INGAA Foundation study affirms natural gas’ importance in coming decades amid surge of renewables

Black & Veatch-led report offers detailed analyses of gas’ future
opportunity to play critical role in supporting low carbon energy

Foundation Inc.
flagship report finds that natural gas will retain
its critical role in the U.S. power sector for at least the next 20
years even as renewable energy grabs a bigger share of the nation’s
electricity market. This trend, coupled with growing global demand for
U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports, underscores the need for the
gas industry’s continued investment in infrastructure to support these
growing needs, according to Black & Veatch, the author of the report.

Commissioned by the INGAA Foundation, which represents the full value
chain of the natural gas transmission industry, The Role of Natural
Gas in the Transition to a Lower-Carbon Economy”
examines key
drivers that could affect the consumption of natural gas and the use of
gas infrastructure from 2020 to 2040. With extensive analyses backed by
modeling and industry expertise, the report centers on two scenarios
that focus on different paths toward an energy mix increasingly reliant
on renewable energy. The conclusion: Natural gas is expected to
complement renewable resources.

The report, released Tuesday, indicates that the case for natural gas
infrastructure investment remains strong as the market is being reshaped
by rising global gas supply from the United States and other newer
producers. Investments focused on adding flexibility to the system will
be critical to support the rapidly evolving electricity market.

Demand growth from developing Asian economies, global policy choices
supporting cleaner energy sources, lower costs for renewables and
significant geopolitical shifts also support the case for investment.
While Africa, Europe and India have set aggressive renewable energy
targets by 2030, according to Black & Veatch’s recent 2019
Strategic Directions: Natural Gas Report
, natural gas is
attractive to emerging markets due to certain advantages over newer
technologies such as battery storage and other alternative fuels based
on price, reliability and access. Infrastructure that will enable the
transport of gas to export facilities will play a vital role in serving
these markets.

Based on natural gas’ profile as a safe, flexible, low-cost and
clean-burning catalyst for reliable energy across the globe, the INGAA
Foundation report offers some key findings:

  • Natural gas will play a key role in a balanced path to a low-carbon
    economy by providing reliable, low-cost base load power and the
    flexibility to integrate more renewables.
  • Even with a highly aggressive scenario of renewables penetration, the
    current domestic natural gas pipeline infrastructure will continue
    serving traditional end-use sectors as well as emerging markets,
    including liquefied natural gas and pipeline exports to the global
    market over the next two decades.
  • Rising gas production and demand could spur the need for up to 21
    billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) of new gas pipelines.
  • The demand for more flexible and dispatchable power resources may
    drive an evolution of the gas transmission industry.

Natural gas has undergone a transformation over the past decade, and
this study illustrates that its evolution will continue, as a valuable
flexible energy source within a low carbon U.S. energy mix,” said Deepa
Poduval, associate vice president and industry executive for oil and gas
at Black & Veatch Management Consulting. “We have a decades-long track
record of providing deep expertise on gas-electric interdependence
issues, and we’re honored to have partnered with the INGAA Foundation in
this thoughtful examination.”

Don Santa, the INGAA Foundation’s president, said the analysis in the
flagship report can inform policymakers, key stakeholders and the
industry about the role that natural gas and gas pipeline infrastructure
can play in the transition to a cleaner energy economy.

As a trusted partner with companies working to meet the world’s demand
for energy through everything from natural gas to renewables and power
solutions, Black & Veatch has decades of proven performance on more than
3,000 natural gas-related assignments in dozens of countries.

Editor’s note:

  • For a copy of the report, click here.

About Black & Veatch

Black & Veatch is an employee-owned, global leader in building critical
human infrastructure in Energy, Water, Telecommunications and Government
Services. Since 1915, we have helped our clients improve the lives of
people in over 100 countries through consulting, engineering,
construction, operations and program management. Our revenues in 2018
were US$3.5 billion. Follow us on and
in social media.

About the INGAA Foundation

The INGAA Foundation facilitates the safe, efficient, reliable and
environmentally responsible design, construction, operation and
maintenance of the North American natural gas transmission system to
advance the delivery of natural gas for the benefit of the consuming
public, the economy and the environment. Its more than 220 members
represent natural gas pipeline companies, construction companies,
engineering firms, pipe and compressor manufacturers, accounting firms,
companies providing information technology services and other suppliers
of goods and services to the pipeline industry. The foundation’s primary
activity is to sponsor research aimed at promoting natural gas use and
safe, efficient pipeline construction and operation. Since 1990, the
Foundation has completed over 150 studies, in addition to many projects
and workshops which benefit the industry.


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