Gas to overtake coal as world’s second largest energy source by 2030

Global gas demand would increase by 1.6 percent a year to 2040, Paris-based IEA said in its World Energy Outlook 2018. (AFP)
Updated 13 November 2018
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Gas to overtake coal as world’s second largest energy source by 2030

  • Global gas demand would increase by 1.6 percent a year to 2040
  • The US could account for 40 percent of total gas production growth to 2025

LONDON: Natural gas is expected to overtake coal as the world’s second largest energy source after oil by 2030 due to a drive to cut air pollution and the rise in liquefied natural gas (LNG) use, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said on Tuesday.
The Paris-based IEA said in its World Energy Outlook 2018 that energy demand would grow by more than a quarter between 2017 and 2040 assuming more efficient use of energy — but would rise by twice that much without such improvements.
Global gas demand would increase by 1.6 percent a year to 2040 and would be 45 percent higher by then than today, it said.
The estimates are based on the IEA’s “New Policies Scenario” that takes into account legislation and policies to reduce emissions and fight climate change. They also assume more energy efficiencies in fuel use, buildings and other factors.
“Natural gas is the fastest growing fossil fuel in the New Policies Scenario, overtaking coal by 2030 to become the second-largest source of energy after oil,” the report said.
China, already the world’s biggest oil and coal importer, would soon become the largest importer of gas and net imports would approach the level of the European Union by 2040, the IEA said.
According to Reuters calculations, based on China’s General Administration of Customs data, China has already overtaken Japan as the world’s top natural gas importer.
Although China is the world’s third-biggest user of natural gas behind the United States and Russia, it has to import about 40 percent of its needs as local production cannot keep pace.
Emerging economies in Asia would account for about half of total global gas demand growth and their share of LNG imports would double to 60 percent by 2040, the IEA report said.
“Although talk of a global gas market similar to that of oil is premature, LNG trade has expanded substantially in volume since 2010 and has reached previously isolated markets,” it said. LNG involves cooling gas to a liquid so it can be transported by ship.
The United States could account for 40 percent of total gas production growth to 2025, the IEA said, while other sources would take over as US shale gas output flattened and other nations started turning to unconventional methods of gas production, such as hydraulic fracturing or fracking.
Global electricity demand will grow 2.1 percent a year, mostly driven by rising use in developing economies. Electricity will account for a quarter of energy used by end users such as consumers and industry by 2040, it said.
Coal and renewables will swap their positions in the power generation mix. The share of coal is forecast to fall from about 40 percent today to a quarter in 2040 while renewables would grow to just over 40 percent from a quarter now.
However, the world’s coal plants make up one third of energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions today. Many of those are in Asia, where average coal plants are on average 11 years old with decades left to operate, compared with an average age of 40 years in the United States and Europe.
“We can create some room for maneuver by expanding the use of Carbon Capture Utilization and Storage, hydrogen, improving energy efficiency, and in some cases, retiring capital stock early. To be successful, this will need an unprecedented global political and economic effort,” said Fatih Birol, the IEA’s executive director.
Energy-related CO2 emissions could reach a record high this year, the IEA said, and will continue to grow at a slow but steady pace to 2040. From 2017 levels, the IEA said emissions would rise by 10 percent to 36 gigatons in 2040, mostly driven by growth in oil and gas.
But this is “far out of step” with what scientific knowledge says would be required to tackle climate change, it added.


Saudi Arabia, China sign $28 billion worth of economic accords

Updated 22 February 2019
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Saudi Arabia, China sign $28 billion worth of economic accords

  • A total 35 agreements had been signed at a joint investment forum held by Saudi Arabia’s investment agency SAGIA

DUBAI: Saudi Arabia and China signed economic cooperation agreements worth a total of $28 billion at a joint investment forum during a visit by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to Beijing, Saudi state news agency SPA said on Friday.
It said 35 agreements had been signed at the forum, held by Saudi Arabia’s investment agency SAGIA. It also said four licenses for Chinese companies had been awarded at the forum.

The forum, which coincided with the official visit of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman China as part of his Asian tour, aimed at enhancing opportunities for joint cooperation between the two countries in various fields.

Other cooperation agreements signed during the forum included areas of the Kingdom's target sectors such as renewable energy aimed at activating cooperation and consultation frameworks in the field of investment development in wind turbines by manufacturing Electric control devices, wind turbine structures, turbine blades and wind generators with an investment of $ 18 million.

The agreement aims to open up to 800 new job opportunities in one of the most targeted sectors of sustainable development.