Newland: Renewable Propane Deserves More Attention

With all the debate about clean energy these days, propane has not been getting as much attention as other options. Mike Newland, Director of Ag Business Development at the Propane Education and Research Council, says there are now opportunities to grow the supply of renewable propane.

“It could be in a renewable diesel plant, and feedstocks could vary from fats, oils, and greases in that renewable diesel plant all the way to an agricultural crop called camelina.”

Which Newland says camelina can be grown in many areas.

“Camelina is a cover crop, very drought tolerant. I had a chance to fly out to Oregon earlier this year to look at the crop in person, and we did some video photo shoots of that.”

Camelina fits many needs.

“It’s an awesome crop that can grow in some really tough conditions. It’s on ground that doesn’t really compete in that food and fuel debate, if you will. So, I think for that reason it’s going to be a very easy crop for the public to get behind. You know, we’re really not taking acres away from food production or anything that goes into our food production.”

Newland says there are challenges getting folks to buy in.

“The news would lead you to believe that we’re evil people. The cool thing is, I think the facts are on our side. And what I mean by that is this rush to electrify as much of the world as we can, or as much of the U.S. as we can, believe it or not, the electric plug in the wall doesn’t produce any energy.”

Newland says renewable propane offers the same great features as conventional but with even lower carbon emissions.