Since 1859, Canada has increasingly shifted its dependency on oil to natural gas as an affordable, reliable energy source. Today natural gas is easily accessible, providing advantages across a diverse collection of commercial, industrial and residential applications. Here we look at seven benefits of natural gas in Canada.
What is natural gas?
Natural gas is a colourless, odourless fossil fuel. It is mostly comprised of methane with smaller amounts of the following:
- Heavier hydrocarbons
Wells bring natural gas to the surface where it is fed into processing plants. The plants odourize the gas so that leaks become detectable. Once extracted and processed the gas is delivered via pipelines through local utility companies as well as via trucks, ships and trains in liquefied form (LNG). As the cleanest and safest fossil fuel on earth, it produces less carbon monoxide than coal or oil.
What are the advantages of natural gas?
There are many advantages to natural gas including:
1. Natural gas is affordable
Natural gas provides improved energy efficiency compared to other fuels allowing you to reduce energy costs. As a result, you can assign savings to more important resources to meet the core needs of your business. The larger your facility the more savings you are likely to see. In fact, switching to natural gas as a power source for machines, vehicles and/or appliances adds even more energy savings to reduce overhead.
2. Natural gas is safe and reliable
Natural gas is safe to transport via pipeline, liquid natural gas tanker, truck or train. When cooled to -165.5 degrees Celsius, liquid natural gas fills only 1/600th of its form, which makes for easy and convenient transportation by any mode of transport.
Natural gas is also more reliable than other sources of power. Above ground power lines are vulnerable to damage caused by increasingly powerful storms. Having a power source delivered via underground pipelines reduces the risk for disruptions. As a result, you avoid losing tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars in downtime.
3. Natural gas is cleaner than other fossil fuels
Natural gas produces 45% less carbon monoxide than coal and 30% less than oil. As mentioned above, it is the cleanest burning fossil fuel, that also helps reduce energy waste. Pipeline delivery also reduces the risk of issues such as soil contamination and the irreparable damage caused by disasters such as oil spills that cost millions of dollars to clean up.
4. Natural gas fleets reduce your company’s carbon footprint
There are approximately 23 million natural gas vehicles operating globally. A natural gas fleet can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 20 to 30% compared to gasoline or diesel-fueled vehicles. This includes between 50 to 90% less carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, and non-methane organic gas. As a result, your company reduces its carbon footprint and improves social responsibility optics within the communities you operate.
5. Natural gas promotes competitiveness
As an affordable energy source, natural gas allows organizations to focus savings on job creation. Canadian businesses become more competitive in the global market, while international investors are more likely to invest in Canadian businesses benefiting from reduced energy prices.
6. Natural gas relies on existing infrastructure
Natural gas is easily harnessed and transported via existing underground piping systems across Canada. As a result, you can feel confident it will successfully be delivered to its destination safely and reliably. You can enjoy uninterrupted operations and near guaranteed delivery even when operating in some of the most remote areas in Canada.
7. Natural gas is targeted as a renewable energy source
Canada plans to inject 5% of renewable natural gas (RNG) into our natural gas streams by 2025 and 10% by 2030. Once accomplished we would see the same results as removing 5.2 million cars from our roads and highways. These lower-emitting gases would be delivered as the most affordable renewable energy, capturing gas from organic waste produced by farms, water treatment plants, landfills, and forests.
What is natural gas used for?
According to Natural Resources Canada, the use of natural gas in Canada by sector is as follows:
- 53.8% Industrial
- 25.2% Residential
- 19.4% Commercial
- 1.4% Agricultural
- 0.2% Transportation
Alberta (43.4%) and Ontario (31.4%) are the provinces that use natural gas the most as an energy source while the Maritimes and Manitoba use it the least.
Natural gas provides affordable, efficient fuel for many applications including:
- HVAC systems for improved comfort and reduced heating and cooling costs in commercial, government, industrial and multi-unit residential buildings
- Cooking appliances in large-scale cooking facilities from school cafeterias to high-end hotels
- Laundry appliances for massive laundry operations in hotels, hospitals, university/college dorms, condominiums, apartment buildings, etc.
- Amenities for condo corporations and hotels such as indoor and outdoor fireplaces, barbecues, and fire features
- Commercial fleets across multiple industries to reduce greenhouse gas emissions
- Machinery and equipment in manufacturing, building and agricultural sectors
Natural gas is an energy-efficient, eco-friendly fuel option that can positively impact your bottom line. With advances in renewable natural gas production, this resource promises to help Canada meet its emissions reduction goals. Your business can reduce your carbon footprint, improve energy efficiencies, and become a socially responsible member of your community.
As a supplier of natural gas regulation and measurement equipment, Norgas contributes to the development of the natural gas industry in Canada. We offer natural gas regulators, gas meters and gas valves for industrial, commercial and residential applications. We have the knowledge and expertise to help you find the perfect solution for your specific application. Contact us, our experts will be happy to assist you.