Photo: Courtesy of IGU

IGU: no energy transition without natural gas

Speaking at GECF, the president of the International Gas Union (IGU) Joe M. Kang said the role of natural gas as an enabler in the energy transition will be an important theme in the international energy discussion.

IGU: no energy transition without natural gas
Courtesy of IGU

Presenting at the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF), Joe M. Kang argued that a prosperous and secure future in terms of energy transition can only be guaranteed by a collective effort.

He believes that fighting climate change needs aligning on an approach that enables the world to meet the challenges of decarbonisation, energy access and energy security.

“It will require a clarity of purpose and approach that has been lacking to date, but we have to settle on an approach that delivers clean, secure and affordable energy,” said Kang.

He recognises that different nations face different challenges and have different means to achieve a pathway toward UN Sustainable Development Goals and the provisions of the Paris Agreement. He called on all governments to let the energy industry innovators compete to see how best this can be achieved by a variety of means.

He explained: “For billions of people in the developing world – with low CO2 per capita and low access to energy – there is no greater challenge than achieving affordable, secure and clean supply of energy. In richer nations – with high CO2 per capita – resources and infrastructure are in place to accelerate decarbonisation. The International Gas Union believes an achievable transition is one that delivers clean, secure and affordable energy, using electrons and natural gas and hydrogen molecules, and the necessary infrastructure to help individual countries meet the UN Sustainable Development and Paris Goals.”

GECF secretary general Yury Sentyurin also touched upon the economic and environmental value of natural gas in a sustainable energy future.

“Climate action is not a zero-sum game. There isn’t a low-cost alternative yet for heating industrial buildings, producing electricity, cooking meals, riding a motor vehicle, transporting maritime cargo, boarding an airplane. The existing renewable energy sources like wind, sun, and water cannot yet sufficiently replace hydrocarbons. On the other hand, natural gas is abundantly available. It can, in theory, complement the rise of fuels such as hydrogen, via blue hydrogen based on Carbon Capture, Utilisation, and Storage (CCUS) technologies,” said Sentyurin.

Kan claims picking only electrical pathways to achieving the Paris targets will lead to lost opportunities, higher costs and a slower transition for millions of people.

“The gas industry supplies natural gas to energise all six continents, to enable the scale-up of intermittent renewables, and to produce hydrogen. This puts us at the forefront of environmental innovation to reduce emissions,” claimed Kang.

According to the latest available projections in the GECF’s Global Gas Outlook 2050, natural gas will become the leading source of the world’s energy mix from 24 per cent today to 28 per cent by 2050.