Accueil ANALYSIS Natural gas can advance the transition to a net zero energy system

Natural gas can advance the transition to a net zero energy system

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Natural gas can advance the transition to a net zero energy system

The global pursuit of the net zero target by 2050 is getting closer every year. Technologies and efforts that bring the global community closer to this ambition should be supported to enable a faster transition to a low-carbon future.

Among the clean energy technologies that can accelerate the path to a net zero energy system is the deployment of natural gas. Over the past decade, the use of natural gas has grown rapidly, accounting for a significant share of total energy demand growth due to its ability to meet growing global demand and its recognition as a transitional fuel from coal and oil.

Several points can be attributed to the growth of natural gas, including the fact that it is a reasonably environmentally friendly energy source - emitting much less carbon dioxide. The International Energy Agency notes additional strengths of natural gas, making it a favourable clean energy source that advances the energy transition. "Its storage capacity, its ability to be delivered by pipeline or liquefied and shipped by ship, and the ability of gas-fired power plants to switch on and off quickly, allow natural gas to meet seasonal and short-term fluctuations in demand.International Energy Agency (IEA).

Natural gas - a fuel for the transition to net zero

While on a global scale, natural gas is valued as a transitional fuel to a net-zero energy system, in the African context it is much more than that. The reality is that across the continent, with the exception of North Africa, the majority of countries continue to struggle with the energy crisis, with disastrous socio-economic consequences. Sub-Saharan Africa's electricity supply is notoriously unreliable. "Manufacturing companies experience power cuts on average 56 days a year. By comparison, a typical electricity safety standard in the United States is one day every ten years," according to a research paper entitled  Underpowered: The State of the Power Sector in Sub-Saharan Africa . Due to this insufficient power supply, businesses and individuals have no choice but to make arrangements to fill the gap; resulting in the use of air-polluting backup power, including expensive diesel generators.

When Genesis Energy (GENESIS) was founded, we were clear about our vision, and it is  Lighting up Africa one community at a time This includes all kinds of communities. A community can be a group of industries, a set of residential customers or countries, all of which are in urgent need of our services. This is why we started in Guinea Bissau. GENESIS went into areas where there was a desperate need for access to power.

To support the transition from dirty air solutions, GENESIS is committed to providing reliable, affordable and environmentally friendly energy solutions to replace very expensive and dirty energy sources (diesel/heavy fuel oil), especially for commercial and heavy industries by developing alternative sources. We have so far developed more than 150 MW of in-house gas-to-power capacity and more than 1,000 MW is under development.

In one of our projects where we invested with General Electric and other international investors in 84 MW of off-grid power, we successfully replaced the existing heavy oil solution for an industrial customer.

Gas for good

Africa remains one of the lowest carbon footprint emitters on the planet and, coincidentally, one of the least developed in the world. "Africa accounts for only 3% of cumulative global CO2 emissions and less than 5% of annual global CO2 emissions," the report says. Africa Energy Review 2021  published by PwC. The  PwC report  Further emphasises: "Considering that one of the key principles of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is that Parties should act 'on the basis of equity and in accordance with their common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities'. Simply put, the just transition to a sustainable development pathway will vary from one society and economy to another and no single approach can be adopted.

Africa's energy needs are huge and urgent, for Africa to industrialise; gas must be used as a catalyst. With over 600 tcf of proven natural gas reserves on the continent, gas presents a clean option to address the continent's energy deficit. At GENESIS, we believe that our mantra of "Gas for Good" is being implemented in some of the gas distribution and gas-to-power projects. In Nigeria, energy stakeholders are promoting gas supply as an alternative source of clean energy. Therefore, gas should be seen as a commodity that generates greater good for the African people.

By Akinwole Omoboriowo II,

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