Are we entering a golden age of gas?

As supply and demand factors increasingly point to a future in which natural gas plays a greater role in the global energy mix, the International Energy Agency (IEA) released a special report exploring the potential for a “golden age” of gas. The new report, part of the World Energy Outlook (WEO) 2011 series, examines the key factors that could result in a more prominent role for natural gas in the global energy mix, and the implications for other fuels, energy security and climate change.  The report, titled, “Are We Entering a Golden Age of Gas?” presents a scenario in which global use of gas rises by more than 50% from 2010 levels and accounts for more than a quarter of global energy demand by 2035. However, the report also strikes a cautious note on the climate benefits of such an expansion, noting that an increased share of gas in the global energy mix is far from enough on its own to put the world on a carbon emissions path consistent with a global temperature rise of no more than 2 degrees Celsius.