The piece “The Next Target in the Climate Change Debate: your Gas Stove” published in the September 9, 2019 Financial Post highlights how the very animated conversation around climate change, so dominant across North America, can quickly lead to actions that are not well thought out, and that could have a very negative impact on citizens.
First, there is a clarification required. The discussion of “system methane leaks” that is a big part of the U.S. debate is much less relevant to Canada where the natural gas delivery industry phased out cast iron pipe almost a decade ago. Widely used in older gas distribution systems, cast iron pipe is the cause of most distribution system leaks in the U.S., and is now being phased out there too. No gas company wants leaks, however small they might be. Methane is, after all, our product, and leaks represent a waste of that product. Not surprisingly then, our industry is working constantly to reduce methane emissions and our success in doing so is notable. According to data from the Canadian Energy Partnership for Environmental Innovation, emissions per kilometre of distribution gas lines have declined by 46 per cent since 2005 despite a doubling of the pipeline system size and a 45 per cent increase in natural gas use in Canada.
The discussion of banning natural gas connections suggests that the only way to reduce emissions is to move from dependence on multiple energy delivery systems (liquid fuel delivery of fuels like gasoline and diesel by truck over roads, gaseous fuel delivery of fuels like natural gas through underground gas lines, and electric delivery systems of electrons over wires) to delivery by one system: the electric system. This is not true. First, it should be noted that an electric system produces emissions. Electricity is still, in many cases, generated by fuels that produce emissions (coal, oil, natural gas) or technologies that depend on the use of those emitting fuels, such as natural gas backup for intermittent wind. Second, other delivery systems can deliver significant emission reductions, and often do so at lower cost. For example, through our gas lines we can deliver renewable natural gas and hydrogen, and we have an increasing array of innovative technologies that reduce emissions. One of these is the CO2 recovery technology from the company Clean02, recently profiled in the Financial Post. Through our Natural Gas Innovation Fund we are working with a wide range of technology companies to support more innovation like this.
It seems as though the language of crisis is taking such hold that decision-makers are inclined to act impulsively, losing sight of the negative implications of such actions.
One big negative implication for consumers is higher energy costs. Natural gas customers save in the order of $2,000 per year by having access to natural gas for heating – a saving that is forecast to continue well into the future - while electricity prices that are already much higher than natural gas prices are expected to grow higher still.
A second big negative implication is the threat posed to the resiliency of our energy system. When big storms hit, the energy system that faces the biggest challenge isn’t the gas system, it is the electric system. We just saw this in Nova Scotia where the hurricane Dorian had virtually no effect on gas customers but affected hundreds of thousands of electric customers. Not surprisingly, more and more gas customers are asking how they can use technology like combined heat and power to meet electric needs using the gas system.
Decision makers should take a deep breath and calmly reflect on what is best for citizens, in the short term, the medium term, and the long term. Undermining affordability and resiliency while delivering costly single energy system environmental benefits hardly seems like good policy.
The Canadian Gas Association represents the gas delivery sector, but many of our companies operate multiple energy delivery pathways – including electricity systems. We believe Canada’s energy system is stronger when there are more delivery routes, not fewer. To decision makers we say: don’t dictate the design of a system by eliminating choices. Instead, create the conditions where all options are on the table, and all system operators are encouraged to constantly improve their performance for the benefit of Canadians.
Clean fuel and electric vehicle use in Canada can reduce GHGs by over 50 million tonnes by 2030
Canada’s national clean fuels associations forecast greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reductions of over 50 million tonnes (Mt) per year by 2030 through greater production and use of renewable energy in Canada. The associations, Advanced Biofuels Canada (ABFC), Canadian Biogas Association (CBA), Canadian Gas Association (CGA), Electric Mobility Canada (EMC) and Wood Pellet Association of Canada (WPAC), represent a significant part of the spectrum of Canada’s primary clean fuel industries. Together, we share a belief that investments to increase the production and use of clean and renewable fuels and electric vehicles (EVs) to meet Canada’s GHG emissions targets will stimulate clean growth, create jobs, and achieve significant greenhouse gas reductions over the next decade.
Collectively, the associations represent technologies that can, with the right policy measures in place, exceed the proposed federal Clean Fuel Standard’s objective of 30 Mt of annual GHG emission reductions by 2030. Estimates of potential emission reductions are based on modelling work for the joint industry – federal government steering committee looking at the competitiveness of clean fuel investment in Canada.
The results demonstrate significant annual emissions reduction potential by 2030 from adopting clean and renewable liquid, gaseous, and solid fuels, and from switching to electric vehicle use. ABFC estimates that 15 Mt of reductions per year are achievable by 2030 by incorporating modest levels of biofuels and other non-fossil clean fuels into transport fuels. The CBA and CGA estimate that 14 Mt of reductions are attainable by introducing renewable gases into transportation, building heating, and industrial processes. EMC estimates that 16Mt of GHG reductions are achievable through the electrification of light, medium, and heavy-duty vehicles, including buses. WPAC estimates that 5.5 Mt of reductions can be achieved through fuel switching to wood pellets to provide heat in the residential, commercial, and institution sectors, and from replacing coal with pellets for power generation. Across all sectors, there is even greater potential to achieve stronger results. In aggregate, the estimates demonstrate Canada’s potential to economically and efficiently reduce GHG emissions by fueling our economy with clean and renewable fuels made and used in Canada.
The results will not come easily. To attract the capital investments ($ billions) necessary to support this transition, the associations have recommended that the federal government adopt a Clean Fuel Strategy by 2020. The strategy would include setting a clear path to clean and renewable fuel use by 2030:
Establishing clear market signals for clean fuels and electric vehicles
Aligning clean and renewable fuel regulations to meet targeted clean fuel and EV use
Establish clean fuel program funding to support clean and renewable fuel production capacity and infrastructure investments, and support EV adoption
Support research and development programs to maintain Canadian leadership in clean fuel technologies and innovation
Advanced Biofuels Canada is the national voice for producers, distributors, and technology developers of advanced biofuels in Canada. Our members are global leaders in commercial production of advanced biofuels and technology development, with over 14 billion litres of installed annual production capacity worldwide. Advanced biofuels and synthetic low carbon liquid fuels can be made in Canada from sustainable crops, forest and agricultural residues, wastes, and carbon capture technologies. Canada has 22 biofuel production facilities, which produced 2.1 billion litres of clean fuels in 2017.
ABFC’s 2018 capital projects survey identified $6 billion of capital investment potential to 2030, representing over 50 projects with potential new capacity of 3.9 billion litres. The World Agricultural Economic and Environmental Services (WAEES) modelling of the proposed CFS demonstrated that Canada can produce 5.0 – 6.75 billion litres of advanced biofuels by 2030. Advanced biofuel production would create green jobs, improve fuel market competition, and support economic resilience for farm and forestry communities in rural Canada. GHG reductions of 15 Mt per year by 2030 can be affordably and sustainably achieved with biofuel/synthetic fuel blends of 10-15% in gasoline and diesel fuels.
Renewable gases, including renewable natural gas (RNG), biogas and hydrogen, remain an untapped emission reduction opportunity for Canada. The CBA membership includes gaseous fuel producers (farmers, municipalities, and others), technology suppliers, organic residue generators, and utilities that support the entire value chain of the biogas and RNG industry. Biogas is produced from organic waste materials that originate on farms, forests, and municipal waste streams. In order to produce RNG, the gas is cleaned to meet end use specifications for injection into the gas pipeline or compressed and liquified for use as a transportation fuel. Currently, there are over 100 operating biogas facilities in Canada.
CGA is the voice of the natural gas distribution industry. Natural gas meets 35% of Canada’s energy needs through over 550,000 kilometers of infrastructure connecting over two thirds of Canadians. Canada’s natural gas utilities strongly support low-emission energy delivery to Canadians through the advancement of RNG and hydrogen.
With Canada’s wealth of forests, agricultural wastes, and extensive interprovincial and local distribution natural gas pipeline network, Canada is well positioned to be a world leader in RNG production, use and technology export. In addition to RNG, CGA is exploring the role of piped hydrogen as a zero emission energy carrier.
In order to advance renewable gas development in Canada, it is essential to have a policy that reflects the realities of the industry and renewable gas projects. In 2018, CGA, along with representatives from the renewable gas industry, including CBA, developed the Renewable Gas Innovation Program proposal. The vision for this policy is that it will stimulate a market and put Canada on course to realize between 5-10 per cent content of renewable gases in the Canadian energy system by 2030.
EMC is Canada’s national electric mobility association. Our 180+ members represent the entire value chain of electric mobility in Canada, including automakers, utilities, industry, researchers, NGOs and governments. A recent report released by EMC, showed that electric vehicles represented 3.3% of all passenger vehicles sales in Canada in Q2 2019. The number of EVs has grown exponentially in the past few years.
Electricity will play a critical role in supporting clean fuel use in Canada. Powered by clean, renewable electricity, electric vehicles could reduce GHG emissions by 16 Mt per year by 2030. This forecast is based on electric vehicle penetration rates of 10% of light-duty passenger vehicles (car and pickup trucks), 30% of buses (municipal transit fleets), and 3% of medium and heavy-duty vehicles (delivery and long-haul trucks) by 2030. Together with other initiatives promoting electrification of transport in Canada, we believe electric mobility can support expanding the targeted reductions under the CFS.
WPAC represents the pellet producers, equipment manufacturers, research and development and engineering companies. Today, our members produce around 3 million tonnes of pellets per year, contributing to Canada’s economy and roll-out of renewable, on-demand electricity.
There is huge potential for greater reductions of GHGs through domestic use of wood pellets in Canada. Solid biomass fuels, including wood pellets, could readily meet the full 30 Mt CFS reduction goal, and further GHG reductions could be achieved via end-use fuel switching in gaseous and liquid (stationary) class fuels. Given the maturity of the thermal generation and heat distribution technology, Canada’s abundant sustainable solid biomass resources, and Canada’s leadership position in certified sustainably-managed forests, solid biomass fuels can be a key pillar Canada’s Clean Fuel Strategy.
Canadian Gas Association open response to TVO Piece by John Michael McGrath “Infrastructure Outlives Us All”
On July 30, 2019, TVO published an opinion piece by John Michael McGrath titled Why the government will have to come for your gas stove someday. The article, supporting Berkeley, California's decision to restrict natural gas connection to new commercial and residential buildings, misses some key points about the value proposition of gas and gas infrastructure for Canadians.
The following is CGA's response to this article. Click here to read our response.
CGA Presents the First Mulcahy Award for Excellence in Customer Care, Innovation and Service to SaskEnergy Inc.
June 11, 2019 (Ottawa, ON) - The Canadian Gas Association (CGA) is pleased to present SaskEnergy Inc. with the first ever Michael Mulcahy Award for Excellence in Customer Care, Innovation and Service. The award was presented by CGA President and CEO Timothy Egan at CGA’s Gas Measurement and Regulation School in Whistler, BC to Randy Greggains, Vice President, Operations, SaskEnergy, representing SaskEnergy’s Customer Connect Team, for their Constellation Initiative.
The Mulcahy Award was created in memory of Michael Mulcahy, former President and CEO of FortisBC and former Chair of the Canadian Gas Association. It recognizes significant achievement by members of the natural gas delivery industry in the area of innovation and service to natural gas users/customers.
SaskEnergy’s Constellation Initiative is being recognized for driving a significant process improvement project to enhance customer care efficiencies. The company undertook a structured process improvement and organizational change management multi-step approach which resulted in simplified internal processes, improved efficiencies, and greater internal consistency, ultimately leading to an enhanced customer experience and satisfaction.
CGA congratulates SaskEnergy and all other nominees for their continuous work to raise their overall standard of customer care and improve customer satisfaction.
“Apart from Michael Mulcahy’s many personal attributes and leadership skills, he stood out in the utility industry for his constant focus on the customer. To Mike, all our efforts were to be measured on the basis of how they served the customer’s needs. We are delighted therefore to have established this particular award in his honour. On behalf of the Canadian Gas Association, I want to congratulate SaskEnergy for being the inaugural recipient, and for their ongoing commitment to maintaining the highest standards of customer care. . Canadian natural gas utilities are dedicated to providing safe, affordable, reliable, and environmentally responsible energy to all its customers.”
Timothy M. Egan President and CEO Canadian Gas Association
About the Mulcahy Award The Mulcahy Award was created in memory of Michael Mulcahy, former President and CEO of FortisBC and former Chair of the Canadian Gas Association. It recognizes significant achievement (over and above everyday activities) by members of the natural gas delivery industry in the area of innovation and service to natural gas users/customers. The award also serves to help guide other CGA member utilities on their journey to excellent and innovative customer service. Through participation in the Mulcahy Award process, all will benefit from exposure to the efforts of others in the industry, thereby raising its overall standard of customer care – a huge priority for Michael Mulcahy in his many years of service to customers in the industry.
About CGA The Canadian Gas Association (CGA) is the voice of Canada’s natural gas distribution industry and its members are distribution companies, transmission companies, equipment manufacturers and other service providers. Natural gas has a central place in Canada’s energy mix meeting 35 per cent of the country’s energy needs. Today, over 7 million customers representing two-thirds of Canadians rely on natural gas for heat and power in homes, apartments, buildings, businesses, hospitals and schools.
For more information contact:
Director, Communications and Social Media
Canadian Gas Association
613-748-0057 x325 or 613-668-1125 [email protected]
Natural Gas Cleantech Profiled at Clean Energy Ministerial-Mission Innovation
May 27, 2019 (Vancouver, BC) The Canadian Gas Association (CGA) and the Natural Gas Innovation Fund (NGIF), along with their respective members and investors, are pleased to participate in the Innovation Showcase at the Clean Energy Ministerial -Mission Innovation (CEM10/MI-4) in Vancouver, BC.
We have officially opened our 600 square foot state-of-the-art facility entitled Cleantech for Canada’s Natural Gas Pavilion to the global community at CEM/MI. Over the course of the event, we will demonstrate how CGA utilities, NGIF producer and utility investors, and cleantech companies with solutions for natural gas are active in clean technology development.
Canadian companies are developing a host of innovative cleantech solutions for natural gas applications that can help reduce emissions, improve energy efficiency, create more resilient energy systems, and maintain what is all important for customers: energy affordability. Visit our pavilion - #306 - to see these companies and their technologies and follow us on Twitter @CGA_ACG and @NGIFund for updates.
For governments around the world, advancing the development of clean energy policy and clean technology solutions is a growing priority. Canada’s natural gas industry has consistently delivered on that priority, meeting the sustainable energy needs of customers for over a hundred years. At a time of unprecedented growth in natural gas production and use in Canada and around the world, our industry sees the opportunity to take the natural gas advantage to more and more customers.
Making sure that growth occurs while delivering on environmental and economic priorities is front and centre for Canada’s industry, and we are delighted to have this opportunity to show this at CEM10/MI-4. As the largest energy-cleantech event of its kind in Canada this year including 25 countries, CEM10/MI-4 is an occasion to demonstrate that innovation in the natural gas industry at home and abroad will deliver clean affordable energy to the world.
“Canadian natural gas distribution companies have a long history of driving energy efficiency and clean technology innovation, all while maintaining an extraordinary affordability advantage for our customers. We are proud to have the opportunity to showcase our leadership across the country and across the value chain and how we can support clean growth in Canada and abroad.”
Timothy M Egan President and CEO Canadian Gas Association
“The Natural Gas Innovation Fund, its investors from the natural gas value chain, and its portfolio of clean technologies advancing the development of lower emission natural gas continue to accelerate the right innovation forward to support clean energy growth in Canada, and abroad. We welcome the CEM10/MI-4 delegation of ministers and high-level government delegates from 25 countries, as well as senior officials and leaders from international organizations and industry to our Cleantech for Canada’s Natural Gas Pavilion.”
John Adams Managing Director Natural Gas Innovation Fund
The Canadian Gas Association (CGA) is the voice of Canada’s natural gas distribution industry and its members are distribution companies, transmission companies, equipment manufacturers and other service providers. Natural gas has a central place in Canada’s energy mix meeting 35 per cent of the country’s energy needs. Today, over 7 million customers representing two-thirds of Canadians rely on natural gas for heat and power in homes, apartments, buildings, businesses, hospitals and schools.
About Natural Gas Innovation Fund
The Natural Gas Innovation Fund (NGIF) was created by the Canadian Gas Association to support the funding of cleantech innovation in natural gas. NGIF fills a technology development gap in the sector and invests in innovation led by cleantech start-ups and small and medium-sized enterprises enabling natural gas solutions for current and emerging challenges facing Canada’s energy system.
About Natural Gas
Canada’s National Energy Board (NEB) forecasts that natural gas will surpass refined petroleum products to become our largest energy source by 2040. Similarly, the International Energy Agency (IEA) forecasts global natural gas demand will increase by 43 per cent over the same time period, an increase they expect to be enabled in large part by its affordability, environmental performance and innovative advancements in the sector.
ATCO Gas Ltd., AltaGas Utilities Inc., Enbridge Gas Inc., Énergir, FortisBC Energy Inc., Manitoba Hydro, Pacific Northern Gas Ltd., SaskEnergy, Birchcliff Energy Ltd., Canadian Natural Resources Limited, Chevron Canada Limited, Perpetual Energy Inc., PETRONAS Energy Canada Ltd., Shell Canada Energy, and Tourmaline Oil Corp.
For more information contact:
Director, Communications and Social Media
Canadian Gas Association
613-748-0057 x325 or 613-668-1125 [email protected]