GLOBAL GAS OUT­LOOK SHINES

The Australian Energy Review - - CONTENTS - EL­IZ­A­BETH FABRI

NAT­U­RAL gas and re­new­able en­ergy will ex­pe­ri­ence the largest global growth in the next 25 years, ac­cord­ing to new In­ter­na­tional En­ergy Agency (IEA) find­ings. In its World En­ergy Out­look 2017, IEA stated the global en­ergy sys­tem was be­ing re­shaped by four ma­jor forces: the rapid de­ploy­ment and fall­ing costs of clean en­ergy tech­nolo­gies; grow­ing elec­tri­fi­ca­tion of en­ergy; a shift to a more ser­vices-ori­ented econ­omy and cleaner en­ergy mix in China; and the re­silience of shale gas and tight oil in the US. By 2040, global en­ergy de­mand was fore­cast to in­crease by 30 per cent, with a 45 per cent up­surge in nat­u­ral gas use by 2040. Oil de­mand was also ex­pected to rise but at a steadily de­creas­ing pace at an an­nual rate of 0.4 per cent. How­ever IEA said it was “too early to write the obit­u­ary of oil” with sec­tors such as petro­chem­i­cals, trucks, avi­a­tion and ship­ping driv­ing up oil de­mand to 105 mil­lion bar­rels a day by 2040. Coal’s out­look was less favourable, with the agency declar­ing the boom years to be “over” if coun­tries don’t adopt large-scale car­bon cap­ture util­i­sa­tion and stor­age (CUSS) tech­nolo­gies. “Since 2000, coal-fired power gen­er­a­tion ca­pac­ity has grown by nearly 900 gi­gawatts (GW), but net ad­di­tions from to­day to 2040 are only 400GW and many of these are plants al­ready un­der con­struc­tion,” IEA stated. On the re­new­ables front, rapid de­ploy­ment of so­lar pho­to­voltaics (PV), led by China and In­dia, helps so­lar be­come the largest source of low-car­bon ca­pac­ity by 2040. “So­lar is forg­ing ahead in global power mar­kets as it be­comes the cheap­est source of elec­tric­ity gen­er­a­tion in many places, in­clud­ing China and In­dia,” IEA ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor Dr Fatih Birol said. The US was set to ac­count for 80 per cent of the in­crease in global oil sup­ply to 2025, and by the mid-2020s would be­come the world’s largest liq­ue­fied nat­u­ral gas (LNG) ex­porter. APPEA chief ex­ec­u­tive Dr Mal­colm Roberts said this high­lighted a ma­jor chal­lenge for Aus­tralia. “The op­por­tu­nity for Aus­tralia is huge but our com­peti­tors are hun­gry,” Dr Roberts said. “If Aus­tralia is to cap­ture fur­ther in­vest­ment in LNG pro­duc­tion, it is vi­tal we get the pol­icy set­tings right by main­tain­ing a sta­ble and com­pet­i­tive tax regime and re­duc­ing reg­u­la­tory costs.” Dr Roberts said the IEA also ex­pected liq­ue­fied nat­u­ral gas (LNG) ex­ports to even­tu­ally over­take pipeline gas as the main form of long-dis­tance trad­ing, ac­count­ing for 60 per cent of in­ter-re­gional trade by 2040.

Im­age: In­ter­na­tional En­ergy Agency.

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