IEA Sees Gas Glut Until 2015, Rising Coal Role
Source: Reuters (11/10/09)
"Coal remains the backbone fuel of the power sector worldwide."
In its annual World Energy Outlook published on Tuesday, the IEA said demand for gas for industry and power generation could fall sharply this year, particularly in Europe, leading to a possible 3% drop in global demand.
Gas consumption could bounce back globally from next year, if the global economy recovers, rising by an average of 2.5% a year from 2010–2015 driven by increased gas burning for electricity generation.
But gas supply is still likely to swamp demand until the latter part of the next decade, keeping prices low and threatening investment in new production facilities that will be needed later, the IEA warned.
The IEA's chief economist Fatih Birol said much of the oversupply would be a result of the U.S. losing its appetite for imported gas.
"The growth of unconventional gas supply in the U.S. is set to increase. Almost all domestic gas consumption will come from unconventional gas," he told journalists in London.
The IEA sees natural gas demand rising by an average of 1.5% per year to 4.3 trillion cubic meters (tcm) in 2030, under its reference scenario, but sees strongest growth in coal demand
The IEA reference scenario, in which governments make no changes to existing energy policies to combat climate change, global coal demand is seen rising by an average of 1.9% a year to 2030, driven by a 2.5% annual increase in electricity demand.
"Coal remains the backbone fuel of the power sector worldwide," the IEA outlook says, predicting coal's share of the generation mix would rise by 3%—44% in 2030.