Natural gas ‘to play key role in global decarbonisation’

Natural gas will play a key role in the global transition to a cleaner and more flexible energy system. That’s the forecast from the International Energy Agency (IEA), which suggests […]

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By Jonny Bairstow

Natural gas will play a key role in the global transition to a cleaner and more flexible energy system.

That’s the forecast from the International Energy Agency (IEA), which suggests it is the only fossil fuel that will maintain its share of the energy mix in the next few decades, as policies to reduce air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions see other forms of generation, such as coal, drop off.

The oversupply and low price of the fuel have recently resulted in renewed growth of natural gas for power generation and industrial activities.

However, the report suggests security of supply concerns are likely to remain an issue.

It claims stressed situations in Southern Europe’s natural gas and power markets during last winter led to emergency response mechanisms being triggered in several countries, resulting in sharp price rises.

Exporting nations are also exposed to high impact, low probability events, with the report using the recent diplomatic tensions between Qatar and several Gulf countries, as well as Hurricane Harvey in the US as examples.

The IEA believes issues like these could continue to threaten global liquefied natural gas output levels in the future, which could have wide-ranging effects, especially considering the increasingly interconnected structure of the world’s gas markets.