This report examines the role of natural gas in Nova Scotia's energy services mix. It outlines how natural gas is currently being used and how using more natural gas could provide significant benefits to Nova Scotia. In a province with some of the highest energy costs in the country and a stated desire to reduce its emissions profile, natural gas can deliver a ready-made solution.
In recent years, a well supplied North American market has continued to put downward pressure on natural gas prices making it an increasingly affordable energy source for industry, as well as the other sectors, in Canada.
A new report, produced by the Canadian Industrial End-Use Data and Analysis Centre (CIEEDAC) with support from the Canadian Gas Association (CGA), explains how the industrial sector in Canada makes use of and derives benefit from an abundant low cost natural gas based energy supply. Industries described in more detail include Food and Beverage, Wood Products, Pulp and Paper, Chemical Products, Cement and Lime, and the Primary Metals industries.
Natural Gas Utilities: Driving Canadian Energy Efficiency and Innovation
For over 20 years, natural gas distribution utilities have been developing successful energy efficiency programs for their residential, commercial and industrial customers. These programs help customers invest in more efficient equipment and provide energy saving tips which result in lower energy costs and increased productivity and competitiveness for industry. In addition, by helping reduce natural gas consumption, efficiency programs result in lower emissions and help ensure the responsible use of Canadian resources.
This report highlights the historical achievements of natural gas utility energy efficiency programs and makes the following three recommendations that will help the industry respond to the ongoing efficiency interests of Canadian natural gas consumers: a rate based technology levy to assist with the deployment of new gas technologies; integration of natural gas and electricity energy efficiency programs; and collaboration among utilities, governments and regulators on the next generation energy efficiency program.
The Changing Patterns of Canada’s Natural Gas Trade
Natural gas has historically moved from Canada’s Western Sedimentary Basin through extensive underground transmission and distribution pipeline infrastructure to customers throughout Canada and to the United States. Strong growth in natural gas production, particularly in the northeastern part of the United States, has changed the supply picture across the continent, with implications for natural gas prices (more affordable), market opportunities (more diverse), and flows (more two-way across the continent instead of one way).
This report examines the last point: the changing natural gas trade flows. Looking particularly at the trade between Canada and the U.S., the report highlights how changing patterns are a result of the economics of the various supply basins and their comparative advantages in terms of cost and proximity to the large natural gas demand centres of the continent.
Countries around the world are facing serious challenges as they try to maintain their electricity systems and build new capacity to meet growing demand. The traditional system model focused almost exclusively on reliability and used large centralized generation facilities and a vast network of electrical transmission and distribution lines to bring power to communities. This model is under increasing pressure as technology advances and the expectations of the public continue to grow. These pressures are pushing towards a model (yet to be fully defined) that can balance a very complex suite of, at times, competing preferences including decentralized generation, renewable technology, and minimal community “impact,” all while maintaining reliability and affordability for customers. This report reviews Canada’s current electricity system and examines how it may evolve. It highlights the role of clean and affordable natural gas in today’s system, and the role the commodity – and natural gas infrastructure – can play in the model as it evolves.