Hi-tech vehicles to detect utility’s natural gas leaks

The ‘moving labs’ can gather and analyse methane, wind and atmospheric data

Big Zero Report 2022

A public utility in Michigan, in the US, has announced it will use vehicles in the fight against methane emissions.

Consumers Energy, which provides natural and electricity to around 6.7 million of Michigan’s residents, will deploy two new vehicles that are equipped with gas leak sensors.

Each vehicle is fitted with technology that can measure atmospheric gas composition and types of gas, including ethane.

The data collected from the technology can help researchers find natural gas leaks and evaluate their risks.

The $4 million (£2.9m) five-year investment is part of the company’s plan to achieve net zero methane emissions by 2030.

Greg Salisbury, Vice President of Gas Engineering and Supply at Consumers Energy, said: “This pilot project is another way we’re innovating to protect the planet and lead Michigan’s clean energy transformation.”

A recent study by the UN Environment Programme and the Climate and the Clean Air Coalition suggests methane emissions from human activities could be cut by an estimated 45% to help to keep the global temperature rise to 1.5°C.

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