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Natural Gas for Transportation Deployment Roadmap

Industry Partnering with Government

peacetowerIn March 2010, Natural Resources Canada convened a group of senior stakeholders from across the natural gas value chain, end user groups, provinces, academia, and environmental groups as well as natural gas truck and equipment manufacturers. This Roundtable launched the natural gas for transportation deployment roadmap. The focus of the deployment roadmap is to consider the potential role of natural gas as a  transportation fuel and to determine priorities for market development.

The transportation sector is the second largest energy user in Canada. It accounts for 29% of Canadian energy demand and contributed 27% of Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions in 2008. For Canada to achieve its 2020 greenhouse gas emission reduction goal of a 17% reduction relative to 2005 levels, a need exists to greatly reduce emissions without compromising economic activity. Natural gas provides one option to reduce emissions from transportation sources.

Focus on Best Uses

meetingThe deployment roadmap work is being carried out in six working groups comprised of stakeholders from all groups represented at the Roundtable.

The six working groups are:

  • Natural Gas Fact Base
  • Vehicle Supply Chain Readiness and RD&D
  • Infrastructure Supply Chain Readiness and RD&D
  • End User Needs
  • Codes and Standards
  • Market Transformation and Policy Analysis

Working groups reported back in June 2010 and are currently developing inputs for a  draft report which will go to the Roundtable in late September. The goal of the work is to identify priorities for market development and consider needs related to fleet end users, education and outreach, research and development, capacity building including codes and standards activities, and effective business models to support adoption across a range of potential end uses.

Deployment Roadmap a First

Enbridge_Refuelling1Natural gas is not a new fuel for transportation in Canada. In fact, Canada was an early leader in terms of market adoption and government partnering to assist industry with developing innovative vehicle and refuelling technologies. Many of Canada’s leading companies active in the natural gas vehicle sector benefitted from this early stage partnership model involving government.

Despite these early investments, the market for natural gas as a transportation fuel in Canada has not developed as expected. Canadian equipment manufacturers rely almost exclusively on export market sales, but sell little in Canada.

Given the carbon pressures from transportation, the availability of commercial natural gas vehicle and station technologies, the abundant supplies of a lower cost Canadian fuel, the lower lifecycle carbon emissions associated with natural gas, and the ability of natural gas vehicles to operate on renewable biomethane, there is an opportunity to deploy natural gas vehicles so as to reduce carbon emissions in Canada. The deployment roadmap is a first-of-its-kind initiative that seeks to determine how best to move forward in a way that focuses on end user needs and ensures emphasis on applications that demonstrate economic sustainability.