Natural Gas Will Remain a Key Stopgap in the Green Transition

With the world looking to transition away from fossil fuels, the energy industry cautions that this greener future may not happen without natural gas.

The International Gas Union, with over 160 members around the world, is a non-profit organization advocating for natural gas as an integral part of global energy, Ariel Cohen, a Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council and the Founding Principal of International Market Analysis, wrote for Forbes. Natgas is seen as a a “transition” fuel from hydrocarbons to renewables.

“Fuel switching from dirty coal and oil applications to clean gas is a proven solution that works now,” IGU Andrea Stegher, a Senior Vice President of Commercial & Stakeholder Engagement in the Italian energy giant SNAM, said. “We shouldn’t just focus on future unproven or non-commercial technology’ ‘perfect’ solutions and forget what can have a significant beneficial effect today.”

The industry is looking to supply some two billion poorer consumers with electricity. Market observers have noted that the world cannot expect these new users to only consume electricity from renewables, as their countries do not have the financial resources, the industrial base, or the technical knowledge to provide it. While richer or more developed countries can afford to invest in renewables, poorer countries are still trying to get basic light, heat, and power for their growing populations.

“Gas is not in competition with renewables,” Stegher added. “Gas is the catalyst for and foundation of enhanced renewable capacity.”

“The integrated gas-based grids are essential when renewables are less effective due to bad weather, or the lack of wind or sunshine, as has been the case in the UK for the past month and has happened in California and Texas more dramatically,” Stegher said. A fair distribution of costs in grid expansion needs to be addressed by policy makers.

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