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Analysis of the effect of environmental policies on the allocation of natural gas accross end-use sectors in France

Abstract : Representing 20% of the world primary energy supply, natural gas is a key component of today’s energy systems. Its lower carbon content per unit of energy, its versatility and relative abundance make it a strategic fuel for addressing both the world’s future demand for energy and the climate change concern. Hence several medium-term projections advocate the increased use of natural gas. Yet while its contribution as a solution to the climate change issue is positive in comparison to more carbonated fossil energy sources, which represent 60% of the world primary energy supply, burning natural gas has an absolute negative emission contribution. How then are its projected uses affected by stringent environmental policies? For what end-use is it the best candidate? In this paper we address these questions for France, which is the fourth largest natural gas market in the European Union and has a 97% import dependency. We focus on end-use sectors and we quantify the evolution of gas allocation up to 2050.Our results highlight significant reductions in the expected growth rate before 2030, followed by a clear decrease that brings the natural gas industry back to its current levels. In a case where it does not succeed in securing a significant market share in the transport sector, consumption in 2050 evens out at around 1990 levels. We quantify the dependency on technological developments for gasification technologies and natural gas-fueled vehicles, and highlight the sensitivity of cross-sector allocation to import prices.
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Edi Assoumou, Nadia Maïzi. Analysis of the effect of environmental policies on the allocation of natural gas accross end-use sectors in France. [Research Report] Working Paper 2011-02-02, Chaire Modélisation prospective au service du développement durable. 2011, pp.24 - Les Cahiers de la Chaire. ⟨hal-01135639⟩

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