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    Canada Introduces New NGV Roadmap


Growing use of renewable natural gas can accelerate emission reductions

by: Dale Lunan

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Canada Introduces New NGV Roadmap

The Canadian Natural Gas Vehicle Alliance (CNGVA) released June 5 a new roadmap supporting the growing deployment of natural gas vehicles in the highway transport sector and highlighting the emergence of renewable natural gas that can magnify the emissions-reduction benefits of natural gas vehicles.

The report, Natural Gas Use in the Medium and Heavy-Duty Transportation Sector, or Roadmap 2.0 for ease, builds on a 2010 report by Natural Resources Canada that first examined gas use in transportation – Roadmap 1.0 – and found the medium and heavy-duty sector the most optimal target for development of natural gas options.

“This roadmap is an important tool for Canadians and industry to have more choices when it comes to transportation,” Canadian energy minister Amarjeet Sohi said. “Our government is working with partners to provide more options to get products and people where they need to go, while reducing pollution and growing our economy.”

Natural gas is already widely used by municipal refuse collection and public transit fleets, and is gaining support in the over-the-highway trucking industry, as refueling infrastructure continues to be developed along major highway corridors. And it is beginning to penetrate the marine transport sector: the Canadian LNG-fueled ferry fleet is second in size only to that of Norway’s, and ferry operators in BC and Quebec are continuing to grow their LNG fleets.

“At FortisBC, we are well-positioned to help our provincial government achieve its GHG emissions reductions goals in transportation by utilising abundant, low cost, cleaner burning BC natural gas,” said Roger Dall’Antonia, CEO of BC distributor FortisBC. “By converting vehicles and marine vessels to natural gas, we can cut GHG emissions while helping operators save on fuel costs.”

The report notes the existence of a strong business case for NGVs in Canada: the resource is plentiful, costs remain stable and high fuel-use fleets can benefit from costs savings compared to price-volatile diesel. Regulatory measures that favour the emissions reductions associated with a switch to NGVs only serve to accentuate the business case, noted Bruce Winchester, executive director of the CNGVA.

“NGVs are key in assisting Canada meet its immediate and long-term emissions reduction objectives,” he said. “Canada’s NGV industry is poised and ready to be part of global efforts to lower emissions while keeping transportation affordable.”

And adding renewable natural gas (RNG) to the mix can accelerate the reduction of emissions associated with more carbon-intense fuels. Using LNG as a fuel can reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by more than 25%; RNG can increase that reduction by nearly 82%.

“Canada’s natural gas and biogas industries have taken a lead in exploring and outlining opportunities for RNG in Canada,” the report says. “The natural gas industry has outlined aspirational targets to blend 5% and 10% RNG content into their systems over the next two decades.”