International Energy Agency report shows major role for natural gas

Global demand for natural gas as a lower carbon energy source will continue to grow in coming decades, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA)’s new World Energy Outlook 2019.

“This is further evidence of the major role natural gas has to play in lowering emissions,” says Petroleum Exploration and Production Association of New Zealand (PEPANZ) spokesman Phil Rennie.

“Each of the three IEA scenarios in the report show increasing demand for natural gas over coming decades, with a 36% increase by 2040 predicted under the ‘Stated Policies’ scenario.

“Even the ‘Sustainable Development’ scenario predicts that natural gas will become the world’s single biggest energy source in the 2030s.

“This reinforces the BusinessNZ Energy Council (BEC)’s future scenarios released this week, highlighting there are different energy pathways and choices ahead and that as a country we need to be open, not closed to them eventuating.

“The IEA highlights the potential of natural gas to replace coal in electricity generation as ‘a compelling near-term option for reducing emissions’ worldwide, and ‘theoretically, up to 1.2 gigatonnes (Gt) of CO2 could be avoided using existing infrastructure’.

“It also highlights the growing demand for natural gas in Asia with consumption in China growing 33% over the last two years.

“Global demand for imported natural gas is only going to increase and it would be great if New Zealand could one day become an exporter, helping to lower global emissions and deliver cleaner air as well as the obvious economic benefits.

“Carbon capture and storage is highlighted as a ‘key technology’ in meeting sustainability goals. We agree and would like to see a regulatory regime to specifically enable it here in New Zealand.”