Balancing the carbon budget for National Grid Gas
In the UK, natural gas accounts for 80% of all heating needs and 30% of electricity generation. Although natural gas is a fossil fuel, it is not as damaging to the planet as oil or coal. In fact, when burned, natural gas produces about 35% less carbon dioxide than coal and 50% less carbon dioxide than oil.
The proposed National Grid Gas natural gas pipeline between Felindre, South Wales, and Tirley, Gloucester, will connect England’s south-west coast to the national transmission system: a network of high-pressure pipelines that distribute natural gas throughout the UK. National Grid Gas has a statutory obligation to “develop and maintain a safe, efficient, coordinated and economical pipeline system for the conveyance of natural gas”.
In 2007, National Grid Gas commissioned RSK to quantify the climate impacts associated with construction of the pipeline. Regional experts tested the carbon intensity of the construction materials used and measurements were collated to determine the disturbance of natural carbon systems and operational emissions. Each stage of work was researched in detail and considered the entire lifetime of the pipeline, from design to decommissioning.
When evaluated in the context of the energy supplied each year by the pipeline, the construction and operation of the gas pipeline constitute an insignificant increase (0.2%) in the greenhouse gas emissions associated with the combustion of natural gas supplied by the pipeline.