The shale gas revolution is unlikely to go global quickly. This is the view of BHP Biliton CEO Andrew Mackenzie, speaking at CERAWeek 2014 in Houston, Texas.
“Despite what many claim, we are unlikely to see gas replace coal globally at the scale and pace seen here in the US.” Looking to 2030, it is anticipated that over 70% of the world’s energy will still be supplied by oil, coal and gas.
“Cost and security of supply mean most places will favour the use of local resources to meet their energy requirements. The fastest growing Asian economies have easier access to large coal reserves than they have to cheap gas.
“The cost of generating electricity from gas in Asia is more than double the cost of coal. Coal will remain the region’s primary source of affordable energy and the basis of its energy security,” said Mackenzie.
While renewables are likely to be a “rapidly-growing” energy source in the bid to reduce carbon emissions, “we will only be able to rely on them when large-scale and cost-effective energy storage becomes available.” Nuclear energy, on the other hand, can provide low carbon base load, but faces strong public resistance in many countries post-Fukushima, which is like to retard its growth for some time.