Current Debates Program

Current Debates
Audience
16:45  -  18:00

CD1: WHAT ARE THE FOOTPRINTS FROM COVID-19 ON THE GLOBAL ENERGY MARKETS?

The global economic slowdown driven by COVID-19 offered governments the opportunity to use their economic stimulus programs to accelerate the clean energy transition and mitigate global warming. This session will look at the impact of COVID-19 on future energy demand, the national responses and how the economic stimulus packages in the wake of the pandemic are likely to shape energy demand, the carbon-intensity of energy systems, and the speed of transition.

16:45  -  18:00

CD2: NAVIGATING UNCERTAINTY – GLOBAL LNG MARKETS DYNAMICS

While robust LNG market growth is still expected in the medium-to-long term, any acceleration in the decarbonization of economies could create significant hurdles for the wider LNG industry. The increased focus on methane emissions from suppliers and shippers, the shifting financial support from development banks and governments away from fossil to “green” infrastructure investments, and the impact net-zero emissions (NZE) will have in reshaping energy demand, will add to the existing challenges of expanding markets, reducing costs and managing risk. This session will examine the key uncertainties surrounding global LNG markets.

16:45  -  18:00

CD3: HOW ARE THE NET-ZERO EMISSIONS TARGETS RESHAPING THE TRAJECTORY FOR ENERGY TRANSITION?

In 2019 the UK became the first major economy to commit to net-zero emissions. Today nine out of ten of the largest economies have made similar commitments. But does this suggest that we are in the midst of a complete transformation of world economies and their energy systems? Decarbonizing an economy is a herculean task that touches almost every single sector and industry yet full and detailed roadmaps to net-zero have yet to be established for these economies. This session will assess the state of global climate action under the Net-Zero Challenge.

16:45  -  18:00

CD4: GAS AND RENEWABLES – PARTNERS IN THE LOW CARBON ENERGY TRANSITION

Planning and operating the grid has become more complex as new technologies create more dynamic systems and smarter, cleaner technologies offer new ways to generate electricity. This session will examine the components of a low-carbon grid, understand the various approaches to commercially integrating green gases (or Renewable Gases) and hydrogen including using existing natural gas facilities and infrastructure, and offer new ways to generate electricity and reduce (or minimize) GHG emissions.

16:45  -  18:00

CD5: INNOVATIVE TECHNOLOGIES – CHALLENGES, OPPORTUNITIES AND UNCERTAINTIES IN GAS MARKETS

New technologies and methods for utilizing gas in a manner that maximizes its decarbonization potential are being developed to insure the use of natural gas and its infrastructure well into the future. However, the development of other technologies may challenge gas’ continuing role. This session will look at the technologies being counted on to meet decarbonization goals, their cost, energy intensity, risk,  ability to be deployed at scale and impact on gas markets.

Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
15:00  -  16:15

CD6: THE STATUS AND OUTLOOK FOR TRANSPORTATION FUELS

The goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in all transportation sectors has motivated the search for alternative sources of fuels that will significantly lower these emissions. In the coming years, we may see a variety of solutions for vehicles running on CNG, LNG or LPG, on ethanol or conventional bio-diesel, or on synthetic liquid fuels (based on natural gas, coal and biomass). The success of any given technology will depend on a number of factors including economic viability, infrastructure to support it, availability of feedstocks or other required resources, environmental impact and government policies and regulations supporting their development. This session will examine the status and outlook for alternative fuels including policies promoting these fuels, the fuel and vehicle technologies, and their environmental impact.

15:00  -  16:15

CD7: THE REGIONAL AND GLOBAL DIMENSIONS OF SECURITY OF SUPPLY

Functioning international markets providing reliable and affordable energy are vital prerequisites to the energy security of any country. Supply interruptions harm a nation’s economic output, its political stability and the well-being of its citizens. However, the challenges for energy security are evolving and now include cyber threats, extreme weather events due to climate change and the rapidly growing share of variable renewable technologies which require base metals and manufacturing of new energy components concentrated abroad. This session will examine how changing regional energy policies are suggesting a fundamental and possibly permanent shift in perceptions of what energy security means.

15:00  -  16:15

CD8: GASEOUS FUELS IN THE NEW ENERGY MIX – THE FUTURE OF RENEWABLE AND LOW CARBON GASES

As the world moves to achieve its climate goals, a mix of low and zero-carbon gaseous fuels, such as biogas, biomethane, (blue and green) hydrogen, and synthetic methane could play a vital role in future energy markets and accelerate energy access in developing economies. This session will focus on the current status of producing and using biogas and renewable natural gas including the roles they play in the energy plans of different countries and regions of the world.

15:00  -  16:15

CD9: BEST PRACTICES FOR REDUCING EMISSIONS OF METHANE THROUGHOUT THE GAS INDUSTRY

For natural gas to play a major role in the global energy mix for decades to come, will require clamping down on flaring and methane leakage throughout the gas value chain. Data usage will be the foundation for any effort to reduce emissions, whether through government policy or private-sector efforts. Satellites will detect leaks and companies will be forced to disclose more data on greenhouse gas emissions. This session will survey the progress being made in reducing methane emissions and the technologies being deployed to meet industry goals.

15:00  -  16:15

CD10: EVOLUTION OF GAS MARKETS IN SOUTHEAST ASIA

With a population larger than that of the United States and an economy that is growing faster than that of China, the economic success of Southeast Asia is dependent on governments and businesses joining forces to provide the clean affordable energy that will fuel their economies and transform their energy systems. This session will examine natural gas’ role in their master plans and the challenges the region faces in developing domestic gas markets, building a gas network infrastructure, and the creation of a regional gas market trading hubs.

15:00  -  16:15

CD11: EXAMINING THE POTENTIAL OF CCUS IN THE ENERGY TRANSITION

One of the critical strategies toward achieving a zero or low-carbon economy and deep decarbonization is encouraging investment in carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) technologies. It is the only group of technologies that contribute to reducing emissions in key sectors directly and removing CO2 to balance emissions that cannot be avoided. CCUS can be retrofitted to existing power and industrial plants and is virtually the only technology solution for deep emissions reductions from heavy industries. However, CCUS projects lack sufficient policy support to obtain conventional financing.  This session will examine the major CCUS technologies and the current conditions for investment, and review the current developments that could accelerate CCUS adoption.

15:00  -  16:15

CD12: HYDROGEN’S POTENTIAL IN THE GLOBAL ENERGY MIX

The hydrogen industry has seen a dramatic acceleration of activity with the initialization of new projects, pilot studies and commercial partnerships amid growing interest in deploying hydrogen for heavy transport, stationary storage, industrial fuels, power, and more. In the EU, government policy has taken center stage thanks to the EU Hydrogen Strategy, which was released in July 2020 calling for the installation of 6 gigawatts of renewable hydrogen electrolyzers by the end of 2024, and at least 40 gigawatts by 2030. Countries such as the Republic of Korea and Japan are betting heavily on hydrogen as an alternative fuel. But even with strong government support, hydrogen must still overcome two key challenges that are linked: affordability and scale. This session will explore the different hydrogen technologies, the policies and projects around the world that are under development, and the ability to build on existing infrastructure, such as millions of miles of natural gas pipelines.

15:00  -  16:15

CD13: EMERGING TECHNOLOGY TO ENHANCE GROWTH OF LNG

LNG will command an increasing share of the global fuel mix given its lower-carbon footprint and its ability to flexibly supply increasingly diverse markets, customers, and applications - ranging from power generation to marine and land transportation. Yet the next five years LNG producers, traders, and buyers will have to navigate a rapidly evolving market and the LNG industry as a whole must evolve to a new level of operations and capital efficiency. This means the whole LNG supply chain, from the well heads, gas treatment, liquefaction, transportation, and regasification, must be designed and configured with low emissions and high efficiency. This session will look at liquefaction, transportation and regasification technologies that will increase efficiencies, improve economies of scale, reduce emissions and those that will enhance access to new markets such as small scale and micro scale LNG.

13:45  -  15:00

CD14: HIGHS AND LOWS IN GLOBAL LNG TRADING

In 2020 the gas industry was hammered by a volatile market due to oversupply, low prices and a dramatic slowdown in the global economy which heavily impacted demand. The new focus on Net-Zero Emissions added additional risk to market development as financial investors began to move away from oil and gas and reduced their exposure to fossil fuel projects. Companies across the supply chain will now have to test their exposure to future environmental regulations. Advanced models will be needed to identify and manage these new risks as companies rethink their commercial strategies.  This session will focus on the new realities of the LNG market and its continuing transition from local, bilateral trading flows to regional and increasingly global markets.

13:45  -  15:00

CD15: IMPACTS OF CARBON NEUTRALITY TARGETS ON GLOBAL ECONOMIC GROWTH

Reaching net-zero emissions will require significant investment in current and new clean technologies. Some economic sectors will benefit while others may decline. Opponents say layers of new regulations will hurt businesses, raise energy prices, cost jobs and burden economies. For many developing countries, the pressure to green their economies is beyond their financial means and they will require considerable financial aid to not only meet these goals but to dramatically increase support for mitigation, adaptation and resilience to climate change impacts. Proponents of the net-zero targets argue that emissions reductions and economic growth are not incompatible and in fact the development of new technologies will create new industries and jobs. Costs will be outweighed by improved living standards—particularly in developing economies—through reduced air pollution, cheaper energy bills, higher-quality homes, more flexible mobility services, and more durable consumer goods. This session will examine the uncertainty surrounding the economic impacts created by a transition to a net-zero emissions economy and the substantial challenges to completely decarbonizing our electricity, transportation and industrial sectors (in Asia or in Developing Countries).

13:45  -  15:00

CD16: PRACTICAL TOOLS FOR CLEAN ENERGY AND REDUCED EMISSIONS – GAS, HYDROGEN AND LPGS

The discussion about the transition to a decarbonized energy future is often dominated by renewable energy solutions such as wind and solar. However conditions for using these technologies vary across regions with countries providing opportunities for innovative solutions that utilize other low‐carbon energy sources such as natural gas, hydrogen and LPGs. This session will examine how these three fuels can play a valuable role in sustainable energy systems.

13:45  -  15:00

CD17: DIVEST FOSSIL, INVEST GREEN? THE CHALLENGES FINANCING THE NEXT WAVE OF GAS INFRASTRUCTURE IN DEVELOPING MARKETS

As natural gas gains increasing importance in energy markets, the focus of investment is shifting towards the challenges of expanding energy infrastructure in emerging and developing economies. However, incorporating natural gas into national energy systems requires very expensive infrastructure and faces two key challenges: (1) The growth economies of Africa, South Asia, and Latin America are grappling with an energy-infrastructure investment gap and (2) While the traditional financing in these countries was driven by the large multi-lateral lending institutions, today we are seeing an accelerated participation by private investors and today’s investment community now contains a vast array of actors across the financial industry, most of which are hostile to fossil fuels. This session will look at the trends in infrastructure investment and financing and how the industry is responding to these new challenges.

© WGC2022 National Organizing Committee

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