IEA says gas is the future

The world is likely to see a sharp increase in the use of gas, according to a report released today by the International Energy Agency. Ample global supplies, strong emerging […]

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By Tom Gibson

The world is likely to see a sharp increase in the use of gas, according to a report released today by the International Energy Agency.

Ample global supplies, strong emerging markets and the recent concern over the future of nuclear have pointed toward gas becoming much more relied upon in the future.

Nobuo Tanaka, IEA Executive Director said: “We have seen remarkable developments in natural gas markets in recent months. There is a strong potential for gas to take on a larger role, but also for the global gas market to become more diversified and therefore improve energy security.”

The report titled ‘Are We Entering a Golden Age of Gas?’ presents a scenario in which global use of gas rises by more than 50% from 2010 levels and accounts for more than a quarter of global energy demand by 2035.

The report does warn of the impact such an increase would have on the environment, noting that the increased use would almost certainly prevent the world from keeping on track for a carbon emissions path consistent with a global temperature rise of no more than 2 degrees Celsius.

Mr. Tanaka added that “while natural gas is the ‘cleanest’ fossil fuel, it is still a fossil fuel. Its increased use could muscle out low-carbon fuels, such as renewables and nuclear – particularly in the wake of the incident at Fukushima and the likelihood of a reduced role for nuclear in some countries. An expansion of gas use alone is no panacea for climate change.”