Most people agree with the need to transition to cleaner energy sources, but, even among those who agree, there is a vast range of voices and opinions on the matter. For instance, many of the world’s leading thinkers on energy transition agree that climate change is a global issue; however, research leads most to conclude it is wishful thinking to expect an energy transition will occur quickly.
Here are five ways oil, natural gas, and the pipelines that transport them will continue to play important roles for decades to come.
Cleaner burning fuel for cleaner air
Natural gas gives off fewer carbon dioxide emissions than coal or oil, and that makes it an energy source that is especially important for countries that need cleaner-burning fuels so people can breathe clean air. So, it is not surprising that in a June 2019 report, the International Energy Agency (IEA) forecasted that in the next five years, 40% of the demand for natural gas will come from China. Cleaner-burning Canadian natural gas can play a big role as the world transitions to cleaner burning fuels.
Help to power the move to clean energy options
Natural gas will also help to power the movement away from fossil fuels and toward clean energy options, such as electrification. This change will take time, and natural gas will continue to play a role as a cleaner-burning supplement when renewable energy is not available in reliable supply.
Pipelines to deliver alternative fuels, such as hydrogen
In the U.S., industry and government are looking into ways to safely and efficiently use hydrogen to deliver clean energy through the existing pipeline system. In the U.K., pilot projects to launch a hydrogen network will use the current gas pipeline system for its delivery. This is part of their plan to reach a goal of net-zero emissions by 2050.
Transporting captured carbon dioxide
Pipelines will transport carbon dioxide captured from the atmosphere for reuse or storage. This will play an important part in reducing emissions and increasing environmentally responsible energy supply.
Manufacture of clean energy infrastructure
Petro-chemical products from oil and natural gas liquids will continue to be essential ingredients in new renewable energy production facilities, including solar and wind.
For more on how the future of energy is evolving, follow our Submar blog.