Let us prescribe you a way to reduce your Gas Emissions!
The path to decarbonising the electrical grid is well underway. Now it’s time to think about gas. If you have high gas consumption, there are few things you need to be considering.
- Make your current equipment as efficient as possible
- Consider what equipment can be electrified
- Look for biogas or green gas opportunities
- Green hydrogen is getting massive investment
The Victorian Industrial sector used over 110 PJ (30 TWh) of energy in 2017 and 65% of that came from gas. The predominant use of that gas is steam boilers. The story is the same in other states. The Industrial sector is primarily fueled by gas and the commercial sector also has substantial gas usage for hot water.
The trends bring gas into the spotlight are as follows:
- Electricity is getting greener. In Australia, 25% of the electrical energy is now sourced from renewables. The grid emissions (the emissions factor) are dropping every year.
- Many companies are setting goals to decarbonize, or their customers are demanding they do.
- The gas is getting greener (less emissions), but it is hard and slow, however there are state and federal programs accelerating this.
- Green hydrogen (electrolysis from renewable electricity) is forecast to explode
The message for C&I (Commercial & Industrial) is clear if you want to decarbonize you’ve got to look at your gas emissions as well.
Gas Efficiency: In NSW and VIC business there are lots of old steam boilers it’s a no brainer to add economizers and O2 trim, electronic air/fuel ration and blowdown controls or to upgrade the whole unit. The NSW Energy Saving Scheme and Victorian Energy Upgrades programs provide funding for both calculated and measured savings. For economizers up to 50% of the full costs will be cover by the programs.
Electrification: For hot water, we’ve reached the cutover point. You’ll now generate hot water with lower emissions by using heat pump systems using grid electricity than a gas boiler.
- Using gas at 90% efficiency condensing boiler to put 1GJ of energy into hot water would produce 0.05523 / 0.9 = 0.0061 x 1000 = 61 kg CO2te
- To put 1GJ of energy into hot water using an electric heat pump with a COP of 5 and grid source energy with an emissions factor of 0.8 tonnes / MWh. 1GJ of energy into hot water. (1GJ = 1/3.6 MWh x 0.8 / 5 COP x 1000 kg = 44 kg CO2te. And when the grid reaches 0.5 tonnes / MWh this falls to 27 kg CO2te and potentially better with some heat pumps having even higher COP
The NSW ESS (Energy Savings Scheme) and VIC VEU (Victorian Energy Upgrade) have recently released new methods for Commercial & Industrial heat pumps. Dairy farms and industrial processes using large volumes of hot water can substantially lower their emissions by using heat pumps and much more so if they have behind the Meter Solar PV.
Biogas, Biomethane and Green Gas: For the process that really needs gas (e.g. steam boilers), there significant funding can be obtained from capturing or generating biogas. Biogas can come from anaerobic digestion (AD) and covered anaerobic lagoons (CALs), from abattoirs, landfills, and syngas from pyrolysis (eg burning agricultural waste in the absence of oxygen). The VIC VEU program provides funding for switching from natural gas to biogas. The NSW ESS supports heat recovery from burning biogas. By using scrubbers and other methods can be used to upgrade biogas to biomethane and the Carbon Farming Initiative (CFI) recently added biomethane to many of the methods to support injection into the natural gas grid. With these advancements, we are just starting to see the development of in front of the meter PPAs to supply green gas and the energy retailers would love to be able to offer it broadly.
Green Hydrogen: There is a very substantial investment going into the hydrogen economy. The expectation is that electrolysis (using electricity to generate H2) will see the same economy of scale benefits that resulted in Solar PV dropping massively in cost. This space is a watch and see as to how the gas industry will evolve to replace natural gas (methane) with hydrogen.
Northmore Gordon can support your business doing the activities above. Our consultants can help identify which of the opportunities above will have the highest PA payback and capture the greatest amount of funding under different programs.
More importantly, if you are feeling gassy and bloated, we’ll identify the fastest way to reduce your gas emissions. Who wouldn’t want that!!!