The International Gas Union is urging India to use more natural gas and LNG instead of coal in order to tackle growing air quality issues in the country.
In a report titled “Global Gas Markets supporting Growth and Sustainability”, discussed at the fifth IEF-IGU Ministerial Gas Forum meeting held in New Delhi on Tuesday, the IGU says that natural gas is well positioned to play a growing role at the forefront of India’s future energy mix.
“When used in place of higher-emitting coal and oil, gas can help reduce global greenhouse gas emissions, improve air quality, and offer access to clean and affordable energy in both the developed and developing world,” the IGU said in the report
According to the International Energy Agency, gas is the only fossil fuel set to increase its share in the primary energy mix by 2040.
Switching from coal to natural gas in power generation and industrial use can have a “significant impact” on urban air quality across India, particularly in cities such as New Delhi which recently reported air quality levels 16 times higher than the recognised safe limit, the report said.
Similar benefits can also be derived by the greater use of natural gas and LNG in the transport sector.
The use of natural gas in urban centres can, among others, reduce CO2 emissions by around half, cut NOx emissions by up to 80%, and almost completely eliminate SOx and particulate matter emissions associated with coal-burning, according to the report.
“Natural gas is the perfect stolution to complement the use of renewable energy sources in power generation The global gas market is undergoing a period of rapid and promising transformation, with trade doubling between 2000 and 2015.” David Carroll, President of the IGU said in the report.
“With urban air quality in Indian cities reaching crisis levels, we urge the government to further examine the huge potential of natural gas, and to take further steps in policy decisions to support the switch from coal-burning. This will improve air quality, improving living standards, generating economic benefits and ultimately extending life expectancy.” he said.