Natural gas remains critical for energy security and affordability - international report

The International Energy Agency’s World Energy Outlook 2022 report shows that natural gas will have a sustained role through 2050 in supporting global energy security and affordability.

Energy Resources Aotearoa Chief Executive John Carnegie says:

"This is the latest in a long list of reports that show there is an important role for natural gas to play through and beyond New Zealand’s and the world’s transition to lower emissions energy.

"New Zealand is fortunate to have a domestic supply of natural gas, which insulates us from the global spikes in price we are seeing elsewhere. The natural gas produced in New Zealand supports the energy needs of our households and businesses, and supports key export sectors like methanol, dairy, and steel."

The report outlines that even as demand for natural gas decreases over time, it will continue to play a critical role in energy security by providing gas-fired power for peak electricity needs. The IEA warns that premature retirement of this infrastructure could have negative consequences for energy security.

Other areas of opportunity in the energy sector which are highlighted by the IEA report include:

  • carbon capture, utilisation, and storage technologies
  • blue and green hydrogen
  • biogases

Carnegie says that the report is a further proof point for why we need a sustainable natural gas sector in New Zealand to keep our options open.

"The energy transition is upon us, but it will take time. The IEA rightly points out that during energy transitions, both systems are required to function well to deliver reliable and affordable energy to customers."

"Investment confidence is key to ensuring a smooth, orderly, and affordable transition. We now just need regulatory settings and decision-making processes to allow rather than hinder this goal."