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the power of

natural gas

the power of natural gas

For most of us, natural gas is the blue flame lighting hobs at dinner time or flickering in boilers to heat water and buildings.

But there's more to natural gas than a little blue flame.

For most of us, natural gas is the blue flame lighting hobs at dinner time or flickering in boilers to heat water and buildings.

But there's more to natural gas than a little blue flame.

Today, natural gas impacts lives at an unprecedented scale, generating affordable and reliable energy. In addition to heating homes, natural gas is used to generate electricity and it is also a transportation fuel – powering buses and even trains. As a petrochemical feedstock, natural gas is helping manufacture more and more of our everyday goods, from toys to household pipework. This affordable and abundant energy source makes up much of our daily energy use, yet most people don't know much about it.

Today, natural gas impacts lives at an unprecedented scale, generating affordable and reliable energy. In addition to heating homes, natural gas is used to generate electricity and it is also a transportation fuel – powering buses and even trains. As a petrochemical feedstock, natural gas is helping manufacture more and more of our everyday goods, from toys to household pipework. This affordable and abundant energy source makes up much of our daily energy use, yet most people don't know much about it.

part one


natural gas and you

In Europe, natural gas is primarily used to generate electricity and heat homes.

In Europe, natural gas is primarily used to generate electricity and heat homes.

Energy is supported by a complex infrastructure that enables humans to develop, to move, to modernize, to reduce emissions, to operate more efficiently and even to reheat leftovers.

Let's take a journey to better understand how natural gas is transforming our world today — and tomorrow — by providing a reliable and lower-emission alternative to coal power generation.

part two


THE EUROPEAN
ENERGY LANDSCAPE

Today's energy infrastructure is a complex mix of different types of energy feeding pipelines, power plants and wires to energize everything from homes and small businesses along the high street, to large industrial plants. Natural gas is a critical part of powering daily life in Europe – alongside renewable energy sources that continue to grow. Natural-gas-fuelled co-generation plants are helping drive energy efficiency gains at ExxonMobil facilities across Europe and we think it will be a vital fuel of the future

Here's a look at how natural gas is shaping the European energy landscape:

SUPPLY &
PRODUCTION

Switching to generating electricity from natural gas is helping to fuel a rapid, Europe-wide decline in coal, contributing to a 2.1% year-on-year reduction in EU CO2 emissions in 2018 vs 2017.

19%

The EU's use of coal declined by 19% year-on-year, in 2019 vs 2018, with half of that reduction attributed to the switch to natural gas and the other half coming from switching to renewables.

A PARTNER
TO RENEWABLES

Renewable energy sources like wind and solar will be important, but supply can be intermittent when the wind drops or the sun isn't shining. The reliability and flexibility of natural gas makes it a complementary partner to renewables.

32%

In 2018, renewable energy represented 18% of energy consumed in the EU and there is a target for that to increase to 32% by 2030.

LNG

Every day, liquefied natural gas (LNG) is shipped by large tankers to countries around the world. LNG is helping Europe achieve greater energy security, by providing a new way to import the energy the continent requires – beyond what can be provided by other means, such as renewables and nuclear.

20%

Between July 2018 and March 2019 EU imports of LNG from the US increased 181%. The US is now Europe's 3rd largest supplier of LNG. By 2040, the International Energy Agency expects overall LNG imports to Europe to increase by almost 20%, compared to 2016 levels.

Here's a look at how natural gas is shaping the European energy landscape:

SUPPLY &
PRODUCTION
A PARTNER
TO RENEWABLES
LNG
SUPPLY &
PRODUCTION
Switching to generating electricity from natural gas is helping to fuel a rapid, Europe-wide decline in coal, contributing to a 2.1% year-on-year reduction in EU CO2 emissions in 2018 vs 2017.
The EU's use of coal declined by 19% year-on-year, in 2019 vs 2018, with half of that reduction attributed to the switch to natural gas and the other half coming from switching to renewables.
A PARTNER
TO RENEWABLES
Renewable energy sources like wind and solar will be important, but supply can be intermittent when the wind drops or the sun isn't shining. The reliability and flexibility of natural gas makes it a complementary partner to renewables.
In 2018, renewable energy represented 18% of energy consumed in the EU and there is a target for that to increase to 32% by 2030.
LNG
Every day, liquefied natural gas (LNG) is shipped by large tankers to countries around the world. LNG is helping Europe achieve greater energy security, by providing a new way to import the energy the continent requires – beyond what can be provided by other means, such as renewables and nuclear.
Between July 2018 and March 2019 EU imports of LNG from the US increased 181%. The US is now Europe's 3rd largest supplier of LNG. By 2040, the International Energy Agency expects overall LNG imports to Europe to increase by almost 20%, compared to 2016 levels.

part three


A GAME CHANGER FOR CHINA AND INDIA

The challenge for fast-growing economies in India and China is to expand their energy supply, to enable modern life while protecting the environment and human health. To meet this dual challenge, these countries are turning to natural gas which, when used for power generation, emits up to 60% less CO2 than coal and also doesn't have the same pollutants as coal that can affect air quality. Global use of natural gas is on the rise, in part because when chilled and liquefied into LNG it can be shipped worldwide. We predict LNG will meet 20% of global natural gas demand by 2040.

Regardless of how it gets to homes around the world, however, it's clear that demand is growing.

By 2024, China will account for more than 40% of global natural gas demand growth.

*Projection made in 2019.

Natural gas accounts for 6.5% of India's energy mix.

By 2030, natural gas could grow to be 15% of India's energy mix.

India operates 4 LNG import terminals. It plans to build 11 more terminals by 2027.

*Projection made in 2018.

part four


The future of energy

In our 2019 Energy Outlook we predicted that natural gas will supply a quarter of the world's needs by 2040. While renewables like wind and solar are expected to have faster annual growth rates, we expect natural gas to make the largest contribution of any energy source to meeting the growth in global energy demand – given the scale of the global energy system and due to its reliability, affordability, and lower greenhouse gas emissions compared to coal.

TODAY

GLOBAL
POPULATION
INCREASE

2040

GLOBAL
POPULATION
INCREASE

2040

MIDDLE
CLASS
EXPANSION

2040

increase versus 2017

GLOBAL
ENERGY
DEMAND

By 2040

quadrillion
BTUs

GLOBAL
ENERGY
DEMAND

GLOBAL
ENERGY
DEMAND
2040

increase versus 2017

By 2040
QUADRILLION
BTUs
MIDDLE
CLASS
EXPANSION
2040
GLOBAL
POPULATION
INCREASE
TODAY
2040

global energy mix shifts to lower-carbon fuels

OTHER RENEWABLES
2%
HYDRO
2%
BIOMASS / WASTE
9%
NUCLEAR
5%
COAL
26%
GAS
23%
OIL
32%

2017

OTHER RENEWABLES
6%
HYDRO
3%
BIOMASS / WASTE
8%
NUCLEAR
7%
COAL
20%
GAS
26%
OIL
30%

SO, WHAT IS THE POWER OF NATURAL GAS?

Natural gas already provides electricity and heating for millions of homes across Europe. As nations shift towards lower-carbon energy solutions, the flexibility of gas is making it a key part of the European energy mix.

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