Markets - 17/October/2018

New gas infrastructure risks fossil fuel lock in

The IPCC report makes it clear global warming needs to be kept below 1.5C and that renewables and energy efficiency must replace fossil fuels. Europe continues, however, to invest in gas infrastructure, potentially jeopardising decarbonisation and the clean energy transition

Gas is frequently touted by experts as a necessary bridge in the transition between a fossil fuel dependent economy and one based on clean energy and greater efficiency. Some industry commentators are concerned, however, that in the race to replace coal with gas, massive infrastructure projects are being funded, locking the world into gas for far longer than needed and distracting attention away from cleaner technologies

Demand for oil will peak in 2023, while natural gas will take over as the biggest energy source in 2026, and by 2050 the world’s primary energy mix will be split equally between fossil and non-fossil sources, forecasts the latest energy transition report from Norway-based energy consulting and services firm DNV GL. “Gas is a better option. It is definitely needed in the short and medium term, while the longer-term prospects depend on whether we succeed with carbon capture,” says Sverre Alvik, programme director at DNV GL. Carbon capture and storage (CCS) continues to struggle to be an affordable option for commercial scale application and the increased use of gas without this technology would certainly put the world’s ambitions to keep global warming below the danger level of 1.5C out of reach. ...

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