Alongside with renewables, the role of natural gas will be even more crucial in the future, said Mohamed Hamel, Secretary General of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF).
Addressing the 7th Symposium of Algerian Association of the Gas Industry, Hamel pointed out that the use of natural gas in cooking and heating instead of wood and dung offsets the negative impact of air pollution and deforestation.
“In many countries in Africa and Asia, switching from coal to gas is the least costly pathway to improve air quality and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Natural gas is a partner of variable and intermittent renewables, providing backup and stability to power grids. Last but not least, it is a key ingredient in the production of petrochemicals and fertilizers,” said GECF’s secretary general.
He went on to add that the natural gas demand is set to grow by 36 percent by 2050, while it will account for 26 percent of the global energy mix, as compared to 23 percent today. As such, natural gas will have the largest share in the global energy mix among other hydrocarbons.
“Even under the accelerated decarbonization scenario, the demand for natural gas will continue to grow, albeit at a slower pace,” Hamel believes.
GECF’s secretary general noted that the growth of population and urbanization will drive the energy demand in the longer term.
“1.8 billion additional people will live on this planet by 2050 and 2.3 billion more in urban cities; a doubling of the size of the global economy; and the quest for higher living standards,” he explained.
GECF forecasts that the demand for energy will rise by 22 percent by 2050, unaffected by energy efficiency measures.
“All energy sources and technologies will be required to meet the growing energy needs while improving air quality and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. There is a great diversity of future energy pathways. They are nationally determined and based on the circumstances and priorities of each country, its financial and technological capabilities, and people’s choices,” said Hamel.