World natural gas endowment as a bridge towards zero carbon emissions
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NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Technological Forecasting and Social Change. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Vol. 79, Issue 3, March 2012. DOI: 10.1016/j.techfore.2011.09.004
We use global energy market (GEM) model to show that natural gas has the potential to help stabilize global carbon emissions in a span of about 50-100 years and pave the way towards low and zero carbon energy. The GEM provides a close fit of the global energy mix between 1850 and 2005. It also matches historical carbon and CO2 emissions generated by the combination of fossil fuels. The model is used them to forecast the future energy mix, as well as the carbon and CO2 emissions, up to the year 2150. Historical data show relative decarbonization and an increase in the amount of hydrogen burned as a percent of fossil fuel use between 1850 and 1970. The GEM indicates that with a larger contribution of natural gas to the future energy market, the burned hydrogen percentage will increase. This decarbonization will help to advance economic and environmental sustainability.
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