A big-league ‘foundation fuel’

Jamie Milner, of Enbridge Gas, with one of our 600-plus natural gas vehicles currently on the road.

Pursuing further efficiencies and new technologies through natural gas

This blue-flame business is bursting with green possibilities.

Climate change has been recognized as a global issue, with pledges for action in the wake of COP21, the latest United Nations Conference on Climate Change event, in Paris late last year.

As a North American leader in energy infrastructure, delivering various sources of energy supply, we’re uniquely positioned at Enbridge to help society make the transition to a lower-carbon future. And natural gas—an abundant, low-cost, clean-burning fuel—is essential to achieving fewer GHG emissions and a smaller carbon footprint.

“Natural gas is a very important player in a lower-carbon future,” says Jamie Milner, Vice President of Market Development with Enbridge Gas Distribution. “It’s an important replacement fuel for coal in electricity generation. It promotes the growth of renewables, by addressing intermittency issues when the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine.

“It’s a low-carbon source of home heating,” he adds. “It’s a lower-emission fuel for heavy-duty vehicles and large transportation fleets that cannot viably convert to electric power—and it could be a vital enabler of other clean technologies, too.”

Enbridge is a major player in North America’s natural gas industry, with gathering, transportation, and processing facilities from British Columbia to Illinois to Texas. Meanwhile, our gas utility, Enbridge Gas, serves more than two million customers in Ontario, and is one of the fastest-growing such enterprises in North America.

And this week at the GLOBE 2016 Conference and Innovation Expo in Vancouver, Enbridge Gas executives will be giving TED Talk-style presentations at our Energy Connections interactive space on the green technologies—and further efficiencies—we’re pursuing through our natural gas infrastructure.

For two decades, Enbridge Gas has been helping customers save money while reducing their carbon footprint, whether it’s homeowners lowering their energy consumption or industrial manufacturers optimizing energy systems.

From 1995 through 2014, these efficiency and conservation programs have saved 9.6 billion cubic metres of natural gas. That’s the equivalent of:

  • 18 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions, or
  • Taking 3.5 million cars off the road for a year.

Enbridge Gas is also pursuing development of new renewable energy options. These efforts include:

  • “Greening the grid” by using natural gas infrastructure to deliver and store Renewable Natural Gas (RNG) and other so-called “green gas” supplies, which offer the same environmental benefits as renewable electricity; and
  • Development of technologies that support large-scale energy storage, such as Hydrogenics’ water electrolysis process that converts surplus green power into renewable hydrogen, which could then be transported via the Enbridge Gas network.

On the transportation front, Enbridge Gas is also promoting natural gas as the best solution to low emissions produced by medium- and heavy-duty vehicles, including trucks, buses, trains and ships. To date, Enbridge Gas:

  • Operates a fleet of more than 600 mixed light- and heavy-duty natural gas vehicles, which has lowered fleet emissions by 28 percent;
  • Owns four public and 20 fleet natural gas refueling stations in Ontario.

“New technologies enhance efficiencies, and using pre-existing infrastructure makes it more cost-effective,” notes David Teichroeb, Business Development - New Ventures at Enbridge Gas. “The technologies and initiatives that we’re pursuing with natural gas represent a win-win for our customers and the environment.”