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US LNG critical to emissions reduction

Published by , Senior Editor
Tanks and Terminals,

A new study released by API and conducted by researchers at ICF has examined the environmental benefits of US natural gas use in China, Germany, and India.

The study found that using US LNG rather than coal for electricity generation produces on average 50.5% fewer greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in all base case scenarios studied.

"This study underscores what we have known for quite some time – that US natural gas is a far cleaner option than coal for electricity generation, especially in key markets in China, Germany and India,” API Director of Market Development Dustin Meyer said. “US LNG exports can help accelerate environmental progress across the globe, enabling nations to transition to cleaner natural gas to reduce emissions and address the global risks of climate change."

Looking at cases in China, Germany and India, the study, ‘Update to the Life-Cycle Analysis of GHG Emissions for US LNG Exports’, demonstrates the importance of natural gas for achieving global emissions reductions. Coal still makes up a high proportion of power generation in China (66%), India (74%) and Germany (30%). Coal generation in the US has fallen from roughly 50% in 2005 to 24% in 2019, while natural gas generation has increased from 19% to nearly 40% in the same period. This transition has been instrumental to the US reducing emissions in the power sector by 25% from 2008 to 2018.

The study found that US LNG delivers 48% fewer emissions than Chinese coal and 49% fewer emissions than US coal; 53% fewer emissions than US coal and 51% fewer emissions than German coal; as well as 48% fewer emissions than Indian coal and 48% fewer emissions than US coal.

The study also found transportation and shipping distance have the least impact on emissions levels in the supply chain, only one-tenth of the total GHG supply chain emissions, demonstrating that the export journey for US LNG has a limited environmental impact.

Similarly, the study found that export and import terminal operations also only make up one-tenth of the total GHG supply chain emissions.

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