WGC09: IGU issues natural gas industry study to 2030

Results of a major study by the International Gas Union of natural gas demand out to 2030 formed the basis for an extended panel on the first day of the 24th World Gas Conference in Buenos Aires.

Oct 6th, 2009

Warren R. True
OGJ Chief Technology Editor-LNG/Gas Processing

BUENOS AIRES, Oct. 6 -- Results of a major study by the International Gas Union of natural gas demand out to 2030 formed the basis for an extended panel on the first day of the 24th World Gas Conference in Buenos Aires.

The study’s main conclusion was that economic and environmental factors should push global gas demand to more than 4 trillion cu m/year (about 141.2 tcf) by 2030, from about 3 trillion cu m currently.

The study also concluded that a global political agreement to put a high cost on carbon dioxide emissions and to encourage renewable energy “would only be economically successful” in combination with an increased share of natural gas. “The right policies” would boost gas to 28% of the global fuel mix by 2030 from 21% today.

The study compared two 2030 scenarios: one from IGU experts that represents a continuation of current policy trends and another IGU “green-policy” scenario.

Primary energy demand under continued policies would reach 16.5 billion tonnes/year of oil equivalent in 2030. Of this, natural gas would represent 23%, or 4.3 trillion cu m. Carbon dioxide emissions from all fuels under this scenario would reach 41.6 billion tpy.

Under the green-policy scenario, however, primary energy demand would reach 15 billion toe/year in 2030. Of this, natural gas would represent 28%, or 4.8 trillion cu m. Carbon dioxide emissions from all fuels under the “green policy” would reach only 27.7 billion toe/year, compared with 30 billion toe/year currently.

The green-policy scenario envisions an agreement in Copenhagen later this year and reinforcement around 2020 of global climate-change policy 2020 that leads to further change as 2030 approaches.

The report shows, said its announcement, that combining a global agreement that “sustains a high cost of carbon” with policies that continue to “promote IGU sustainability principles” can lead to a “dramatic improvement” in carbon emissions.

“Governments would need to acknowledge that such a policy must be consistent with the maintenance of energy security and the encouragement of optimum economic choice,” it said.

Contact Warren R. True at warrent@ogjonline.com.

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