December 29, 2020. Canadian Natural Gas Vehicle Alliance (CNGVA) Executive Director Bruce Winchester said as 2020 wound down, the federal government announced three important policy directions: A Healthy Environment and a Healthy Economy plan (including a rising federal carbon tax to $170/ton in 2030); publication of the consultation on the proposed Clean Fuel Standard (CFS); and the long-awaited Hydrogen Strategy. Each of these initiatives presents challenges and opportunities for the industry while at the same time underscoring its low-cost approaches to reducing emissions.

“From the outset the CFS sought to reduce greenhouse gas emission for all combustible fuel sources on a life cycle basis. While this will continue for petroleum-based fuels – an opportunity for credit generation through fuel switching to natural gas vehicles remains – the gaseous and solid fuel streams have been removed from the mix. This makes the calculus a bit more complex and leaves some wondering if there might be another shoe to drop in 2021. Higher carbon taxes will increase the spread between natural gas and petroleum fuels – levied on a final combustion basis – which is beneficial to NGVs. Moreover, opportunities to pile on additional emissions credits through the use of renewable natural gas add to the opportunities for NGV deployments.”

“Expansive and optimistic, the federal Hydrogen Strategy bets heavily on the growth of hydrogen as a global fuel. While some may view this transition as rapid, the strategy is measured in its approach noting that a number of steps need to be taken over the next few years. Many CNGVA members will play a significant role in scoping medium- and heavy-duty transportation opportunities, including supporting codes and standards development and early demonstration projects. There are significant opportunities for fleets to deploy natural gas and renewable natural gas fleet projects. Overall, the strategy will require the expertise of the gaseous fuel industry – CNGVA in particular – to move from aspiration to reality.”