Driving Canadian Competitiveness with Natural Gas – Canadian Gas Association 2019 Pre-Budget Submission
The Canadian Gas Association has submitted its 2019 pre-budget submission to the Government of Canada. The submission focuses on the following areas: supporting a renewable gas technology commercialization fund; connecting rural Canadians to natural gas; driving Canada forward with natural gas; supporting low-carbon end use technologies; supporting cyber security skills transfer for industrial systems; and improving Canada’s industrial competitiveness.
The Canadian Gas Association (CGA) has developed a federal policy proposal for a Renewable Gas Innovation Program. This proposal requests $750 million to support renewable gas project deployment, technology commercialization and to enhance federal laboratory renewable gas R&D capacity.
Natural gas currently meets 34% of Canada’s energy needs and is the single largest fuel source for building and industrial facilities. Natural gas is also increasingly being used as an alternative low emission fuel for various modes of transportation and as a fuel for power generation. The National Energy Board forecasts natural gas will be the single largest source of energy in Canada by 2040.
We believe natural gas has a role to play in Canada’s long-term energy future and economic competitiveness. However, in order to address competitiveness and emissions, the advancement of renewable gases (renewable natural gas, hydrogen and synthetic methane) is of critical importance. Renewable gases provide a ready now solution for decarbonizing freight transportation, building heat and industrial use. Substituting just five per cent of Canada’s gas supply with RNG would reduce GHG emissions by 7 to 10 MT.
In developing this proposal, CGA has conducted extensive consultations with stakeholders to understand their needs. The proposed federal Renewable Gas Innovation Program addresses many of these needs and aims to stimulate the Canadian RNG market to put Canada on track to fulfill 5 to 10 per cent RNG content by 2030. This fund would advance the renewable gas market by supporting:
$150 million in renewable gas technology demonstration;
$15 million to CanmetENERGY to establish a global renewable gas hub;
$10 million for renewable gas R&D collaborations with academia; and
$575 million to support renewable gas projects with municipalities, Indigenous communities, forestry and agricultural operators.
This is CGA’s Annual Natural Gas Review: a snapshot of our industry produced once a year for broad distribution. It shows continued growth in supply and demand, all while the product remains affordable and its environmental footprint continues to decline. Affordable and clean natural gas: a Canadian advantage.
As the Canadian federal code now includes traceability requirements, the Canadian Gas Association initiated a task force to develop minimum guidelines to address code requirements. The task force was made up of both operators and suppliers to bring alignment across all stakeholders. The task force developed a guidance document which covers steel and plastic pipelines with components, along with assemblies.
Regulator Rationale For Ratepayer-Funded Electricity and Natural Gas Innovation
The case for utility-led, ratepayer-funded innovation has strengthened over the past decade and is being driven by a series of interconnected energy realities. These include the need to employ technology to integrate significant quantities of customer-sited distributed energy resources, the emergence of new natural gas end-use technologies, and a recognition by governments that utilities can play a central role in the achievement of energy and environmental public policy goals that require innovative solutions. Regulators in Canada should take note that these factors have taken hold among global economic regulators and this report concludes that the trend is spreading beyond some of the early movers: The United Kingdom, California, New York and British Columbia. The responsibility for ensuring that innovation prepares the energy industry to realize the potential for reliable, affordable, and clean energy with greater customer choices among products and services is shared by the utilities, regulators and other policy makers.