World Energy Council sees role for gas in green transition

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The fossil fuel will be essential in shifting to clean energy, the global forum’s CEO says

Natural gas will be a critical component in the world’s transition to new energy sources, the secretary general and CEO of the World Energy Council, Angela Wilkinson, has argued. 

“We want it to be more renewable-powered electrification,” Wilkinson stated during a panel discussion moderated by CNBC, noting that significant effort will be required to achieve that goal.

“We can’t let perfection be the enemy of the good in this, right? The reality is, to get renewables to scale we’re going to have other clean energy friends in the mix, we’re going to have to build multiple clean energy bridges,” Wilkinson asserted.

“We’re going to have hydrogen [doing the] lifting, we’re going to have gas with CCUS [carbon capture, utilization and storage] lifting, we’re going to have grid strengthening going on,” the CEO added.

The idea of using natural gas as a transition fuel before renewables can overtake fossil fuels has sparked heated debate in some areas.

In February, BP CEO Bernard Looney said that more investment in oil and gas is needed to ensure an orderly transition away from those fossil fuels. He proposed investing in the existing oil and gas system, as well as in the transition to more climate-friendly sources of energy.

OPEC Secretary General Haitham Al-Ghais has similarly called for a pause in climate change talks, arguing that countries chasing green energy needed to slow down and “look at the big picture.”

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