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LNG Forecast: It’s a Gas, Gas, Gas

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Global demand for liquefied natural gas (LNG) is expected to double by 2040, according to Royal Dutch Shell. The energy giant called this “a significant increase that bolsters LNG’s growing role in the transition to a lower-carbon energy system.”

The forecast follows on a significant year for LNG usage. “The global LNG market continued to evolve in 2019 with demand increasing for LNG and natural gas in power and non-power sectors,” said Maarten Wetselaar, integrated gas and new energies director at Shell. “Record supply investments will meet people’s growing need for the most flexible and cleanest-burning fossil fuel.”

Shell’s optimism strongly suggests that the use of certain fossil fuels won’t be ending any time soon, even as renewable sources get the lion’s share of media attention these days. Although still a source of carbon, LNG could be an excellent transitional fuel in coming decades. As the company pointed out, the use of natural gas emits between 45 and 55 percent fewer greenhouse gas emissions and less than one-tenths of the air pollutants as coal.

Recognition of the advantages of natural gas has led to an increasing trend of coal-to-gas switching,” Shell said. “Over the last nine years, global cumulative CO₂ savings generated by switching energy sources from coal to gas stands at around 600 million [metric tons].”

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