LNG and the low-carbon future
Armchair environmentalists and eco-enthusiasts seem to see the world switching to renewable energy (No more oil! Peak gas!) in a matter of comparatively few years.
Real experts and professionals, though, say the transition to renewables such as solar, wind, and geothermal energy, could easily take 40 or 50 years, and even then there will still be some demand for fossil fuels for many purposes.
During the transition period, LNG will be an important fuel (replacing coal for power generation, for example) and one with a worldwide market.
Our LNG will thus be a part of the future described by the Business Council of BC as follows:
“Companies across British Columbia’s economy are leveraging technology, innovation, best practices and the province’s low-carbon energy and electricity resources to reduce their carbon footprint and provide low-carbon solutions to international customers in a carbon-constrained world.
“In partnership with the BC government, the Business Council and its members are advancing a low-carbon industrial strategy that will position the province as a global supplier of choice for low-carbon goods, services and technologies in domestic and global markets.
“This is an opportunity for British Columbia to contribute to the global fight against climate change, while leveraging our unique assets to enhance our competitiveness, grow our economy and attract investment into the province.”
Our LNG will become an internationally tradable product, and those new markets will mean we no longer export our natural gas to only the U.S. — at the low prices dictated by having only one customer.
Will world demand continue? More than a billion people now live without electricity and more have unreliable supplies of electricity. According to the International Energy Agency, global demand for energy is expected to grow by 30% to 2040. And the expected demand for LNG will almost double by 2040.
We may face some challenge from the big push in the U.S. to increase LNG production and exports. But look at shipping time: Our West Coast ports are 10-12 days closer to Asian customers than are LNG plants on the U.S. Gulf Coast. So BC can ship LNG to Asian ports in much less time, and thus at lower cost.