Decarbonizing the natural gas system
Duke Energy’s environmental goals for its natural gas local distribution companies are to achieve net-zero methane emissions by 2030 for its own operations (Scope 1 emissions) and to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050 for natural gas purchases upstream and sold to customers downstream (Scope 3 emissions).
To achieve these goals, Duke Energy is reducing methane leaks on its system, working with upstream suppliers on their efforts to reduce and eliminate emissions and offering customers opportunities to purchase renewable natural gas (RNG) and carbon offsets. Duke Energy also offers energy efficiency programs that provide incentives for customers to install high-efficiency natural gas equipment.
Duke Energy also is investing in RNG, an important tool to tackle greenhouse gas emissions. RNG is considered carbon neutral because it displaces geological gas and reduces the release of methane to the atmosphere. The company is sourcing RNG for use at compressed natural gas stations, providing transportation customers with a gasoline or diesel alternative, resulting in a reduced carbon footprint.
Advanced methane leak detection and reduction
The company’s current industry-leading methane-monitoring platform has reduced recordable leaks by more than 85% since the beginning of 2022 using satellites, sensors and other cutting-edge technologies to detect leaks and measure real-time methane emissions on natural gas distribution systems.
Duke Energy’s Integrated Methane Monitoring Platform Extension project was selected by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management for nearly $1 million of funding to expand its methane-monitoring platform to interstate and customer natural gas assets.
This work will offer a standardized framework for methane measurement and quantification that can extend to upstream components, including midstream transmission and storage, and upstream production and gathering facilities.
The project will begin in 2023 in North Carolina and will leverage academia, natural gas operations, digital and advanced cloud computing technologies as well as data science to deploy, measure and analyze methane emissions data
Learn more about Duke Energy’s methane emissions-monitoring platform in the video below.