Press Release: Natural gas is a strong pillar of the future global energy mix, confirms IEA World Energy Outlook 2017
Brussels, 14 November 2017: GasNaturally welcomes the positive prospects for natural gas as the only fossil fuel that sees growth, outlined in the International Energy Agency’s World Energy Outlook 2017 and its Special Focus on natural gas. The Outlook proves that gas is part of the solution to address climate change and achieve a low-carbon future rapidly.
The new edition of the World Energy Outlook sees the long-term role of gas in the global energy mix and acknowledges its opportunities in power generation, transport and heating. “The IEA’s Outlook clearly confirms that gas will be a vital fuel of choice for decades to come. Tackling climate change and improving air quality are among the most pressing environmental issues of our time. Natural gas provides a solution to both,” says GasNaturally President Marco Alverà.
In addition to the environmental benefits of switching from coal to gas in power generation, the IEA recognises the vast potential of gas to curb emissions even further. This includes carbon capture and storage technologies, as well as the enrolment of renewables-based gases such as biogas or hydrogen. “The gas industry is already significantly investing in developing innovative solutions to lower CO2 emissions and increase energy efficiency. Cutting-edge technologies such as CCS and power-to-gas have considerable potential for growth,” adds Marco Alverà.
The gas industry is committed to reducing methane emissions and minimising the environmental footprint of gas use. Its initiatives have already led to considerable progress: methane emissions from natural gas operations have been nearly halved between 1990 and 2015, and they only account for 5% of EU methane emissions now, or 0.6% of overall EU GHG emissions. “Our aim as GasNaturally is to make gas an even better option for the environment by tackling the methane emissions issue head-on,” states Marco Alverà.
The IEA’s World Energy Outlook sees gas establishing itself as a strong pillar in the global energy mix, thanks to its flexibility and lower carbon emissions. The IEA also confirms the high potential of gas to improve urban air quality and thus contribute to human health as gas has lower levels of nitrogen oxides, virtually no sulphur dioxide or particulate matter, and no mercury emissions. “The versatility of gas makes it interesting beyond a GHG emissions perspective. An increasing number of countries, such as China and India, are turning to gas as the key contributor to solve the severe urban air quality problems,” argues Marco Alverà. “Moving forward, we encourage all signatories of the Paris Agreement, and in particular the EU Member States, to lay down in their Nationally Determined Contributions the various ways in which gas can help reach their climate objectives.”
 Annual European Union greenhouse gas inventory 1990–2015 and inventory report 2017: https://www.eea.europa.eu/publications/european-union-greenhouse-gas-inventory-2017
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