Funds to Mitigate Methane Emissions from Natural Gas Infrastructure

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Posted: Sunday, September 11, 2016 8:24 pm | Updated: 5:21 pm, Wed Sep 14, 2016.

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The U.S. Department of Energy announced a total of $13 million to be awarded to twelve multi-year research projects intended to develop cost efficient and effective ways to mitigate methane emissions from natural gas pipeline and storage infrastructure. The research will also look to better quantify the sources, volumes and rates of methane emissions. This new initiative by the Office of Fossil Energy builds upon the President's Climate Action Plan Strategy to Reduce Methane Emissions.

"This initiative is an important part of this Administration’s overall strategy to address methane emissions from natural gas transportation and storage infrastructure," said Franklin Orr, DOE’s Under Secretary for Science and Energy. "Improving our ability to measure and minimize methane emissions will help us to safely and efficiently use our nation’s natural gas resources, and at the same time address environmental and infrastructure challenges as we work to meet our commitments on climate change."

Natural gas currently provides heat to millions of American homes and is expected to provide a third of the nation’s total electric power generation this year. While natural gas has lower carbon emissions than some other energy resources, the associated methane emissions, if not addressed, could undermine the environmental benefits of expanded use of this abundant domestic resource. As a result, the Administration has announced a number of steps to address concerns about methane emissions in recent years.

Seven of these newly selected projects will be mitigation-focused research efforts that will work on developing a suite of natural gas leak reduction technologies. These research initiatives will help to develop, modify, and evaluate tools and technologies for methane mitigation beyond a proof of concept and eventually have the potential to be commercialized in the near future.

The remaining five projects will advance methane emission quantification research that is intended to better measure and understand methane emissions derived from the natural gas supply chain.

SOURCE: U.S. Department of Energy

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