Gas, renewables and carbon capture and storage (CCS) must be used together to rapidly transition to a clean energy system.
That’s the verdict from DNV GL, which believes gas and renewables will be the only energy sources for which demand will be higher in 2050 than it is today – it notes this combination will offer the quickest route to delivering a supply of affordable, decarbonised energy in the lead-up to mid-century.
In a new report, it predicts that by this time gas will account for nearly 30% of the global energy supply in the form of secure and affordable baseload power.
It says it will largely be used to meet demand in peak periods such as winter in colder climates, as well as during drops in intermittent generation.
As it is expected to continue to play an important role in global energy systems going forwards, DNV GL states it is vital that gas production and consumption is decarbonised, in order to help reach climate targets.
The firm notes CCS, which is the only currently-available technology to “deeply decarbonise” the use of fossil fuels, will not be employed at-scale until the 2040s unless governments implement policies that encourage its development and adoption.
Liv A. Hovem, CEO of DNV GL Oil & Gas, said: “All major routes to successfully decarbonising gas rely on the large-scale uptake of carbon capture and storage. The future of CCS largely lies in the hands of policy-makers setting a higher carbon price than the cost of the technology. Industry can also play a role in stimulating quicker adoption by focusing on finding ways to reduce the cost of CCS technology.
“Large-scale uptake of carbon capture and storage technology will unlock significant opportunities for hydrocarbon and renewable energy technologies to work together to decarbonise the energy mix. The energy industry must however also shift its mindset from ‘gas vs renewables’ to ‘gas and renewables’ for success.”
The report also calls for cleaner types of gas such as hydrogen to be introduced to national gas networks and notes some of this gas could be created through new and innovative methods such as the electrolysis of seawater using offshore wind energy.