Consisting of 85-95% methane, LNG is the cleanest combustible fossil fuel. When burned, it emits 40% less carbon dioxide (CO2) compared to coal and 30% less than oil. It does not release soot, dust, or particulates into the atmosphere, only producing insignificant quantities of compounds considered harmful.
Despite its categorisation as a fossil fuel, many arguments exist for its importance in the global transition to net zero.
Across the world, nations have committed to limiting global warming to 1.5°C by 2050. Strategies involve a significant transformation of the energy sector, with increasing priority on low-carbon and renewable energy projects.
The phasing-out of fossil fuels will not and cannot be achieved overnight, and LNG provides a highly viable solution in the clean energy transition. For the world to successfully pivot to clean energy, alternatives need to (1) be affordable, (2) come from a secure source, and (3) productively push carbon emissions to net-zero.
While there is significant progress in the renewable energy sector, it is yet to reach a stage where it is viable in terms of affordability, scale, and stability. LNG can help in the effort to balance these requirements and complement renewable (solar, wind, biomass) energy use.
As a traditional and long-used form of energy, LNG is cost-friendly for the supplier and user. It can be extracted from diverse locations to mitigate over-reliance on a single source and is a ‘greener’ option compared to other fossil fuels when renewable energy is unavailable.
In order to ensure LNG is as carbon neutral as possible, decarbonisation strategies and technologies are used throughout the value chain. These involve using renewable energy to power machinery required in the upstream, liquefaction, shipping, and regasification processes, and the implementation of carbon offset initiatives.
As the world rushes to reduce emissions, LNG can help make this shift.