16 June 2021
Challenges to the Future of Natural Gas:Decarbonisation and Affordability IEEJ：November 2019© IEEJ2019 IEEJ Energy Journal Special Issue November 2019 Challenges to the Future of Natural Gas: Decarbonisation and Affordability Jonathan Stern* This article deals with two of the major challenges to the future of natural gas in global energy balances: the decarbonisation commitments which governments. [...] Changing the Natural Gas Narrative from Advocacy to Decarbonisation For much of the past decade, the natural gas community has put forward an ‘advocacy’ position based on carbon emissions from the combustion of natural gas being 40% lower than coal and 20% lower than oil. [...] This has been, and remains, an entirely logical position which emphasises the value of coal to gas switching and using gas to back up intermittent renewable energy, as the fastest and lowest cost way of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. [...] The question which they are asking is not: does gas have lower emissions than coal? But rather: what are the carbon and methane emissions from gas that is being produced, imported and consumed in our countries; and how can these emissions be reduced, preferably to zero? So the challenge faced by the gas industry is to change its narrative from advocacy to decarbonisation. [...] Development of low and zero carbon gas projects, and reducing the GHG footprint of gas and LNG imports, will raise the cost of gas which will negatively impact its affordability both in absolute terms and relative to other decarbonised energy options.