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3.1.4Investigate and plan for full replacement of natural gas with other, non-fossil fuel sources, such as a combination of renewable natural gas and hydrogen

Progress

  • Not started

  • Planning

  • Implementation

  • Completed

Description

While electric heat pumps are key to our transition to a low carbon community, especially in the next decade, other fuels can also play an important role, particularly for activities that are especially energy intensive. A particularly promising option that is being explored is to replace fossil fuel-based natural gas with a mix of renewable natural gas and green hydrogen. Pursuing options for transitioning existing natural gas operations to zero-carbon is crucial for achieving our 2050 target.

This action will be led by Enbridge and Kitchener Utilities.

CITY OF KITCHENER

  • The City of Kitchener conducted staff training on the heat pump water heater with the supplier (Rheem) to educate and address any barriers to this technology.

  • In 2022 the City of Kitchener submitted an application to NRCAN Clean Fuels Fund "Biomass Hub Feedstock Feasibility Study".

  • In 2022 City of Kitchener supported University of Waterloo’s application to the Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Support to Canadian Think Tanks and Academic Institutions. The application title is “Quantifying the benefits and risks of using hydrogen for sectoral integration in Canadian municipalities towards net-zero emissions.” As part of the municipal sector, City of Kitchener's involvement will allow the researchers to expand the study to include studying hydrogen’s role in the energy transition in both municipal transportation and public buildings focus areas. This focus is anticipated to be valuable and likely to deliver on learnings that are urgently needed to accelerate knowledge and mobilization action by organizations (municipal and otherwise), communities and networks nationwide. Project is underway led by Professor Wu.

  • Additionally the downtown Kitchener district energy feasibility study is progressing. The project would significantly decrease emissions from both existing and new buildings, and provide a long-term path to decarbonization for system customers without individual building-level changes being required.

  • Phase 1 of the project to develop a Kitchener Utilities Clean Energy Transition Strategy has been initiated. This project will develop a multi-decade business strategy that will position Kitchener Utilities to secure a strong future for the energy utility and enable customers and community members to achieve the local clean energy transition.

  • 2022 initial study completed to review various pathways to net zero incorporating hydrogen and RNG.

  • Investigating RNG opportunities with gas suppliers and gas markets SME’s to identify opportunities for RNG supply. RNG market is not fluid at this stage and sourcing RNG require long term commitment and partnership with producers.