Engie: natural gas drives formation of new energy mix

French gas and power group Engie said a new global energy mix is taking shape in which natural gas will supplement a range of means of production of renewable energy. 

According to the scenario described in the annual report of the International Energy Agency (IEA), by 2040 natural gas and wind and solar power will largely take over from the champion of the previous 25 years: coal.

Demand for coal is expected to decrease by 60 percent in Europe, 40 percent in the United States, and 15 percent in China. As for oil, although its days are far from over, its market share will also decline.

By 2040, no less than 60 percent of the new electricity production capacity at a global level will be provided by renewable sources, specifically wind and photovoltaic. Most of this production will be competitive and will not require subsidies, according to the report.

Meanwhile, natural gas will go on making up ground, particularly in China and the Middle East, in a context of a growing demand for energy and of the replacement of declining production. With combustion that is up to 50 percent less polluting than coal and heavy fuel oil, natural gas is an ideal choice for the transition toward more environmentally-friendly energy production.

Citing a recent study by the French Gas Association, Engie adds that total gas consumption in France will be 560 terawatt-hours (TWh) in 2030, compared to 461 TWh in 2015. This increase is explained in the first place by greater use of centralized electricity production, to offset a lower proportion of nuclear energy, and to the development of renewable energies.

The second growth driver for the gas sector in the development of natural gas-powered mobility. Demand for natural gas for land and sea transport should grow, driving a gradual rollout of CNG and LNG.