The Canadian Gas Association (CGA) last month said it received broad support from stakeholders encouraging the Government of Canada to endorse CGA’s federal policy proposal for a Renewable Gas Innovation Program. A persuasive element of the proposal relates to the immediate benefit derived from switching transportation to this clean fuel.
The proposal seeks a Federal Budget 2019 allocation of $750 million to support renewable gas project deployment, to facilitate technology commercialization, and to enhance federal laboratory renewable gas R&D capacity. To date, more than 35 letters of support have been sent to the Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, Minister of Natural Resources Canada.
“Canadian gas utilities are leaders in the effort to reduce emissions. Renewable gases offer a significant opportunity to do even more on that agenda, and CGA members hope the Government of Canada will commit the resources to work with us on it”, said Steve Baker, President, Union Gas and Chair of the Board, CGA.
Kurt Sorschak, President & CEO of Xebec Adsorption, Inc. agrees: “Canadian policy makers need innovative market tools to support their goals to reduce GHG emissions. Renewable gases are an untapped opportunity for Canada. Xebec has the knowledge and the technology solutions to play its part in Canada’s renewable gaseous future. From hydrogen to converting biogas to renewable natural gas (RNG), a carbon neutral fuel, we have identified a niche that is both significant and relevant to greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction potential. What we need now is a federal commitment to get it done.”
To advance the discussion further and to educate Canadians about the role of renewable gases, CGA launched a social media campaign #CanadianRenewableGas via @GoSmartEnergy and LinkedIn. It includes factual information on renewable natural gas, hydrogen, and synthetic methane, and details on the role they can play in providing low-emission energy for Canada.
The proposal states that at present, Canada lags far behind other countries who have moved to exploit the benefits of renewable natural gas (RNG). It points out there are over 500 projects in Europe, 50 in the United States, but Canada has just 11 projects operating.
CGA argues that looking forward, natural gas has an important and growing role to play in Canada’s long-term energy future. The National Energy Board forecasts that by 2040 natural gas will be the largest source of energy in Canada at 40 per cent of energy demand. With this demand growth, CGA sees a significant opportunity to expand the Canadian renewable gas market. Exploiting that opportunity is dependent upon sustained policy recognition and program support.
In 2016, Canada’s transportation sector was the second largest source of GHG emissions, accounting for 25% (173 Mt CO2 eq) of total national emissions. Between 1990 and 2016, GHG emissions from the transportation sector grew by 42%. The growth in emissions was driven by increases from freight trucks and passenger light trucks (Source: Canadian Government). CGA says renewable gases offer a pathway for zero emissions freight transportation which is the fastest growing source of transportation emissions in Canada.
Steve McCauley, Senior Director – Policy, Pollution Probe says: “Pollution Probe believes the proposed federal Renewable Gas Innovation Program is in line with our view that the advancement of renewable gases, such as renewable natural gas (RNG), provides a substantial opportunity for Canada to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, particularly from the transportation sector, while promoting economic growth for the country. We encourage the Government of Canada to support this initiative.”
By substituting just 5 per cent of Canada’s gas supply with renewable gases, it would reduce GHG’s by between 10 and 14 megatonnes.
Click here to access the Canadian Renewable Gas Innovation Proposal