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Natural Gas Best Energy Source to Support Credible Energy Transition in Asia – Everingham, ANGEA CEO


By Ndubuisi Micheal Obineme

With today’s political debate on the global energy transition agenda, coupled with the Net-Zero emissions target by 2050, Paul Everingham, Chief Executive Officer of Asia Natural Gas & Energy Association (ANGEA) has said that natural gas stands as the best energy source to support a credible energy transition in Asia.

Energy demand in Southeast Asia has increased drastically by around 3% a year over the past two decades, and Asian countries are making significant efforts in terms of developing a long-term plan to transition from non-renewable to renewable sources.

Furthermore, global electricity demand is set to grow at an accelerated pace, while Asia will consume more than half of the world’s electricity by 2025, according to International Energy Agency (IEA) report. Governments across Asia are formulating policies and incentives which will enable them to become leaders in the global energy transition agenda.

Speaking on this development in an exclusive interview with The Energy Republic, Paul Everingham, CEO of ANGEA, said that natural gas was the best energy source to support a credible energy transition in Asia, noting that the production, transportation, and consumption of gas comes with some peculiar challenges that need to be properly managed.

According to him, “Gas is far cleaner than coal, which currently provides the majority of electricity generation in many countries throughout the region. It’s also a much more reliable source of electricity generation than renewables. Renewable energy is a growing part of the energy mix and natural gas can be the perfect partner to support it”.

Recently, ANGEA published a report about Energy Security in Southeast Asia, in collaboration with the American Petroleum Institute (API) and undertaken by leading independent energy consultants – Rystad Energy. The report assessed a range of energy options available, which include natural gas, piped gas, oil, coal, renewables, and nuclear – against the variables of availability, affordability, and acceptability (other known as “The 3 A’s”).

However, the report underscored that natural gas is the best energy source to support a credible energy transition in Asia, and also the reliable low-carbon complement to renewables.

Providing more analyses on Rystad Energy’s report, Everingham stated that natural gas including LNG can reduce CO2 emissions by up to 60 percent compared to coal when used to generate electricity, and it should be made available and affordable.

He said, “For many nations in Asia, LNG imports are the only way they can access gas. Japan, Korea, and China have the largest LNG import capacity in the world.

“Japan is particularly advanced with its energy transition plans and aims to have up to eight new gas-powered electricity plants online by 2030.

“Vietnam has plans to introduce more than 20 new gas-fired plants, while gas is already a well-established part of the energy mix in Thailand and will help underpin the country’s ambitious renewables program.

“Likewise, Korea has plans to convert nearly half of its coal-fired power stations to gas as it transitions to more renewables.

“Around the region, India, China, Indonesia, and Malaysia have all forecast greater roles for natural gas. The Philippines, with its rapidly expanding economy, dependence on coal, and declining indigenous gas reserves, has long had the potential to be a significant LNG importer.

“LNG-producing nations must recognize their role in meeting energy security and climate goals and supporting energy security in Asia”.

“Each country will determine its energy transition pathway, but emerging Asia needs pragmatic energy policy support that recognizes the dual role of natural gas to deliver outcomes. For emerging Asia to be able to access gas when supplies re-balance post-2025, institutional financing must be made available.

“Policymakers should be enabling continued access to gas supplies and providing the assurances that make responsible investments in flexible infrastructure such as LNG to hydrogen facilities possible. Without access to resources or financing for infrastructure, energy security, and the energy transition will be elusive for the people of Southeast Asia,” he added.

Paul Everingham will be speaking at the upcoming 20th International Conference & Exhibition on Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG2023) , taking place from 10 – 13 July 2023 in Vancouver, Canada.

Asia Natural Gas & Energy Association (ANGEA) was formed to help lead important conversations about the energy transition in Asia as well as work to support governments reach their energy goals in the region, including advocating at a global level to energy-producing nations for more pragmatic energy trade policies that support the diversity of economies in Asia while enabling the energy transition.

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