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How Clean is Your Energy?

With multiple levels of government setting goals and taking action towards net-zero emissions, it is important to consider how different types of energy could affect your emissions. Directly measuring the absolute emissions from a building is a difficult and time consuming task, so Energy Emissions Intensity is often used instead.

Solar PV classified as "Clean electricity" with little to no associated emissions under environmental programs
Solar PV classified as "Clean electricity" with little to no associated emissions under environmental programs

Emissions and Energy

Energy emissions intensity, also known as emission factor, or carbon intensity is a measure that tracks the amount of pollutants released from a given amount of energy. This usually involves direct byproducts like CO2 from combustibles and may also include other emissions over the production, lifetime, and transportation of the source depending on the purpose of the measurement. Since this measure only requires energy use data that utilities already track, it is very likely to be one of, if not the main metric used in future net-zero goals/requirements.


Comparing Common Canadian Energy

The Department of Environment and Climate Change Canada has previously used energy emissions intensity in its Low Carbon Economy Fund to measure the effectiveness of energy efficiency and emissions reducing projects. Below are tables containing averages of the emissions intensities for several Canadian energy sources (mobile users may need to scroll horizontally to view all columns):

Energy Source

Average Emissions Intensity

Unit

Natural Gas

1.92

tonnes CO2 equivalent / 1000m3

Landfill Gas (Methane)

2.75

tonnes CO2 equivalent / 1000m3

Diesel - Stationary

2.80

tonnes CO2 equivalent / kL

Diesel - Vehicles

2.68

tonnes CO2 equivalent / kL

Motor Gasoline

2.32

tonnes CO2 equivalent / kL

Light Fuel Oil

2.76

tonnes CO2 equivalent / kL

Heavy Fuel Oil

3.18

tonnes CO2 equivalent / kL

Propane

1.55

tonnes CO2 equivalent / kL

Kerosene

2.57

tonnes CO2 equivalent / kL

Ethane

1.02

tonnes CO2 equivalent / kL

Butane

1.78

tonnes CO2 equivalent / kL

Wood and Wood Waste

0.02

tonnes CO2 equivalent / kL

Spent Pulping Liquor

0.01

tonnes CO2 equivalent / kL

Province/Territory

Grid Power Average Emissions Intensity (tonnes/MWh)

Alberta

0.55

New Brunswick

0.30

Newfoundland & Labrador

0.05

Northwest Territories

0.23

Nova Scotia

0.55

Nunavut

0.46

Ontario

0.04

Prince Edward Island

0.30

Saskatchewan

0.61

Yukon Territory

0.07

Values taken from the Department of Climate Change Canada 2018 Low Carbon Economy Fund. Provincial grid energy emissions intensity are the estimated 2022 values and are defined as:

[(Utility generation emissions) + (Industrial net sales to grid by sector)*(Industrial electricity generation emissions factor)]/(Electricity consumption from the grid)

The purpose of the program was to reduce Canadian emissions, due to this some provinces and factors are excluded: energy imports, non-combustible emissions.


How We Can Help

Mann Energy Solutions is a professional consulting engineering company that specializes in energy management, including energy audits and high level emissions analysis, mechanical/electrical engineering and implementation and has experience working with different government levels, utilities, and service providers. We are experts at helping clients realize the highest value for their retrofit investments, and selecting the right incentives for their projects.


Some of our services include:

  • Free site walk-through by our experienced engineers and technicians to provide an initial site assessment

  • Engineering feasibility studies

  • Incentive study and application

  • Alternative energy including solar PV, geothermal, CHP etc.

  • Energy management

  • Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) for a turnkey project

For more information or a complimentary assessment contact us through the main site, info@mannenergysolutions.com, or call (416) 201 9109 x 158.


Sources and Further Reading

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