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What role does natural gas play in the energy transition?

Against a background of energy industry revolution, power generation needs to replace coal and oil with other energy resources to cut greenhouse gas emissions. In addition to developing renewables, and to ensure grid stability during periods of intermittent supply from renewable sources or high energy demand, natural gas looks like the ideal solution. But far from being used solely for power generation, its uses are becoming increasingly diverse. Find out how...

Although coal and oil still account for around 60% of global energy consumption, natural gas is coming increasingly into its own by meeting 21% of global demand*. Offering much lower CO2 emissions than other fossil fuels, its many applications have established it today as an important and substantial alternative.

Natural gas is now the third most important source of energy in France and worldwide. Leading organizations, including the International Energy Agency (IEA), are convinced of its importance: the rise in gas consumption between now and 2040 is inevitable… and that's great news!

As the cleanest of all fossil fuels, natural gas is now playing a crucial role in delivering the energy transition. In fact, the most recent G20 summit held in China last September passed a resolution to encourage the use of gas in this context. "There has clearly been a shift: the gas industry is making its voice heard for the first time, and every seat of power now knows that gas is twice as clean as coal in terms of pollution", said an enthusiastic Jérôme Ferrier, Honorary President of the International Gas Union, in an interview with Le Figaro**.

Entering the gas era

A series of major gas fields - many of them in Siberia and Australia - are ready to come on-stream internationally, and more and more regasification infrastructures are being constructed in China, India and the Middle East.

Building on its 70 years of expertise at every link in the gas chain, the ENGIE Group is providing leadership for many projects by:

  • ensuring secure supplies of natural gas for all domestic and industrial uses
  • diversifying its existing combined cycle gas power plants (which are less polluting than coal and more efficient) to generate electricity
  • energizing its teams around the development of promising new biogas, second-generation biomethane and hydrogen sectors
  • developing new energy storage processes, like Power to Gas, which makes it possible to store excess energy from renewable sources by converting it to hydrogen or methane syngas
  • signing significantly more liquefied natural gas (LNG) supply contracts around the world
  • providing retail LNG solutions for industrial companies with no hook-up to the natural gas supply network
  • putting its weight behind green mobility with alternative fuels (such as compressed natural gas, by methane and hydrogen), primarily for use in bus and commercial vehicle fleets

* Source: A World of Energy, 2016 Edition.

** Source: Le Figaro, March 12, 2017.

Gas in all its states

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