BusinessDay
NigeriaDecides2023

Demand for Africa’s natural gas to rise 155% by 2050 – GECF

Natural gas demand in Africa will record the highest growth rate among all regions of the world by 2050, according to the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF).

The GECF in its latest Global Gas Outlook (GGO) 2050 revealed that the demand for natural gas in Africa will increase by 155 percent to 13.95 trillion cubic feet (tcf) – 395 billion cubic meters (bcm) in the period in check.

Nigeria accounts for over 209 tcf of proven gas reserves, followed by Algeria’s 81 tcf. Other regions such as Asia Pacific, Latin America, and the Middle East also top the list of rapid natural gas demand growth while Europe is expected to see an 18 percent decline in its natural gas consumption.

“Natural gas demand in Europe will drop by 18 percent to 14.83 tcf (420 bcm) by 2050. Nevertheless, natural gas will remain resilient at least up until 2030 as emission-reduction measures are expected to initially have more impact on coal and oil within the power generation and transport sectors.

“Over the long term, increased decarbonisation efforts through energy efficiency, electrification, renewables, and low-carbon hydrogen, particularly green hydrogen that will be introduced for a wide range of sectors, will create pressure for natural gas demand.

“The transport sector and blue hydrogen generation will present the best growth potential, partially offsetting declines in other sectors,” the GECF said.

According to the outlook, the availability of rich gas reserves in Africa and the upbeat outlook for indigenous production offer significant prospects for its increased domestic usage.

“Infrastructure expansion could be a potential obstacle in the region, but a number of countries have plans for pipeline construction and network development to stimulate local consumption.

“Accelerated economic activity and a rising urban population, accompanied by an unprecedented increase in electricity demand, will be the key drivers,” the outlook noted.

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Natural gas demand is expected to grow globally to 198.65 tcf (5,625 bcm) by 2050 – 46 percent higher than in 2020.

On the other hand, Mustafa Amer, a researcher at the GECF has said that natural gas will remain in demand in all regions of the world even in Paris-aligned scenarios.

He made this known during his presentation on the theme of Energy Transition and the Role of Natural Gas at the annual International Association for Energy Economics (IAEE) conference held in a hybrid format in Tokyo, Japan (July 31 – August 4, 2022).

Amer said the financial sector should maintain responsible financing for energy supply projects while the demand side, with its policies, priorities, and technologies should determine which energy mix to adopt.

He further discussed the growing role of natural gas by mid-century based on the latest edition of the GECF GGO, the role of the financial sector in ensuring an adequate supply of energy, the role of carbon removal technologies in the climate agenda, and the future of energy demand in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) assessed scenarios.

Also, Hussein Moghaddam, GECF’s senior energy forecast analyst, presented the results of his study on “The role of natural gas in mitigating GHG emissions: The environmental Kuznets Curve hypothesis for the major gas producing countries.”

He said that as natural gas is the lowest-carbon hydrocarbon compared to other fossil fuels, substituting gas with oil and coal would reduce the speed and slope of CO2 emissions.

“Investment in technologies to prevent emissions from the entire gas value chain as well as in investment in CCS technology is necessary for the gas industry,” Moghaddam said.

On the role of hydrogen in achieving carbon neutrality, Seyed Mohsen Razavi, energy technology analyst, explained how hydrogen would contribute to global carbon neutrality by penetrating hard-to-electrify sectors.

Razavi, in his presentation, elaborated on the exclusive role of hydrogen and the potential of carbon dioxide (CO2) abatement through its development. He said that hydrogen is not the only measure but is unique for particular sectors.

According to his paper, natural gas coupled with carbon capture and storage (CCS) and renewable power are among the most potent and reliable sources to decarbonise the energy system in terms of the volume of mitigation potential.

The Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF) is an international governmental organisation that provides the framework for exchanging experience and information among Member Countries.

It seeks to build a mechanism for a more meaningful dialogue between gas producers and gas consumers for the sake of stability and security of supply and demand in global natural gas markets.

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