Natural gas offers the balanced solution that the world seeks to achieve sustainable development goals in line with the United Nations 2030 Agenda and the Paris Agreement, said GECF secretary-general Mohamed Hamel.
He was delivering the keynote at a G20 webinar recently.
Hamel said the increasing pace of global energy transitions and advancement of modern technologies, which unleash great potential of natural gas as a viable fuel, to enhance global energy security, eradicate energy poverty, and build flexible, resilient and sustainable energy systems, in synergy with other energy sources.
Natural gas has a crucial role in satisfying growing energy needs, whilst contributing to air quality improvement and climate change mitigation; its share in the global energy mix is expected to increase from 23% to 27% by 2050.
“The growing global needs for natural gas can only be met if investments are made in a timely manner. To this end, the GECF calls for policy support, stability and predictability,” he asserted.
Citing figures from the GECF Global Gas Outlook 2050, the official said upstream investment requirements in natural gas amounts to $7.5tn, an enormous amount of funding especially since the GECF expects nearly 75% of global gas output in 2050 to come from new projects.
According to him, technologies that lead to promising energy carriers such as hydrogen or decarbonise gas such as carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS) need a policy push but also “the transfer of experience and best practices to help the developing world.”
Turning to South East Asia, one of the most populous regions of the world with an increasing appetite for gas over coal, Hamel noted that gas demand in the region is expected to more than double to 350bcm by 2050.
Power generation will be the main driver for natural gas, as electricity demand will almost triple, propelled by urbanisation, rising income and cooling requirements.
“The continuing development of LNG-to-power supply chains and interconnectivity will be key factors, facilitating the lure of LNG into the region that will bridge the widening gap between gas production and growing demand.”
Norway, Malaysia and the UAE are Observer Members of the GECF. Indonesia was one of the Founder Members of the GECF. It is the 2022 President of the G20.