Renewable energy is important, but natural gas is key to improving access to energy and more sustainable fuel resources. There is little doubt that natural gas can help improve access to electricity around the globe.
There have been many compelling cases that demonstrate the importance of natural gas in enabling sustainable energy policies in the future, especially in the United States.
It is believed that the fuel will solve grand global energy challenges. Electricity generated from natural gas-fired power plants can help the world meet strong growth in energy demand and civilizational expansion, as well as enable the replacement of older and less environmentally friendly power-generation technology.
Energy sustainability for a nation relies on access, affordability and environmental responsibility. These three pillars are all equally important and cannot be separated from one another. As noted, energy security challenges begin with access.
Experts say the global energy challenge for the next 50 years is finding ways to meet the needs of an estimated 2 billion people in areas with poor energy access.
The International Energy Agency estimates that about 80 percent of the world’s energy supply until 2050 will consist of fossil fuels.
Through the deployment of advanced natural gas combined-cycle technologies, not only can the cost profile for power generation be improved, but also efficiency and its environmental footprint.
Natural gas has led to significant growth in new electricity generation capacity in the United States, as it provides the most effective way to achieve comprehensive energy sustainability today, as well as in the future.
Indonesia is one of the world’s biggest liquefied natural gas exporters, along with Qatar, Australia and Malaysia.
Natural gas produced by Indonesia is consumed in Japan, South Korea, Britain and several countries in southern Europe.
Indonesia has enormous natural gas reserves. According to the BP Statistical Review, the archipelago had 103.3 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, or the equivalent to 1.6 percent of the total world’s reserves, in 2014.
The government has stated clearly that more gas should be allocated to the domestic market, because compared with diesel, gas is cheaper and cleaner when used for power generation.
That means the state can save trillions of rupiah from such conversion. From an environmental point of view, gas offers several competitive advantages, as it is generally odorless, nontoxic and non-corrosive.
President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s administration has set a target to develop 35,000 megawatts of new power generation capacity in five years to support the government’s target of 7 percent economic growth by 2019.
Of this figure, as much as 13,400 MW will be generated by natural gas-fired power plants, local media previously reported. State utility company Perusahaan Listrik Negara (PLN) has estimated that the nation would require about 1,250 billion British thermal units per day of natural gas to meet the 35,000 MW target.
However, despite its vast natural gas resources and this being one of its key exports, Indonesia’s gas production has started to dwindle.
In a report published by General Electric titled “The Age of Gas,” the American diversified conglomerate suggested that the Indonesian government pays more attention to the sector.
The report stated that a failure by utility companies in any specific country to make additional investment in power sources would put pressure on governments and populations.
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