Economic and GHG Emissions Benefits of LNG for Remote Markets in Canada
Approximately 200,000 people live in nearly 300 remote communities spread across Canada that are disconnected from central energy supplies. These remote energy markets are ‘off-grid’ regions of Canada that are not connected to the North American electrical grid or to natural gas distribution pipelines. In these remote regions, reliable and cost-effective energy supply are a challenge for communities and industry, and serve as a barrier to economic development. Remote communities and industry typically rely on diesel, propane, or other fuel oils for heating and to generate their own power, all of which have to be shipped in by truck, rail, or marine vessel.
In many remote regions of Canada, liquefied natural gas (LNG) is increasingly being considered as an option to meet energy requirements. Advances in the technology used to liquefy, transport, and re-vaporize natural gas, have made LNG a viable option for remote customers. ICF worked with the CGA and Canadian natural gas distribution utilities to define the scope of expansions and type of customers that would be reached.
Renewable Natural Gas: Affordable Renewable Fuel for Canada
As governments – both provincial and federal – discuss lower GHG emissions pathways, renewable natural gas (RNG or biomethane) presents a significant and largely untapped opportunity for GHG emission-free energy for our country. Using RNG means putting renewable energy directly in an existing pipeline: showing how pipes can deliver the benefits of renewables as efficiently (and often more cost-effectively) than electric wires.
This publication outlines the potential for RNG in Canada including its role in the reduction of GHG emissions, its value as an affordable renewable energy option for natural gas markets, and the role natural gas utilities can play in delivering this clean renewable product to Canadians.
Ontario has the largest natural gas distribution systems in the country. As a result, it derives significant energy affordability and environmental benefits for its households and businesses. What follows is a summary of energy use in the province and the role that natural gas plays in the province’s energy system.
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The Natural Gas Opportunity: Saskatchewan
Natural gas delivers enormous value for Saskatchewan residents as an abundant, affordable, safe and reliable energy supply option. Additionally, it drives economic growth and delivers environmental benefits for the province. Saskatchewan’s gas delivery system is constantly undergoing innovative improvements that will build on this advantage and help meet the province’s growing energy needs for the future.
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Mission Innovation: The Canadian Natural Gas Innovation Potential
For over 100 years, Canada’s natural gas distribution utilities have delivered safe, reliable, clean and affordable natural gas to millions of consumers across Canada. This long-standing strong customer relationship has been enhanced and supported by collaborative efforts to bring to market innovative natural gas appliances and equipment. These innovative products – whether a condensing furnace or transportation engines that burn clean natural gas – are the direct result of collaborative funding partnerships between public and private sources. However, over the last 20 years, investments into natural gas technology and innovation have declined, further to market changes in the early 1990’s that made it difficult for utilities to make them.
Now, as governments across Canada are introducing taxes on CO2 emissions, natural gas utilities are proposing that some of those revenues be used to deliver benefits back to the customer, as innovation finances for ideas that reduce costs and environmental impacts. This funding will further enhance Canadian household and commercial/industrial building energy efficiency, and reduce costs for residences, business and industry, all through support for new applications for clean and affordable natural gas. It is estimated that by supporting new gas technologies and new markets, Canada can realize 30 megatonnes of GHG reductions by 2030.