IEA: positive future for gas in Asia and Europe’s energy mixes

Multilateral cooperation to connect gas markets a topic at GAS

As both economies and populations grow worldwide, the demand for energy continues to increase. In order to strengthen their energy security, many countries turn to the diversification of their energy mix. However, as environmental concerns grow, the impact the energy sources chosen have on global emissions is also a key concern.

Across Europe and Asia, many pose the question – what role will natural gas play in the future energy mix in relation to coal, oil, natural gas, renewables and nuclear? In the recent years, natural gas has slowly started to increase its share in the energy mix within many countries. It has become a favoured fossil fuel choice over coal and oil due to its lower carbon emissions and also higher fuel efficiency – but at what price point does natural gas become a less attractive option?

In a recent interview, Laszlo Varro, Head of Gas, Coal & Power Division for the International Energy Agency (IEA) commented on the prominence of natural gas in Europe’s energy mix, “In Europe, gas has been squeezed between cheap coal, rapid growth of renewables and overall macroeconomic weakness. It will take the rest of the decade to recover. However, both coal and nuclear, which today provide more than half of European electricity, face an uncertain future. Renewables alone will not be able to compensate for both, creating room for gas to recover and remain a major part of the energy mix for decades.”

However, low emissions do not equal no emissions, and many argue that renewables or nuclear power could be more effective in reducing global emissions. Natural gas is usually used and transported in the form of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), and Varro points out that, “Properly managed upstream/LNG operations do deliver CO2 savings, but it is critically dependent on the methane leakage in the gas value chain.” Even so he notes that, “Renewables are booming in Asia, and several Asian countries have significant nuclear programs as well.”

These concerns will be addressed at the 3rd annual Gas Asia Summit (GAS) in Singapore this October. Varro will join Anthony Barker, General Manager for BG Singapore Gas Marketing, and Ken Koyama, Managing Director and Chief Economist, Charge of Strategy Research Unit for the Institute of Energy Economics, Japan (IEEJ) to discuss whether gas is displacing coal in the energy mix, the drive towards cleaner fuels, and the role nuclear will play in the coming decade.

The agenda for this year’s Summit has been developed around the theme “Multilateral Cooperation to Connect Gas Markets”.

Other speakers confirmed include:

  • Professor Keun-Wook Paik, Senior Research Fellow and Associate Fellow, Oxford Institute for Energy Studies & Energy, Environmental & Resources Programme, Chatham House;
  • Chong Chi Nai, Director of Energy Division, Southeast Asia, Asian Development Bank;
  • Christophe Malet, Deputy Director, Marketing And Shipping, Yamal LNG;
  • Nicholas Milne, First Vice President – Oil & Gas / LNG Specialist, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ;
  • Richard Nelson, Partner, Herbert Smith Freehills;
  • Hiroki Sato, General Manager of Fuels Department, Head of Trading Business, Chubu Electric Power Co.,Inc;
  • Sriram Narayanan, Director (Commercial), Singapore LNG Corporation Pte Ltd;
  • Maté Alexander Parentich, General Manager, Apache LNG INC.

GAS will be held from 29 to 31 October as part of the annual Singapore International Energy Week (SIEW) organised by the Energy Market Authority (EMA) of Singapore. Over 250 international and regional VIPs and C-level executives attend the Summit each year. GAS is supported by Silver Sponsors Herbert Smith Freehills and Cheniere Energy, as well as industry associations such as GEP APAC, the International Project Finance Association (IPFA), Association of Process Industry (ASPRI), and the Institute for the Analysis of Global Security (IAGS).

Press Release, July 2, 2014


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