RELIABLE AND DENSE FUEL & LOWER CARBON THAN OTHER FOSSIL FUELS
Natural gas is primarily used in residential and commercial buildings for space heating and water heating. It is traditionally the primary source of fuel in Canadian district energy systems.
Combusted fuel is the leading fuel source of district energy
Natural gas is primarily used in residential and commercial spaces for space heating and water heating. It is also used by the industrial sector as a source of process heat, by the electric power generation sector, and as an alternative fuel in the transportation sector. Roughly 100 GJs of energy (2,700 m3 of natural gas) would be required to heat a new average-sized single detached home in Canada for one year.
Natural gas generators are similar to traditional combustion engines. The fuel is first taken in by the engine. The fuel and air mixture is then compressed by the engine. A spark plug ignites the fuel mixture and resultant combustion drives the piston to move a crankshaft that is connected to a generator.
DENSE AND RELIABLE SOURCE OF ENERGY
Natural gas is a dense source of energy. One GJ of natural gas has the same amount of energy as 27 litres of fuel oil. With gas lines stored underground, it is less susceptible to outages from extreme weather events.
CLEANER THAN OTHER FOSSIL FUELS LIKE COAL AND OIL.
Compared to oil and coal, natural gas is a cleaner source of fossil fuels, emitting about 50 per cent fewer carbon emissions than coal, but still a significant source of emissions.
SAFER AND EASIER STORAGE COMPARED TO OTHER FOSSIL FUELS.
Extracted Natural gas is stored underground close to population centers, holding approximately 63 days’ worth of Canadian natural gas winter demand.
INFRASTRUCTURE CAN BE USED FOR BIOFUELS
Upgrading biomethane through a refinement and upgrading facility usually results in a biofuel of sufficient quality to be integrated into existing natural gas pipelines, thus reducing fuel distribution costs and lengthening the reach of the district energy project’s influence. Upgraded biomethane is a biofuel whose chemical makeup has been changed from roughly 55% CH4 and 45% CO2 to at least 95% CH4.
NOT A RENEWABLE SOURCE OF ENERGY
Natural gas is a non-renewable source of energy. Current Canadian conventional production of natural gas is declining and more-energy intensive sources of unconventional sources are filling the gap.
CONTRIBUTES TO CLIMATE CHANGE
With the rise of unconventional gas supplies, the extraction of natural gas has increased in carbon intensity. Demand for natural gas will plateau and then decline, after 2030, to meet targets to avoid dangerous climate change.
Though rare, natural gas explosions cause significant damage and loss of life.
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