IEA Says Natural Gas Could be Utilized More in Czech Rep

The International Energy Agency has praised the Czech Republic for supporting the development of robust natural gas infrastructure, but said that gas could be utilized more in the country.

“As gas is abundantly available in the country, it could be utilized more, most notably in the power sector, as coal is in decline and nuclear remains uncertain,” The IEA said in its latest review of Czech energy policies.

“With the increase in variable renewables, notably solar photovoltaic (PV), the country will need flexible power generation, which gas-fired power can provide,” The IEA added.

In addition to offering greater flexibility and enhancing energy security, gas, as a transitional fuel, can provide environmental benefits by reducing carbon emissions and air pollution relative to other fossil fuels, The IEA said.

“Natural gas use in the power sector can lower carbon dioxide emissions by displacing coal in the power sector. Furthermore, flexible combined-cycle gas turbine technology can be used to complement variable renewable technologies, such as solar PV, which is prominent in the Czech Republic,” The IEA said.

Natural gas production in the Czech Republic in 2015 increased by 22.9 percent since 2005, according to figures from the IEA.

Last month, the IEA reported that technological improvements were required if gas is to serve as a long-term fuel.

The IEA states that gas-fired power generation in the COP21 2-Degrees (2DS) plan will increase through the 2030s, and will rise rapidly in China and India from 2015 to 2040. This form of power is scheduled to gradually decline to 2050 though, unless technological advancements can be made.

These improvements include the application of CCS (carbon capture and storage), which reduces the carbon intensity of generation and would allow gas to remain a low-carbon choice relative to the increasingly stringent requirements of the 2DS well beyond 2040, the IEA said.

In an emailed statement to Rigzone, Wood Mackenzie stated that its latest analysis and preliminary outlook on energy demand shows the emissions goal implied by the current version of the Paris Agreement is likely to be missed.

"Judging the pace of transition from old to new is among the big difficulties facing companies as they survey this emerging energy landscape. Companies will need to change, beginning with understanding their own carbon footprint, then developing strategies to adapt,” Paul McConnell, research director for global trends at Wood Mackenzie, said.

A graduate in journalism from Cardiff University, Andreas has eight years of experience as a business journalist. Email Andreas at andreas.exarheas@rigzone.com

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