As Climate Concerns Rise, What Role Will Natural Gas Play?
The head of the International Energy Agency’s gas division discusses the outlook for natural gas as global efforts to address carbon emissions intensify.
Natural gas may be the most controversial of all fossil fuels. It has been heralded as a lower carbon alternative to coal as a fuel for electricity generation. At the same time, natural gas-fired generators have proven themselves to be a reliable backup for intermittent wind and solar power, and gas is viewed as an enabler of an increasingly renewables-based electric grid.
Yet natural gas is nonetheless a fossil fuel whose global consumption is on the rise even as a growing number of countries have set out to zero out carbon emissions from their energy systems within the coming two decades.
Peter Fraser, head of the Gas, Coal and Power Markets Division at the International Energy Agency, examines present and future demand for natural gas, and the growing perception of risk that accompanies investment in major natural gas infrastructure projects should demand for gas soften. He also discusses the technologies that must be developed to ensure the cleanest possible gas supply, and to enable a shift to non-gas alternatives.
Peter Fraser heads the Gas, Coal and Power Markets Division at the International Energy Agency. His work includes the IEA Outlooks used by governments and industry to understand the direction of the global energy sector.
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