Energy Efficiency, Propane and America’s Clean Energy Future

Posted: May 6, 2019

Clean energy future

North Carolina’s propane industry is proud to be part of the state’s new initiative to reduce emissions and energy consumption. The good news is, propane already provides a number of ways for the state to meet its objective of reducing the state’s greenhouse gas emissions by 40% from 2005 levels by the year 2025. Consider this:

  • Propane can fuel buses, trucks and other transportation equipment
  • Propane is a clean-burning heating fuel source
  • Propane can be used to power commercial equipment like farm tractors, commercial mowers for landscaping and forklifts and much more—with far fewer greenhouse gas emissions than gasoline-or diesel-powered powered equipment
  • Propane is the primary fuel for outdoor grills, with greatly lower emissions than charcoal

With all that noted, the propane industry in North Carolina remains ready to lead the charge in the efforts to make propane even more environmentally friendly.
In an effort to reach a goal of creating less environmental damage, there are countless efforts underway to reducing harmful emissions and particulate matter from our atmosphere.

Propane already emits less than half the greenhouse gas emissions of electricity to produce the same amount of energy. That’s primarily because more than 40% of the electricity used in our country is produced by coal-fired plants. Pollution from coal-fired power plants can lead to smog and acid rain. But combustion of propane does not create those levels of emissions to cause those problems.

The Growth of Renewable Propane

One exciting development has been the growing production of renewable propane, which is a by-product of the renewable diesel process. Developers of renewable propane in both the United States and Europe have been perfecting methods to produce propane from renewable sources such as biomass, animal oils, vegetable oils and other triglycerides.

Millions of gallons of propane a year can be produced in this way—and those numbers will continue to grow in the years ahead.

The propane produced through this process has all of the benefits of traditional propane. It’s clean, affordable and reliable. It also leaves an ultra-low carbon footprint when compared to electricity.

Advanced technologies are already available for use with ultra-low nitrogen oxide engines. These and other advancements will deliver major environmental and public health gains, particularly for transportation and stationary engines used in agriculture.

In the construction industry, renewable propane addresses the need to generate more of our energy from renewable sources. And for commercial applications, renewable propane provides substantial potential reductions in criteria pollutants and diesel particulate matter.

How renewable propane can benefit North Carolina

Renewable propane will allow North Carolina’s propane providers a greater opportunity to be involved in residential, commercial and government projects that require energy sources to be zero-carbon or as close as possible when it comes to emissions, meaning more opportunities and income for locally-owned businesses.

Ultimately, renewable propane can be a part of making North Carolina’s quality of life better with reduced emissions, a cleaner environment and forward-thinking applications that will make our state a destination for modern development.

Read Gov. Cooper’s executive order outlining North Carolina’s commitment to address climate change and transition to a clean energy economy.