The analysis underpinning this report takes an unconstrained view of the economic potential for gas technologies to meet the challenges of the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement. It focuses on 12 key categories of gas technologies, covering the full breadth of natural gas consumption, as well as key innovations in the means of delivering natural gas to customers.
Beyond quantifying the potential value of gas technologies and innovation, this report provides a roadmap to achieve that potential. It also provides a recommended action plan covering investment, government policy, and evolution of the industry’s culture, needed to get there.
The report highlights that gas technologies are already playing a key role in facilitating a sustainable energy transition, and further innovation in the sector can significantly enhance benefits for the global environment and human development in three ways:
- In the near-term, switching to natural gas from coal or oil products would immediately reduce emissions, both in the form of GHG emissions and localized air pollutants. At the same time, gas technologies can improve global access to clean, modern energy, including for the world’s poorest.
- In the medium-term, gas technologies can promote structural transitions in the way energy is delivered and used, by enabling distributed energy systems and increasing efficiency of energy consumption. Through the continued development and deployment of low-cost and highly efficient technologies, natural gas can facilitate renewable power integration, while further reducing both the emissions and costs
- Progressively over the longer term, low- and zero-carbon gas technologies–including renewable gas, hydrogen, and carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) provide an efficient and cost effective pathway to dramatically reduce GHG emissions. These technologies are particularly relevant for sectors where emissions are difficult or very costly to abate through other means. They can also capitalize on the use of existing gas infrastructure to minimize capital investment.