Keeping natural gas an option


As the world transitions to a low-carbon future, Picarro emissions-mitigation technology plays a vital role in empowering carbon management strategies.

In the global effort to combat climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, transitioning from traditional fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources has become a top priority.

According to Picarro’s director of gas sales and marketing Doug Ward, the company has become a driving force in the industry when it comes to achieving emissions reduction.

“Utilities around the world are using our technology to help them achieve their net-zero goals and, in many cases, ahead of targeted dates,” he said.

“Roughly five per cent of a utility’s largest emitters account for approximately 50 per cent of their total fugitive emissions.

“Utilising our emissions quantifications capabilities and other analytical tools allows them to prioritise addressing larger emitters to accelerate overall emissions reduction.”

By accurately measuring methane emissions, pipeline operators can quantify their carbon footprint, align with emission-reduction targets, and contribute to climate goals.

While there are suggestions of outright banning natural gas, an essential energy resource, this is a complex decision that requires careful consideration of economic, social, and energy security implications.

Amid this ongoing debate, however, Picarro technology has emerged as a powerful ally in the pipeline industry’s mission to address fugitive gas leakage and reduce environmental impact. Innovative methane detection and monitoring solutions offered present an opportunity to address emissions proactively.

Picarro’s technology can revolutionise pipeline emissions mitigation, promoting a cleaner and more sustainable energy future.

By exploring the benefits and challenges of emissions mitigation through pipeline emissions mitigation, its role is crucial when it comes to achieving a balanced and environmentally responsible energy transition. This will enable Australian consumers to keep natural gas as an energy option.

Importance of natural gas

Natural gas has long been a crucial energy source, serving as a key fuel to meet global energy demands while transitioning towards a cleaner energy mix. It offers numerous benefits, such as lower carbon emissions compared to coal and oil, and acts as a reliable back-up for intermittent renewable energy sources.

An outright banning of natural gas could lead to energy supply challenges and may not be the most pragmatic solution,” Ward said.

While natural gas burns cleaner than other fossil fuels, methane emissions from pipelines can undermine its environmental advantages. Addressing fugitive methane emissions is vital for minimising the overall climate impact of natural gas.

Harnessing the power of technology

Picarro offers cutting-edge solutions for detecting and measuring methane emissions with unparalleled accuracy. Its quantification capabilities are key to addressing network emissions.

“Integrating Picarro’s technology into pipeline network monitoring and assessment processes empowers operators to proactively identify and address leaks or replace pipelines promptly, significantly reducing methane emissions,” Ward said.

By deploying Picarro technology, pipeline operators can enhance their integrity management practices. For gas network assessment and pipeline replacement optimisation applications, Picarro’s analytics, rather than identify individual leaks, estimate leak density per kilometre and measure the actual, aggregated methane emissions along the pipe segments or areas in question.

This solution combines data analytics with a vehicle-based methane emissions data collection platform to assist with capital replacement decisions.

Picarro’s advanced data analytics capabilities enable pipeline operators to harness vast amounts of real-time methane concentration data.

“By leveraging big data machine-learning algorithms, this data can be transformed into actionable insights, facilitating data-driven decision-making to optimise pipeline operations and maintenance efforts,” Ward said.

Collaborating for a sustainable energy future

According to Ward, energy companies have an opportunity to demonstrate their commitment to sustainability by adopting emissions reduction goals and incorporating cleaner technologies into their operations.

“Embracing a transparent reporting mechanism for methane emissions can foster trust and accountability among stakeholders,” he said.

Picarro’s partnership with the pipeline industry and regulatory bodies fosters collaboration in advancing emissions mitigation efforts. Through shared data and insights, stakeholders can collectively work towards setting emissions reduction goals and implementing more effective environmental protection measures.

“By investing in innovative technologies, fostering collaboration between industry and governments, and demonstrating a commitment to sustainability, the pipeline industry can play a pivotal role in minimising methane emissions,” Ward said.

“As the pipeline industry navigates this complex landscape, Picarro technology stands as a game-changer.

“Embracing Picarro technology represents a significant step forward in fulfilling environmental commitments and fostering a cleaner, greener, and more responsible energy sector and ensuring the continued supply of natural gas as an essential energy resource.

This article featured in the September edition of The Australian Pipeliner. 

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