Can gas replace coal in the long term?


Gas is a highly complex industry and in Southern Africa, the sector is growing. So much so that Southern Africa has been hailed as the newest gas frontier and with this ~ it has become imperative to secure updateson the latest trends and developments within the local, as well as global gas market.

Following the success of the inaugural Gas Week 2013, the Institute for International Research (IIR) once again gathers leading experts and industry players.As the demand for energy increases, the gas industry continues to face an array of challenges and opportunities across its upstream, midstream, downstream sectors. Gas Week 2014creates an essential platform for principal stakeholders to meet and debate crucial themes, affecting their current roles.

Dave Collins, Associate Director, Mac Consulting (Pty) Ltd will be presenting on day three of the week’s programme, and taking a strategic look at the development of gas as an energy supply option. ‘Can gas replace coal in the longer term?’ and ‘Is it too late to stop climate change?’ ~ are two pertinent questions to be posed within Collins’s presentation.

Says Collins, “In the 10 or so major published energy forecasts and scenarios up to 2040, the average absolute demand for fossil fuels increases by 35 percent. In today’s economy, countries are generally focussing on providing energy security and energy supply, with inadequate responses on emissions reductions from energy.”

These resultant emissions put the world on track for an approximate 4°C temperature rise over pre-industrial times, by 2100 ~ or sooner. Gas is certainly receiving much attention globally, but especially in South Africa, where either gas or nuclear, or both, could potentially replace coal for electricity generation.

“Of course gas is not a ‘sustainable’ resource,” explains Collins. “A commonly used definition of Sustainable Development is ‘meeting the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.’ The latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) makes it clear that the global economy has to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions significantly. While it goes so far as to suggest that gas could replace coal in the short- to medium- term because of its lower emissions, it stresses that gas is still a fossil fuel. However, by reducing emissions, while simultaneously providing the energy needed to support an increasingly demanding 9-billion population by 2050, gas is primed as an ideal stepping stone to the low-carbon economy.”

Gas Week 2014 is the only event in Southern Africa with a strategic focus on all the regulatory, commercial, legal and environmental developments in conventional and natural gas exploration and production.

For more details, please call +27 11 771 7000 or visit

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Issue 39


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