per cent carbon dioxide and small quantities of other gases.


  • The raw biogas is further treated to remove the carbon dioxide, and other minor gases.
  • Once the gas has been cleaned, it consists of methane rich RNG similar to the grade of traditional natural gas. This purified biogas is called biomethane, or RNG.

RNG’s Environmental Benefits

  • RNG helps reduce GHG emissions by reducing the amount of conventional natural gas needed.
  • Emissions are reduced when methane (CH4) is captured and repurposed as RNG, rather than being released directly into the atmosphere.

The Future of RNG at Apex Utilities

Canada’s natural gas utilities have set an aspirational target of 5% RNG blended into natural gas streams by 2025 and 10% by 2030. Apex Utilities is focused on making this affordable and carbon neutral energy option available to our distribution customers in the near future, while also assessing the possibility of adding hydrogen gas to our energy mix.


The urgency of reducing emissions has never been greater. Hydrogen is emerging as one of the keys to reducing emissions, storing renewable energy and enabling energy systems to work together in a sustainable and cost effective way.

Hydrogen is the simplest and most abundant element in the universe. It is colourless, odourless, and nontoxic. A hydrogen molecule – H2 – is often called an “energy carrier” as it is produced from different sources of energy, and then is used to store or deliver energy. Canada has many sources of energy that can be used to produce hydrogen, but perhaps the most promising in terms of abundance and affordability, is natural gas.

Hydrogen has the potential to play an important role in a cleaner energy future by aiding in the decarbonization of the fuel supply by providing energy for:

  • Heating of homes, businesses, and industry
  • Metal and petroleum refining, food processing, fertilizer
  • Transportation (Electric or fuel cell vehicles, shipping, trains, heavy transport, airplanes)
  • Fuel for engines/turbines, synthetic fuels and in energy storage

Benefits of Hydrogen:

Stores and transports renewable energy

A key challenge for renewable electricity is that it can’t be efficiently or effectively stored; converting it into hydrogen puts surplus electricity to work when it is needed most. Wind turbines and solar panels produce electrical energy intermittently, often when it isn’t required. Through power to gas processes it can be converted to more reliable and storable gaseous energy on the spot, which can then be transported and stored in existing natural gas infrastructure for use whenever needed.

Greens the gas supply

Hydrogen can be safely blended into the natural gas supply to help reduce overall GHG emissions. When produced with renewable electricity, the process is carbon neutral.

Uses existing distribution infrastructure

Blending it directly into the existing natural gas supply, hydrogen offsets the need to build new storage and distribution facilities.


As it is colourless, odourless, and non-toxic hydrogen can be safely blended into the gas system to help green the natural gas supply. Natural gas is one of the safest fuels used today, and Apex Utilities has a long history of providing safe and reliable service to our customers. Blending in small quantities will have no effect on the reliability or quality of energy delivered to your home.

Need more information on RNG or hydrogen? Contact us