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Uplifting Power Of Natural Gas Power


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Natural Gas Helps Increase Energy Access, And Energy Access Helps Reduce Poverty

World Bodies Agree That Access To Energy Is Essential In Reducing Poverty

United Nations: Access to energy is “fundamental to fulfilling basic social needs” as it affects “health, education, safe water and communication services.” “Access to modern energy services is fundamental to fulfilling basic social needs, driving economic growth and fueling human development. This is because energy services have an effect on productivity, health, education, safe water and communication services.” (“Access to Energy and Human Development,” United Nations Development Programme, 9/24/19)

World Bank: “Access to energy is essential to reduce poverty.” (World Bank, Accessed 9/24/19)

IEA: “[A]ccess to affordable and reliable energy services is fundamental to reducing poverty and improving health…” “In developing countries, access to affordable and reliable energy services is fundamental to reducing poverty and improving health, increasing productivity, enhancing competitiveness and promoting economic growth.” (International Energy Agency, Accessed 9/24/19)

  • IEA: Energy access “is essential for the provision of clean water, sanitation and healthcare…” “This is because it is essential for the provision of clean water, sanitation and healthcare, and provides great benefits to development through the provision of reliable and efficient lighting, heating, cooking, mechanical power, transport and telecommunication services. Modern energy services enhance the life of the poor in countless ways.” (International Energy Agency, Accessed 9/24/19)

Natural Gas Played A Major Role In Helping Over One Billion People Gain Access To Energy Since 2000

IEA: Nearly 1.2 billion people have gained access to electricity since 2000. “Our analysis shows that the number of people without access to electricity fell to 1.1 billion people for the first time in 2016, with nearly 1.2 billion people having gained access since 2000.” (“World Energy Outlook 2017,” International Energy Agency, 11/17, p.40)

Of those 1.2 billion, 70% gained access with power generated from fossil fuels (45% coal, 19% natural gas and 7% oil).” “Of the 1.2 billion people who have gained access since 2000, nearly all have gained access via connection to the main grid, with 70% of people getting access with power generated from fossil fuels (45% coal, 19% natural gas and 7% oil).” (“Energy Access Outlook 2017,” International Energy Agency, 10/17/17)

However, A Large Portion Of The Global Population Still Lacks Access To Energy; Making It Harder For Them To Escape Poverty

Nearly a billion people worldwide still lack access to energy. “Energy access policies are steadily leading to progress, as the number of people without access to electricity fell below 1 billion in 2017.” (International Energy Agency, Accessed 9/24/19)

IEA: “One-in-eight of the world’s population has no access to electricity…” “One-in-eight of the world’s population has no access to electricity and new challenges are coming into focus in the power sector, from system flexibility to cyber security.” (“World Energy Outlook 2018: Executive Summary,” International Energy Agency, 11/13/18, p.1)

In sub-Saharan Africa, the population is growing faster than people are gaining access to energy. “In contrast, while the number of people without access to electricity in sub-Saharan Africa continues to decline, it is declining slowly. Over 200 million people have gained access since 2000, but this is less than population growth over the same period. As a result, there remain more than 600 million people without access, despite an increase in the access rate to 43%.” (International Energy Agency, Accessed 9/24/19)


Even As Some Push To Limit U.S. Natural Gas Production And Exports, Coal - Not Renewables – Is A Major Fuel Source Powering Growing Energy Markets

Despite The Ongoing Push To Reduce U.S Natural Gas Production And Ban Exports, A 100% Renewable Power Grid Isn’t Even Feasible

Bill Gates on developing a reliable, 100% clean energy power grid: There is no “single, magic bullet solution to this problem, there isn’t one right now.” “We need big breakthroughs in technologies that will allow us to supply the power grid with clean energy even during windless days, cloudy weather, and nighttime. Usually, you back up renewable sources with fossil fuels like natural gas that can quickly and reliably provide power when it’s needed. To reach zero carbon emissions, however, we need to find a way to use more clean energy sources as a backstop. While I wish there could be a single, magic bullet solution to this problem, there isn’t one right now. What will be required in the years ahead is a diverse and flexible mix of energy solutions—a Swiss army knife of energy tools—to support a future of renewable energy generation to meet our needs.” (Bill Gates, GatesNotes, 5/14/19)

Ernest Moniz “…if [Africa’s] standard of living is going to improve, it’ll take more than windmills and solar panels.” (Ernest Moniz, Op-Ed, “Natural Gas Will Make Africa Greener,” Wall Street Journal, 9/25/19)

  • Moniz: “Environmentalists in Africa and elsewhere must recognize that developing countries need access to energy and that natural gas will play an important role.” Ernest Moniz, Op-Ed, “Natural Gas Will Make Africa Greener,” Wall Street Journal, 9/25/19)

IEA: Natural gas can provide benefits that low-carbon alternatives cannot do cost-effectively, like peak winter heating, seasonal storage, or high-temperature heat for industry. “In some instances, new gas infrastructure may also deliver services that cannot be cost-effectively provided by low-carbon alternatives, e.g. peak winter heating, seasonal storage, or high-temperature heat for industry.” (“The Role of Gas in Today’s Energy Transitions,” International Energy Agency, 7/17/19, p. 42)

Meanwhile, Coal Continues To Play A Major Part In Fueling Energy Demand Growth In Developing Nations

Since 2000, nearly half of all people who gained energy access did so though power grids that rely on coal. “Of the 1.2 billion people who have gained access since 2000, nearly all have gained access via connection to the main grid, with 70% of people getting access with power generated from fossil fuels (45% coal, 19% natural gas and 7% oil).” (“Energy Access Outlook 2017,” International Energy Agency, 10/17/17)

IEA: Coal-fired power generation is the largest single category of emissions and coal-fired power plants were the single largest contributor to the growth in emissions in 2018. “Coal-fired power plants were the single largest contributor to the growth in emissions observed in 2018, with an increase of 2.9%, or 280 Mt, compared with 2017 levels. Nearly 10 Gt of CO2 emissions – around one-third of global energy sector emissions – comes from coal-fired power generation, making this by far the largest single category of emissions. (“The Role of Gas in Today’s Energy Transitions,” International Energy Agency, 7/17/19, p. 36)


U.S. Natural Gas Can Help Boost Energy Access While Lowering Emissions

Natural Gas Is A Reliable And Affordable Source Of Power That Can Help Reduce Emissions And Create More Access To Energy

Stanford Natural Gas Initiative: Using natural gas “is the biggest opportunity” to reduce energy poverty.” “Using natural gas, expanding power generation is the biggest opportunity by megawatts to reduce energy poverty because it addresses two major concerns in the power sector that affect households and industry: air pollution from coal-fired generation and power shortages.” (“Framework for Understanding the Role for Natural Gas in Reducing Energy Poverty,” Stanford Natural Gas Initiative, 3/17, p. 29)

IEA Executive Director, Fatih Birol: Natural gas is “one of the key enablers of the energy transition.” “The global gas narrative varies across regions: cheap and abundant resources in North America; a key contributor to reducing air pollution in China; a main feedstock and fuel for industry in emerging Asia; challenged by renewables in Europe; an emerging fuel in Africa and South America. What ties these together is the central position of gas in the global energy mix as one of the key enablers of the energy transition.” (Dr. Fatih Birol’s Foreward, “Gas Market Report 2019, International Energy Agency, 6/7/19, p. 3)

In emerging economies, natural gas helps to push more polluting fuels out of the energy system. “Gas plays a more prolonged role in emerging economies that are very carbon-intensive today, helping to push more polluting fuels out of the system, notably in China and India’s industrial sectors.” (“The Role of Gas in Today’s Energy Transitions,” International Energy Agency, 7/17/19, p. 19)

According to the IEA, natural gas can rapidly improve air quality when substituting other combustible fuels. “Natural gas has low air pollutant emissions, giving it the potential to rapidly improve air quality when substituting other combustible fuels.” (“The Role of Gas in Today’s Energy Transitions,” International Energy Agency, 7/17/19, p. 19)

  • Coal-to-gas switching reduces emissions by 50% when producing electricity and by 33% when providing heat. “Our analysis takes into account both CO2 and methane emissions. On average, coal-to-gas switching reduces emissions by 50% when producing electricity and by 33% when providing heat.” (“The Role of Gas in Today’s Energy Transitions,” International Energy Agency, 7/17/19, p. 19)

  • IEA: Natural gas “replaces more polluting fuels,” “reduces air pollution and limits emissions of carbon dioxide.” “Natural gas is one of the mainstays of global energy: worldwide consumption is rising rapidly and in 2018 gas accounted for almost half of the growth in total global energy demand. Gas plays many different roles in the energy sector and, where it replaces more polluting fuels, it also reduces air pollution and limits emissions of carbon dioxide.” (“The Role of Gas in Today’s Energy Transitions,” International Energy Agency, 7/17/19, p. 19)

Natural Gas And LPG Can Also Help Improve The Standard Of Living By Providing Access To Clean Cooking

IEA: “…2.7 billion people worldwide still do not have access to clean cooking…” “In total, 2.7 billion people worldwide still do not have access to clean cooking, and household air pollution, mostly from cooking smoke, is linked to 2.6 million premature deaths.” (“Sustainable Development Goal 7,” International Energy Agency, Accessed 9/23/19)

“Some 1.9 million premature deaths occur annually due to smoke inhalation from rudimentary stoves…” “Some 1.9 million premature deaths occur annually due to smoke inhalation from rudimentary stoves, which in many cases consist of a few stones and an open fire inside or outside a shelter.” (Reuters, 7/20/11)

Women and girls are disproportionately affected by the indoor smoke inhalation and bear the burden of spending hours collecting wood for the fire. “It is the fourth worst overall health risk factor in the world, and second worst for women and girls. Traditional cookstoves are also an important contributor to climate change at the regional and global level, and contribute over 20 percent of global black carbon emissions. Reliance on biomass for cooking and heating forces women and children to spend hours each week collecting wood, during which time they often face severe personal security risks , especially in conflict zones.” (“Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves,” State Department, Accessed 9/24/19)

IEA: Liquified petroleum gas (LPG) “is the most cost-effective means to access clean cooking.” “The means of achieving clean cooking depends on the availability of biomass and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) in different regions. Overall, LPG is the most cost-effective means to access clean cooking in more than half of all cases, with most of the rest moving to improved and more energy-efficient biomass cookstoves.” (“Sustainable Development Goal 7,” International Energy Agency, Accessed 9/23/19)

More LPG or natural gas cooking stoves actually reduces net GHG emissions as they emit significantly less emissions than traditional cookstoves. “The simultaneous pursuit of universal access to both electricity and clean cooking solutions yields net savings of GHG emissions. Though the uptake of LPG as a clean cooking fuel does increase GHG emissions, significant emissions are avoided when people switch away from the use of solid biomass in traditional cookstoves, which is associated with high levels of methane and to a lesser extent nitrous oxide. Taking into account the high equivalent warming effect of methane and nitrous oxide relative to CO2, even a conservative calculation shows a net climate benefit from switching to LPG and other modern cooking fuels such as natural gas and electricity.” (“Tracking SDG7, 2019,” IEA, UN, World Bank, WHO Joint Report, May 2019)

The United States Is Well Positioned To Export Natural Gas And Help Lift Up Those Trapped In Energy Poverty

Natural gas from America is projected to remain the biggest contributor to growth in international natural gas trade. “Gas from the United States will remain the biggest contributor to growth in international trade. Output by the other main producer countries – such as China, Iran and Egypt – will increase mainly to meet domestic market needs. The United States, Australia and Russia are set to be the largest sources of incremental gas exports to 2024.” (“Gas Market Report 2019, International Energy Agency, 6/7/19, p. 10)

The U.S. is the leading source of natural gas exports when including pipeline and LNG exports. “The United States is the leading source of natural gas exports (both for pipeline flows to Mexico and LNG exports) and accounts for two‐thirds of global LNG supply growth.” (“Gas Market Report 2019, International Energy Agency, 6/7/19, p. 113)

“The United States is set to become the largest LNG exporter by 2024, ahead of Australia and Qatar.” (“Gas Market Report 2019, International Energy Agency, 6/7/19, p. 113)

“Natural gas accounted for 45% of the increase in global energy demand in 2018.” (“The Role of Gas in Today’s Energy Transitions,” International Energy Agency, 7/17/19, p. 22)

  • The U.S. was the largest single contributor to global natural gas production growth in 2018. “The United States was the largest single contributor to global natural gas production growth in 2018 with a net natural gas addition of 86 bcm or 11.5% year‐on‐year (y‐o‐y), its highest growth rate since 1951.” (“Gas Market Report 2019, International Energy Agency, 6/7/19, p. 73)