The world is hungry for more and more energy as the years go by. By 2040, energy demand will be much higher than it is currently, and natural gas will play a major role in fulfilling a large share of of the world's growing demand.
Today, natural gas accounts for approximately 23% of the world’s total energy demand. Projections by major organizations such as the IEA, BP and the EIA suggest that by 2040, the world will consume nearly 50% more natural gas.
The proof of natural gas and its future in our world as a cheap, clean and efficient source of energy is seen all over the news, everywhere you look:
India and Japan are just a few of the world’s most populated countries who know natural gas will play a major role in providing the world with the energy it needs in the decades to come.
The two investments that Japan and India have made above are a direct reflection of their desire for energy security now, and in the future. This applies to all nations of the world.
Shipping Natural Gas Across the Globe
Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) in particular has been recognized as playing an important role in supplying the world with the energy it requires for years to come.
LNG tankers can transport large quantities from natural gas rich nations like Qatar, Australia and Canada to nations around the world with ease, much like the 7,000+ oil tankers do currently across the globe every day.
With all the hysteria out there about the development of new LNG projects in Canada, it’s critical we all understand how important a role LNG will play in the world's energy supply, while also reducing huge amounts of greenhouse gas emissions from coal-fired power plants around the world.
Here’s several facts anyone concerned about climate change and energy poverty should know about liquefied natural gas. Also see:
LNG in Canada: 10+ Facts You Should Know
#1 - Cooling is required for transport
LNG is natural gas but in liquid form. Because gas takes up a lot of space when at room temperature, it’s near-impossible to transport in large enough quantities overseas to make it economically viable.
Therefore, natural gas is cooled to approximately -160 ⁰C (Celsius), or -260 ⁰F (Fahrenheit), which makes it transportable in huge quantities in specially designed LNG tanker ships.
#2 - LNG is much more compact
In liquid form, natural gas takes up approximately 1/600th of the space it would when compared to being in gaseous form.
#3 – LNG is very safe to transport
There is a miniscule (basically zero) chance that LNG will explode if a spill occurs.
When LNG is exposed to the atmosphere it vaporizes rapidly and leaves behind no residues. As a result, the aquatic environment below the spill will have no harm done to it whatsoever.
#4 – LNG is the cleanest burning fossil fuel
Compared to other fossil fuels such as oil and coal, natural gas is much cleaner burning and produces negligible amounts of mercury, sulfur and other particulates that contribute to greenhouse gas emissions.
This means cleaner air which translates into public health benefits for communities that choose to burn natural gas in their regional power plants.
#5 – LNG burns with less emissions than coal
Once LNG is re-gasified, one if its applications is to be used to generate power.
Not surprisingly, a new, efficient natural gas plant emits 50% to 60% less carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions than a typical new coal plant.
#6 – LNG burns cleaner than gasoline
Now this may surprise you.
Considering only tailpipe emissions, if you were to burn natural gas in the average vehicle of today, it would result in approximately 10% to 15% less greenhouse gas emissions than if you were to use gasoline.
#7 – Canada has few LNG projects, the USA has way more
Canada currently has several LNG projects in some part of the approval or construction process, including LNG Canada, Kitimat LNG, Woodfibre LNG and Goldboro LNG.
While Canada lags behind in building new LNG projects, the world is awash in them. South of the border in Texas and other states bordering the Gulf Coast, there’s upwards of 10 new LNG export terminals proposed.
U.S. LNG exports are also projected to increase 63% by the end of 2019 and another 42% in 2020 as three new liquefaction facilities come online.
#8 – Vancouver already produces LNG
LNG has been made in Metro Vancouver for more than four decades already. Many British Columbians just don’t know it.
LNG is produced at a facility in Delta during the warmer seasons and is then re-gasified during the fall and winter and put back into the pipeline to supply buildings with heat.
#9 – LNG Canada will displace Asian-fired coal plants
As mentioned above, coal-fired power plants are serious contributors to greenhouse gas emissions. In Asia, particularly China and India, hundreds are under construction to meet a growing demand for energy.
Building LNG Canada could displace between 60 to 90 million tonnes of GHG emissions annually, the equivalent of shutting down 20 to 40 of these coal-fired power plants.
#10 – LNG Canada project will be the cleanest in the world
LNG Canada’s decision to source all its power from British Columbia’s renewable electricity grid means it will be by far the cleanest in the world.
It will undercut emissions from the average LNG facility world-wide by about 50%, while using fully renewable-generated electricity would reduce emissions even more. Incredible!
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