Natural Gas Use
A Fuel for the Future
Natural gas has a strong and growing future in the world’s energy mix. The International Energy Agency’s (IEA) World Energy Outlook (WEO) in its New Policies Scenario expects that by 2040 global natural gas demand will increase by 43%, accounting for a quarter of global energy demand.
The IEA expects that by 2040, the Asia-Pacific region’s natural gas demand would more than double. India and China’s natural gas demand would increase by 200% and 186% respectively. Due to its location, the Australian oil and gas industry is very well placed to take advantage of the increased natural gas demand from the Asia-Pacific region.
The industry has invested $350 billion in projects over the last decade and has over $70 billion worth of projects in the pipeline.
Global LNG trade in 2040 is forecast to increase by more than 134%. The IEA expects Australia’s exports to increase 2.5 times by 2040, totalling 149 billion cubic metres (bcm) in 2040, up from 60 bcm in 2017.
Natural gas has an essential role to play in reducing emissions globally and in Australia. Used in power generation, natural gas is a cleaner burning fuel, with lower emissions compared to the National Electricity Market (NEM) average, with carbon emissions half of that of coal plants in Australia.
Gas‑fired generators can be rapidly started making them complementary with intermittent renewable energy.
Natural gas is a key part of a cleaner energy future. The IEA has noted that natural gas “… can achieve rapid environmental benefits when it replaces coal or oil, as demonstrated for instance by China’s replacement of small coal boilers with gas boilers in industry and for heating of buildings.”