Gas Industry Groups Take Hope from IEA Outlook
Two gas industry lobby groups expressed satisfaction with the International Energy Agency’s World Energy Outlook (WEO), published October 13.
According to the International Gas Union (IGU), the WEO demonstrates "the vital economic and environmental role natural gas will play in a sustainable energy future." And the Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association (Appea) said the WEO made it plain that "while the global energy market is being reshaped, natural gas remains an important part of a cleaner energy future."
The WEO states that “there is a robust long-term case for gases in the energy system" and "there are services that gases provide that it would be difficult to provide cost effectively using other sources: these include high temperature heat for industry, winter heat for buildings and seasonal flexibility for power systems.”
Furthermore, “gas infrastructure is a valuable asset that can be repurposed over time to deliver large volumes of biomethane or, with modifications, low-carbon hydrogen.”
The president of the IGU Joe Kang, said the report "again confirms the critical role gas will play in the global energy transition. Natural gas is a clean and versatile energy source that unlocks an opportunity for the planet to reliably meet the globally growing energy demand, reducing GHG emissions and urban pollution and allowing economies to grow.
“Gas demand has fared better than oil and coal amid the continuing fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic. The WEO recognises that without structural changes in the way energy is produced and consumed and prudent policy choices, the emissions reductions seen this year will be short-lived. The gas industry has a critical role to play," he said.
Meanwhile, Appea said that while disruption to the global energy market will be felt for several years, "demand for natural gas, particularly in the fast growing Asian market, continues to provide an economic opportunity for Australia." CEO Andrew McConville said this edition of the WEO was "more uncertain" than its predecessors, but still presented "opportunities for Australia to see a continued stream of high paying, highly skilled jobs, export dollars and revenue for governments for decades.... The IEA again reaffirmed that on a lifecycle basis, natural gas has much lower associated emissions and switching to natural gas provides an opportunity to lower emissions quickly, particular in Asia.”
According to recent Australian government figures, LNG exports have the potential to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions by over 30% of Australia’s annual emissions.
“If Australia is to attract further investment in LNG production, it’s vital to have policy settings – maintaining a stable and competitive tax regime, resisting calls for interventions in gas markets and reducing red tape – that support economic recovery,” McConville said.
An overview of the report may be read here.