Golden Age for Gas to Benefit Canada


"Latest report represents a major revision in the IEA's energy outlook."

National Post, Peter Foster

The International Energy Agency released a report on Monday outlining a "Golden Age" for natural gas. The fact that this represents a major revision within just months of the IEA's 2010 Energy Outlook demonstrates how quickly new technologies—and accidents—can upend the best laid bureaucratic projections.

Part of natural gas' brighter future is attached to the darker prospects for nuclear energy in the wake of the Fukushima accident in Japan. Even without that development, however, this latest report reminds us that the solemn commitments made by the nations of the world at Cancun to keep global temperature increases below 2C are—according to increasingly dubious "official" science—wildly at odds with IEA projections for energy use.

One journalist at the IEA press conference in London on Monday asked the inconvenient question of how the IEA could talk of a golden age for natural gas if that projection came strapped to global temperature increases of 3.5C and climate disaster. The IEA's chief economist, Fatih Birol, didn't give much of an answer.

The IEA report is in fact good news for all but climate catastrophists. It presents a "scenario" in which global natural gas use rises by more than 50% between 2010 and 2035, accounting for a quarter of global energy use. It would overtake coal by 2030 and come close to the contribution of oil by 2035.

Some 40% of the projected increase in gas supplies will come from shale gas and other "unconventional" sources which have recently become abundantly available due to the techniques of hydraulic fracturing—fracking—and horizontal drilling.

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