Natural Gas as Bridge Fuel

Posted by Michelle Howard
Monday, June 09, 2014

Following a recent UN report on climate change mitigation, which laid out a raft of potential changes to the global energy system, headline writers concentrated on the massive shift to renewable energy outlined in the report. Douglas Westwood points out, however, there was also a notable shift in tone on natural gas. The UN report expressly talks about the potential for clean-burning natural gas to be used as a “bridge fuel”, buying the world precious time to make the difficult shift to even cleaner forms of energy.  
 
In the UN report, the sweetspot for natural gas is defined as running from the present day until 2050. In this timeframe the report proposes that natural gas-fired power plants take the place of non CCS-equipped coal-fired power plants in the electricity generation sector. Given that CCS is many years if not decades from full commercialisation the report can be seen as another challenge to the coal industry.  
 
While the UN report might sound rather theoretical, the US has been moving in the proposed direction for several years. In President Obama’s 2014 State of the Union Address, natural gas – when “extracted safely” – was hailed as the “bridge fuel that can power our economy with less of the carbon pollution that causes climate change.” Development of the abundant shale gas resource has driven a wave of investment in gas-fired power plants with 6,861 MW of gas power capacity added in 2013, accounting for more than 50% of all new capacity.  
 
In contrast, the U.S. coal industry faced another tough year accounting for only 11% of new capacity installation in 2013. The long-term prospects for coal appear little better given that recently proposed regulations by the Environmental Protection Agency targets massive reductions in CO2 emissions from US power plants.
 
While the U.S. example appears to back up the bridge fuel scenario, it also highlights serious issues. In order for the strategy to work, renewables must continue to expand massively. In contrast to gas, wind energy, the cheapest form of renewable energy, had a challenging year in 2013, with new capacity in the U.S. falling by more than 90% compared to 2012. The reason for the volatility is primarily attributed to a minor tweak to the US tax incentive scheme, clearly demonstrating how policy and market forces need to be fully aligned to fulfil ambitious climate change mitigation strategies.
 

 

Maritime Reporter November 2014 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Legal

Italian Shipbuilder Pleads Guilty to Environmental Crimes

An Italian shipping firm based in Genoa, Italy, pleaded guilty to violating the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships by falsifying required ships’ documents to hide

Bulker Chief Engineer Convicted of Environmental Crimes

A chief engineer from the M/V Trident Navigator was convicted by a federal jury in New Orleans late yesterday after a week-long trial, of knowingly falsifying the

US Obamacare Impacts the Global Marine Industry

The Affordable Care Act (ACA), otherwise known as Obamacare, the recent healthcare plan in the United States, is affecting the international superyacht industry,

Environmental

Italian Shipbuilder Pleads Guilty to Environmental Crimes

An Italian shipping firm based in Genoa, Italy, pleaded guilty to violating the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships by falsifying required ships’ documents to hide

K Line to Expand Use of Eco-efficiency Software

Three further K Line vessels to install ClassNK-NAPA GREEN eco-efficiency software after reporting fuel savings during trials on an 8,600 TEU container vessel   NAPA

LR Supports Chinese Recycling Yards' EU Application

LR’s initial verification of the Ship Recycling Facility Plans for both Zhoushan Changhong International Ship Recycling Co. Ltd. and Jiangyin Xiagang Changjiang

Energy

BP Faces Heavy Hit from Former Prized Asset Rosneft

BP faces a first and heavy loss from its stake in Russia's Rosneft due to plummeting oil prices and a crumbling rouble, potentially forcing it to write down the value of its once-prized asset.

Libyan State Oil Firm NOC Will Remain Independent

Libya's Tripoli-based state firm National Oil Corp (NOC) will remain independent, it said on Thursday, in an apparent attempt to reassure foreign oil buyers it will stay out of the country's conflict.

Oil Prices Retreat from Short-covering Rebound

Global crude prices fell more than $1 a barrel on Thursday, retreating from a short-covering charged rally as traders bet the market had not shaken off a six-month long rout on oversupply concerns.

Fuels & Lubes

Italian Shipbuilder Pleads Guilty to Environmental Crimes

An Italian shipping firm based in Genoa, Italy, pleaded guilty to violating the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships by falsifying required ships’ documents to hide

K Line to Expand Use of Eco-efficiency Software

Three further K Line vessels to install ClassNK-NAPA GREEN eco-efficiency software after reporting fuel savings during trials on an 8,600 TEU container vessel   NAPA

Bulker Chief Engineer Convicted of Environmental Crimes

A chief engineer from the M/V Trident Navigator was convicted by a federal jury in New Orleans late yesterday after a week-long trial, of knowingly falsifying the

Government Update

Libyan State Oil Firm NOC Will Remain Independent

Libya's Tripoli-based state firm National Oil Corp (NOC) will remain independent, it said on Thursday, in an apparent attempt to reassure foreign oil buyers it will stay out of the country's conflict.

Italian Shipbuilder Pleads Guilty to Environmental Crimes

An Italian shipping firm based in Genoa, Italy, pleaded guilty to violating the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships by falsifying required ships’ documents to hide

Bulker Chief Engineer Convicted of Environmental Crimes

A chief engineer from the M/V Trident Navigator was convicted by a federal jury in New Orleans late yesterday after a week-long trial, of knowingly falsifying the

Wind Power

Dutch Container Terminal Signs on for Wind Power

APM Terminals Signs Contract for Wind-Power Generated Electricity for Maasvlakte II Terminal   APM Terminals has signed a two-year, €5 million ($6.23 million)

First Dividend from Nordex Likely

German wind turbine maker Nordex is mulling paying a dividend for the first time since listing on the stock exchange as part of efforts to create a long-term investor base,

CTruk Unveils Expansion Plans

Bigger boats for offshore wind and much more as company looks to sustainable growth   CTruk held an informal launch event at its new Colne Estuary site on The Hythe,

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Contracts Maritime Standards Navigation Offshore Oil Pipelines Pod Propulsion Salvage Sonar Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | terms and conditions | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.1405 sec (7 req/sec)