Canada: renewable natural gas now part of the low carbon fuel standard
At a carbon intensity level equal to or even less than electric vehicle power, FortisBC’s renewable natural gas has been approved by the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources for inclusion within the province’s low carbon fuel standard (LCFS). The LCFS supports the responsible development of B.C.’s low-carbon natural gas resources to provide domestic solutions to reduce the carbon intensity of transportation fuels.
“FortisBC is committed to advancing a low-carbon future for the province by tackling emissions from the transportation sector,” said Douglas Stout, vice-president, market development and external relations, FortisBC. “The inclusion of biomethane as an approved fuel under the LCFS provides transportation companies with both an environmental and an economic reason to move to natural gas as a fuel of choice.”
FortisBC has had programs in place for commercial fleets and transit providers to switch to CNG since 2010. More than 850 vehicles have made the switch to natural gas since, providing their operators with a 15 to 25% decrease in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions at roughly half the cost when compared against gasoline or diesel. Companies like TransLink, BC Transit and UPS Canada have all benefited by moving portions of their fleets to natural gas.
Using biomethane for transportation provides even greater benefits. Switching to this bifuel from CNG would provide an additional 80% drop in GHG emissions. In fact, FortisBC biomethane averages a carbon intensity of approximately 11 grams of carbon dioxide equivalent (gCO2e) per megajoule (MJ) which is less than electricity used for electric vehicles at about 19 gCO2e/MJ. While customers do pay a premium for biomethane, inclusion under the LCFS will enable them to receive higher emissions credits than CNG, making the overall price competitive.