GE: The Age of Gas is Upon Us

In terms of regions, GE sees the developing world driving the demand for gas rather than the developed world.

While the European Union’s Large Combustion Plant Directive – which requires EU countries to legislate to limit emissions from combustion plants with a capacity of 50 megawatts or greater – “is going to drive some coal out of the market” within the EU, Farina pointed out that the energy markets in developed economies are not growing very fast.

“So decisions that are made outside of developed economies are going to be very interesting to follow over the next five-to-10 years, which is why we see an urgency for people to come together to drive the development of networks and focus policies around the things that enable the development of these networks. Then you are going to find that a lot of these benefits [of using gas] fall out of that,” he said.

China is a case in point.

The Chinese “are driving a lot of growth around small-scale LNG systems and CNG [compressed natural gas] systems. A lot of it is around the terrible pollution issues they have in the northern coastal regions, where they’ve got to come up with a solution. We’ve actually been involved in that,” said Farina, referring to GE’s work in China to help some regions reduce their reliance on coal as a source of energy.

Fundamentally there will be three factors driving the Age of Gas. The first is that gas networks are set to become much more integrated and robust.

“I think we may be surprised a decade from now about how robust and expansive these gas systems will be. And it’s because we’re going to be integrating larger scale systems: pipes plus LNG and then the distributed systems that work around these,” Farina said.

The second factor is that gas can work well with many other energy networks.


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