The Natural Gas Innovation Fund (NGIF) was created by the Canadian Gas Association (CGA) to advance cleantech in the natural gas industry. Each project supported through NGIF must meet specific criteria, including a particular focus on environmental performance and reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

CGA & NGIF logos

Project-based GHG accounting is about quantifying how much a project will reduce emissions within a specific time period. Emissions reductions are calculated on a life-cycle model that takes into consideration emissions associated with the production, transportation, and end-use of products. The process below is used to estimate emissions reductions for NGIF projects and is consistent with the ISO 14064 standard. It can be divided into four parts:

1. Project Definition: The first step is to state the primary product(s) or service(s) provided by the technology (e.g., electricity generation, heating), as well as the functional unit. The functional unit is the emissions reduction intensity associated with the technology, for example, t-CO2e / MWh electricity produced, t-CO2e / GJ RNG produced, t-CO2e / CHP unit installed.

2. Project and Baseline Models: Next is to define the baseline scenario, the GHG sources, sinks, and reservoirs (SSRs), and select the relevant SSRs for quantification. Biogenic SSRs are excluded. The baseline is defined as the scenario that is most likely to occur in the absence of the project.

SSRs are typically related to energy use, materials production, and activities (e.g., venting, fugitives, or biological process such as anaerobic digestion).  Examples include: stationary combustion, transportation, materials production, venting.

3. GHG Quantification: In the next step, key project input parameters and assumptions are stated, such as technology or project lifespan, fuel consumption, equipment efficiency, or service produced.

The input parameters are provided on an annual basis and for the capacity of the unit being commercialized. Parameters can be based on engineering calculations, modeling, reference factors, literature values, or data collected by the project proponent.

GHG calculations for each project SSR element and baseline SSR element are calculated using emission factors. The difference between the project and the baseline SSR emissions provides the overall GHG emission reduction potential of the project on an intensity basis.

4. Market Rollout: In the final step, GHG reductions associated with the commercialization and rollout of the technology are established. Based on the sales forecast provided, the overall GHG reduction potential of a project is calculated as:

Total Project GHG reduction = Product GHG Reduction Intensity x Sales Forecast

Total Emissions Reductions Graph


GHG reduction results for thirteen NGIF projects:

Carbon Capture Storage – 1
Hydrogen – 2
Energy Efficiency – 2
Renewable Natural Gas – 4
Heat and Power Generation – 3
Transportation – 1

The cumulative total GHG reduction to end of 2030 is 3.4 Megatonnes CO2e.

Source: Natural Gas innovation Fund
By: Saad Sarfraz, Manager Energy and Cleantech Analytics