Renewable natural gas now part of the Low Carbon Fuel Standard
 

April 23, 2019. At a carbon intensity level equal to or even less than electric vehicle power, FortisBC's Renewable Natural Gas (RNG) 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," says Douglas Stout, vice-president, external relations and market development, FortisBC. "The inclusion of RNG 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 compressed natural gas (CNG) since 2010. More than 850 vehicles have made the switch to natural gas since, providing their operators with a 15 to 25 per cent 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 RNG for transportation provides even greater benefits. Switching to RNG from CNG would provide an additional 80 per cent drop in GHG emissions. In fact, FortisBC RNG 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 RNG, inclusion under the LCFS will enable them to receive higher emissions credits than CNG, making the overall price competitive.

   Under the company's Clean Growth Pathway to 2050 strategy, FortisBC sees natural gas as a key part of advancing a lower-carbon future for British Columbia. The transportation sector is responsible for approximately 40 per cent of the province's total GHG emissions and using natural gas as a transportation fuel provides the most opportunity to make emissions reductions in an affordable and reliable way.

   In addition, with RNG now approved under the LCFS, companies can use RNG to reduce emissions even more while keeping operating costs competitive with CNG after the monetization of emissions credits.