Enbridge’s road map to net-zero emissions by 2050
‘Well underway’ on the journey, with a clear sustainability strategy to modernize, innovate and green our pipeline network
Net-zero emissions by 2050.
It’s a sustainability target that’s “absolutely doable,” says Caitlin Tessin, Enbridge’s Director of Market Innovation, “with the right road map.”
Last November, Enbridge was among the first North American midstream energy companies to set a hard target of net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by the year 2050.
With Earth Day approaching on Thursday, April 22, we’re now half a year into our journey—our roadmap dotted with achievable milestones, and a clear sustainability strategy propelling us forward.
“Achieving net zero won’t come from a single solution. It will come from several sources,” says Pete Sheffield, Enbridge’s Chief Sustainability Officer and Vice President of U.S. External Affairs. “And while we’re only six months into our plan, it’s already well underway.”
An initial 35% intensity reduction by 2030
A significant signpost for Enbridge will arrive in 2030, by which point Enbridge has committed to reduce the intensity of GHG emissions from our operations by 35%. We plan to get there with an aggressive strategy of modernization, innovation and “greening the grid” initiatives including our solar self-power projects.
“Setting that initial 35% intensity reduction target helps us to focus on reducing emissions from our businesses, while at the same time growing to meet the world’s escalating appetite for energy. That target places the focus squarely on modernization and innovation,” says Sheffield.
Enbridge’s program of modernization includes upgrading older and less efficient equipment in our operations, alongside enhanced maintenance programs, to reduce emissions.
We’ve also built solar farms across North America—with several more on the way—to offset the electrical load required to move natural gas and crude oil along our pipeline networks. These solar self-power projects include:
- The 2.25-megawatt (MW) Lambertville Solar Project in New Jersey, which offsets about 25% of the power required by our adjacent Lambertville Compressor Station to keep natural gas flowing to millions of people via our cross-continent Texas Eastern Transmission network.
- The 10.5-MW Alberta Solar One project in southern Alberta, which supplies a portion of the power requirements for our Mainline crude oil and liquids network.
- The 2.5-MW Heidlersburg Solar Project in Pennsylvania, which in the next couple of months, like Lambertville, will supply solar energy to power an adjacent compressor station along the Texas Eastern transmission network.
Enbridge Gas is helping to build one of Canada’s greenest transit fleets
Investing in renewables, exploring greener fuels
Achieving net zero by 2050 also means more investment in our renewable energy portfolio, and continued exploration of lower-carbon fuel sources—such as renewable natural gas (RNG) and renewable hydrogen—for introduction into the gas distribution grid of our utility, Enbridge Gas Inc.
Our renewables portfolio—consisting of wind, solar, geothermal and waste heat recovery facilities either in operation or under construction, with a European offshore wind component that’s growing rapidly—has a 2,075-MW net generation capacity and meets the electricity consumption needs of about 940,000 homes, or a city about the size of San Francisco.
Enbridge Gas, meanwhile, has several RNG initiatives either in operation or under construction, including:
- A voluntary program for Enbridge Gas customers to purchase and add RNG to the utility’s natural gas supply.
- Ontario’s largest RNG plant in Niagara Falls, a $42-million venture expected to be in service in late 2021.
- A partnership with the city of Hamilton, ON, to put RNG-fueled, carbon-negative transit buses on the road.
- A partnership with the city of Toronto to fuel its fleet of waste collection trucks with RNG, which has helped reduce fuel costs by as much as 20%.
Enbridge Gas and its affiliates are also examining the suitability of renewable hydrogen gas in greening the natural gas grid, including:
- A $5.2-million hydrogen blending project, the first of its kind in North America.
- A hydrogen injection project being spearheaded by Enbridge subsidiary Gazifère.
Contributing to global emissions reduction
Enbridge’s net-zero road map has potentially positive ramifications outside of our North American footprint, too.
“ESG is a key enabler of our business. Globally speaking, natural gas is a lower-carbon fuel source that will play a key part in emissions reduction through the switch from coal-fired to gas-fired power generation, and we’re well-positioned to support the LNG export market in that regard,” says Sheffield.
“Operating safely and sustainably is not new to us. We’ve been doing it for decades. It’s part of what we view as our dual responsibility—providing the energy people need and use every day, and doing it in a responsible, sustainable way.”
(TOP PHOTO: Enbridge's Alberta Solar One project, which entered service in March 2021, supplies a portion of the power requirements for our Mainline crude oil and liquids network.)
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