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Manchester academic contributes to major research on gas

14 Nov 2014

Stefan Bouzarovski, Professor of Geography in the School of Environment, Education and Development, has contributed to a major new report from the UK Energy Research Centre

The research suggests that gas could play an important role as a ‘bridging fuel’ to a low-carbon economy, but warns that it won’t be long before gas becomes part of the problem rather than the solution.

The research combines the latest energy system modelling techniques with analysis of UK gas security to assess future demand. To prevent global temperatures rising above 2oC, the research suggests that further gas use will be needed in the short term to replace coal and complement the increases in low-carbon energy sources that must also occur.

However, this is dependent on gas use beginning to fall in the late 2020s and early 2030s, with any major role beyond 2035 requiring the widespread use of carbon capture and storage. There is also significant geographical diversity in the role that gas can play in addressing climate change; with a very limited use in some regions and an extended and strong role in others.

Professor Bouzarovski contributed to ‘The UK’s Global Gas Challenge’ - one of two companion papers attached to the research. He explained: “My contribution to the report mainly focused on the role of EU energy governance in influencing developments in the UK. It transpired that the UK benefits from a diverse gas supply, thanks to the variety of import options and the presence of an active trading hub. However, the UK is closely tied to the gas sectors of other countries in the EU, as well as the emergence of a common energy market in Europe.

“The growing economic, infrastructural and political integration of the European gas sector means that the UK will have to engage with EU energy policy to a greater extent than has been the case to date. This is further highlighted by the likelihood that the UK will increasingly depend on gas imports from or via the continent in the future.”