We’ve all heard about the soaring price of oil, and now we’re hearing about another resource. Storms and a global supply shortage are driving up natural gas prices to unaffordable levels.
While we are more aware of rising oil prices when we go to fill up our cars, natural gas is a resource that millions of Canadians depend on but may not worry about as much. Natural gas is utilized to warm homes and businesses by almost two-thirds of Canadians.
What do skyrocketing natural gas prices imply for Canada and is this an indication that our energy expenses are at risk of climatic changes and war?
Canada’s pathway to net-zero emissions
Last year saw some of Canada’s most severe weather conditions on record. Windstorms inflicted multi-million dollar damage throughout the West, while floods wreaked havoc in British Columbia.
The reasons behind Canada’s net-zero emissions target by 2050 are becoming clearer. We don’t have to look much further in Canada to see why policymakers are demanding more action.
Canada has made a bold commitment to achieving net-zero emissions by 2050. This means that the Canadian economy will either not generate GHGs or will offset them through activities such as forestation or the use of carbon capture systems.
The Canadian government has mandated that all new automobiles and commercial vehicles be zero-emission by 2035. Transportation electrification and enhanced technologies will reduce total energy consumption.
Taking into account global insecurity
The conflict in Ukraine is without a doubt among the most substantial events of this decade, and it has had a global impact.
The war has caused an increase in energy prices, which consumers have felt almost immediately. In the short run, increased greenhouse gas emissions will emerge as more coal is utilized to minimize dependency on Russian natural gas and oil supplies.
We believe there is yet hope because those who can convert to cleaner sources could do so. Many will look to alternative energy sources like wind and solar for long-term solutions to reduce Russia’s control over countries’ petroleum and natural gas supplies.
So, where does this leave us?
We know that expecting all electrical sources to be fully renewable by 2050 is unrealistic. We understand that oil and gas will continue to play a vital role in Canada’s net-zero transition as we phase out all remaining fossil facilities over time.
When we look at the 175% spike in natural gas prices over the last year, we can see that the price was driven up by a variety of factors. However, if we keep striving for net-zero emissions by 2035 via electrification, we will strengthen Canada’s independence.
In effect, rising natural gas prices will become less important for Canada if we achieve our specific goals through sustainable energy technologies.