February 10, 2022 12:00 am EDT

Andreas Thanos

North American Energy Standards Board (NAESB)

What Gas is Already Doing (and Still Can Do) to Reduce Emissions

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What Gas is Already Doing (and Still Can Do) to Reduce Emissions

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What Gas is Already Doing (and Still Can Do) to Reduce Emissions

Andreas Thanos, a gas policy specialist at the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities and advisory council member of the North American Energy Standards Board (NAESB), spoke to Energy.Media about the role of natural gas in reducing global carbon emissions. Andreas explains how switching to gas has made North American and European economies less carbon-intensive and calls for making similar changes on a global scale – especially in Asia, where energy demand is growing and coal accounts for a larger share of the energy mix.

In this episode, Andreas talks about how gas has already helped bring carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions down and how it can continue to do so:

  • The United States, Canada, and Europe have reduced energy consumption in recent years, while also replacing many coal-burning power plants with gas-burning generation facilities. This switch has significantly reduced the carbon intensity of their economies, and it shows that swapping coal for gas is an effective way to reduce emissions.
  • The shift to gas is not nearly as advanced in other regions of the world. This is especially true of Asia, which continues to rely heavily on coal-powered generation. At the same time, Asian energy demand and consumption levels are rising – and as a result, so are emissions and carbon intensity levels. Some Asian countries are working to counter this trend by supporting liquefied natural gas (LNG) imports.
  • Hydrogen is often touted as a clean fuel that can help resolve the climate crisis, but it has serious drawbacks. On the one hand, some hydrogen production methods contribute to CO2 emissions. On the other hand, switching to hydrogen would probably require major investments in new distribution systems or upgrades to existing distribution systems.

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