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Eight key trends

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LNG Industry,

Jenny Kelly, Gastech, UK, introduces the eight industry trends that will impact gas in the future energy landscape.

The next half century will perhaps present the world with its greatest and most challenging dilemma: how to provide a rapidly-expanding population with the affordable energy it needs, whilst reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to acceptable international legal limits and preventing hugely disruptive climate change. By 2050, it is still estimated, even by the most optimistic forecasters, that renewable energy sources (including solar, wind and tidal) will still account for less than half of all required energy demand across all sectors. Shifts from carbon-intensive fuels to cleaner, more efficient fuels are already occurring at an industrial scale, but primary fuel sources will still have a significant role to play as demand growth outpaces shifts from black to green energy. As the most abundant, yet lowest-carbon form of fossil fuel, natural gas is providing pragmatic solutions to policymakers seeking to deliver both climate change commitments and affordable, abundant energy to their people.

Given that energy consumption is set to expand by at least 25% by 2040, the natural gas and LNG industries are teetering on the threshold of an exciting new era of popularity. No single energy source can meet this rising level of consumption and the ‘dash for gas’ is set to continue as policymakers and end-users seek cleaner energy solutions to satisfy demand.

Natural gas will need to find its place in this ‘new energy reality’ and, while there is much to be positive about in terms of gas demand forecasts, it will be environmental policy decisions that dictate just how positive a demand trajectory we are likely to see. Renewables growth will continue to place further pressure on the gas sector, but declines in the use of coal and oil as fuels will boost gas as the cleaner fossil fuel substitute.

We are also likely to see a continued and sustained growth in the demand for gas – particularly LNG – across Asia, which is still regarded as the most significant long-term growth market for gas to 2050. Demands may remain fairly static or even decline in Europe, but global gas and LNG trading will continue to grow and flourish, ensuring that gas will play a significant and potentially-leading role in supplying the world’s energy needs in a post-2040 landscape.

This is an abridged version of an article that was originally published in the April 2019 issue of LNG Industry. The full version can be read here.

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