The important role and the significant potential of the natural gas industry in advancing energy systems and attaining the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals along with the Paris Agreement ambitions was the focus of a lecture here.
Delivering the 46th edition of the signature Monthly Gas Lecture Series under the title “The Energy Transformation: the Way Forward”, Francesco La Camera, Director-General of the International Renewable Agency (Irena) said as per the GECF (Gas Exporting Countries Forum) projections, natural gas will be the fastest-growing fossil fuel in the global energy mix, increasing its share from currently 23% to 28% by 2050.
These estimates are inter alia due to the inherent environment-friendly features of the source.
In that sense, hydrogen is assuming vital significance against the backdrop of energy industry setting its sights firmly on green growth. “We can witness significant interest by a growing number of countries - Australia, Brunei, China, Germany, France, Japan, Morocco, The Netherlands, Norway, the Republic of Korea, UK and the EU - in accelerating hydrogen projects. And the existing gas infrastructure in combination with renewable-based hydrogen, and, in a transitional period, natural gas combined with Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) technologies for producing blue hydrogen, could play a key role in hydrogen incremental production and distribution by 2050,” he highlighted.
The Covid-19 pandemic’s impact on the energy transformation processes was among the topics raised during the lecture. The Irena Director-General focused on the need for timely investments into disruptive technologies and infrastructure to push forward energy transition despite obstacles, caused by Covid-19.
This idea was supported by Yury Sentyurin, GECF Secretary General, who mentioned: “These immediate challenges will not let GECF member countries shirk from their duty to bring about prosperity for every individual in the world, while upholding the values of sustainable development.”
The event stressed on continuous energy transition acceleration, as well as the role of investments in frontier technologies as a long-term response to the crisis caused by Covid-19 pandemic outbreak.
Inaugurating the lecture, Dr Sentyurin stressed that GECF and Irena have been enjoying long-standing collaboration for years. “This is a natural relationship, one that we have started and one that we plan to continue cementing in times ahead,” he stated. Many of the initiatives of Irena – ‘SIDS Lighthouses Initiative’ (Small Island Developing States), ‘Coalition for Action’, ‘REmap’ and ‘Clean Energy Corridors’ – the GECF has a lot to contribute to the success of them.
Setting the scene for the keynote speech, the GECF Secretary General outlined: “Sustainable development is no longer a buzzword, nor a ‘greenwash’ – it is a profound reality of our time. The changes in climate that sustainable development seeks to reverse reveals itself in the form of raging forest fires, rising sea levels, unusual weather patterns, and consequently mass migration.”
In the spirit of Irena’s mandate as a leading intergovernmental agency for energy transformation, La Camera updated the audience on the main findings of the Irena Global Renewables Outlook, the most recent deliverables and researches, providing a technically feasible and economically viable energy transition pathway in line with global climate objectives by 2050.
He underlined specifically, that incremental cost-competitiveness of renewable energy and supportive governmental energy policies had proven to be the key drivers for continuous and consistent energy transition.
Wrapping up the discussion GECF and Irena agreed to further enhance the ongoing dialogue at the leadership and expert level in the areas of mutual alignment to write the next chapter of growth for a period of change under way – the energy transition. -- Tradearabia News Service