Unconventional gas a source of clean energy

Unconventional gas provides sufficient green energy to last for more than 100 years, says the president of the Canadian Society for Unconventional Gas.

Unconventional gas provides sufficient green energy to last for more than 100 years, says the president of the Canadian Society for Unconventional Gas.

Calgary-based Mike Dawson spoke to a small crowd of business leaders in Red Deer on Wednesday, sponsored by the Central Alberta Economic Partnership, Red Deer Chamber of Commerce and Central Alberta Rural Manufacturers Association.

“We consider natural gas green because, of all the hydrocarbon sources, it is the cleanest in terms of the amount of (carbon dioxide) it emits into the atmosphere,” Dawson said when interviewed during a break in his presentation.

Already used for electrical generation, natural gas burns much cleaner than coal-fired generators and could be considered the backbone of a system that uses wind and solar power.

“Part of our message is, we would like everyone to consider natural gas . . . as a foundation fuel that governments and consumers can have confidence that it is reliable and low cost and we can use it as a foundation on which to build our industry strategies,” he said.

Consumers are benefitting from low commodity prices for natural gas which Dawson says should remain at current levels for a couple more years. The demand has not grown in North American, largely because people and industry are becoming more fuel efficient, he said.

“We have well over 100 years of marketable natural gas. I have quite a bit of confidence that my generation, my kids’ generation and my kids’ kids’ generation can use natural gas as a cornerstone of their fuel (needs),” said Dawson.

Techniques being used and drilling regulations ensure that exploration for unconventional gas leaves only a minimal footprint on the environment, he said.

bkossowan@bprda.wpengine.com