Keywords: natural gas, methane, combined-cycle turbines, gas turbines, decarbonisation, natural gas reserves and resources, methane hydrates, climate change, energy scenarios
Methane as an energy source for the 21st century
Today, fossil fuels supply about 80% of global primary energy. The consequences are severe for human health from indoor and regional air pollution, acidification due to sulphur and nitrogen oxide emissions and climate change due to rapidly growing greenhouse gas emissions. Therefore, there is a clear need to improve the efficiency and the environmental compatibility of fossil technologies, shift to fossil energy sources with lower environmental impacts such as natural gas, or shift away from fossil energy use to renewable sources and nuclear power. This is an especially challenging prospect for the rapidly developing countries of Asia. Wider use of natural gas and electricity in Asia would help promote higher energy efficiencies, better quality of energy services and substantially lower environmental impacts especially at the level of energy end use. Such a transition would require new continental-scale infrastructures including natural gas and electricity grids and distribution systems.