1/ What role for natural gas in a 1.5⁰C world?

Some reflections from the new #IPCC #SR15 report:

(thread)
2/ A reminder: natural gas currently accounts for 20% of global energy emissions and is the world’s fastest growing fossil fuel. In the IEA’s current policies scenario, gas demand could increase by ~50% by 2040.

How far is this from a 1.5⁰C pathway?
3/ With coal, the IPCC message is simple: stop burning it. The IPCC pathways show a reduction in coal in primary energy use of 59-78% by 2030, compared to 2010. By 2050 it falls 73-97%.
4/ For gas there is a little more nuance, and it’s worth digging in to each pathway individually.
5/ The first pathway avoids overshooting the 1.5⁰C limit, and avoids relying on bio-energy carbon capture and storage (BECCS).

In this pathway gas use falls by 25% by 2030 and 74% by 2050, as clean energy and energy efficiency come to the fore.
6/ The second pathway includes some BECCS, which creates room for a slower decline in industry and energy emissions.

Global gas use falls but more slowly: 20% by 2030, 53% by 2050.
7/ The third pathway “follows historical patterns”. More energy is used; fewer renewables deployed. Way more BECCS are needed to stay under 1.5⁰C (requiring a land area larger than the UK for bioenergy crops).

Natural gas use rises: up 33% by 2030, falling back to 21% by 2050.
8/ In the final pathway, temperatures overshoot 1.5⁰C and huge amounts of BECCS are needed to bring it back (requiring land area 2x India).

Gas use rises 37% by 2030, but then plummets to -48% by 2050, as bioenergy CCS replaces natural gas in the energy mix.
9/ Conclusions?

The IEA ‘current policies’ projections shows growth for natural gas that goes way beyond any of the main IPCC 1.5⁰C pathways. Current trends are not sustainable.
10/ Most IPCC 1.5⁰C pathways show a sharp decline in gas use.

The exception is a 'goldilocks' scenario with enough BECCS to make atmospheric space for a small increase in gas, but not enough BECCS to displace gas from the energy system.
11/ POSTSCRIPT
The IPCC report shows 1.5⁰C pathways getting to net zero CO2 emissions by around 2050. The 2⁰C pathways also go to net zero, by 2075.

The same challenges for gas apply in a 2⁰C world, only over somewhat slower timescales.

• • •

Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh
 

Keep Current with Jonathan Gaventa

Jonathan Gaventa Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!

PDF

Twitter may remove this content at anytime! Save it as PDF for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video
  1. Follow @ThreadReaderApp to mention us!

  2. From a Twitter thread mention us with a keyword "unroll"
@threadreaderapp unroll

Practice here first or read more on our help page!

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!


This site is made by just two indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3/month or $30/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Don't want to be a Premium member but still want to support us?

Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal

Or Donate anonymously using crypto!

Ethereum

0xfe58350B80634f60Fa6Dc149a72b4DFbc17D341E copy

Bitcoin

3ATGMxNzCUFzxpMCHL5sWSt4DVtS8UqXpi copy

Thank you for your support!

Follow Us on Twitter!

:(