Johns Hopkins SAIS expert available to discuss the future of natural gas following the U.S. shale gas boom

Recent technology innovation has powered a shale gas boom in the U.S. and suggested that natural gas is a transition fuel to a low carbon future. However, this trend may not be the best approach to energy internationally, according to a new paper co-written by Dr. Sarah Marie Jordaan, Assistant Professor of Energy, Resources and Environment at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS).
Dr. Jordaan and Columbia University Senior Research Scholar Tim Boersma find that this narrative must be tested and revised periodically to reflect a rapidly changing market, supply chain, and environmental realities.
“The shale boom in the U.S. resulted in a shift from coal to gas in the power sector, lowering the sector’s emissions and making natural gas appear like a panacea,” Jordaan said. “But the evolution of global markets is complex, and the emissions impact even more so with the uncertainties in estimates from the natural gas supply chain. We should not assume that the narrative in the U.S. is globally applicable.”
The paper explores natural gas as a transition fuel, and how it has thus far manifested itself in various key markets including the United States, which has achieved emission reductions from the coal-to-gas transition in the power sector. It also addresses demands and challenges related to the European Union, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), China, and India. The scholars said questions about infrastructure availability, competition with other energy sources, and the end use have blurred the understanding of environmental outcomes from the growth in global natural gas markets.
Dr. Jordaan is available to further discuss:

  • Can natural gas still be viewed as a bridge fuel to a lower carbon economy?
  • How do the emissions implications differ for importing and exporting countries in key markets?
  • How will the growth in liquefied natural gas trade impact emissions in the global power sector?
  • What are the most important changes that U.S. policy-makers face with a shift from a net importer to net exporter of natural gas?
  • Will the policy changes by the current administration impact the growth and emissions of natural gas markets?
  • Will recent and future discoveries of new mega-fields change the overall picture?

Jordaan has worked on the environmental and economic implications of energy systems for over a decade in numerous positions, with contributions aimed at improving science, technology, and policy. Prior to joining Johns Hopkins SAIS, she was an Assistant Professor of Energy Policy and Politics at the University of Calgary. Jordaan managed a year-long project on the environmental and economic implications of shale gas development at the Electric Power Research Institute. She has also held a postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard University, as well as positions at Shell Canada and the Laboratory on International Law and Regulation at the University of California, San Diego. Jordaan earned her doctorate in Environmental Design from the University of Calgary and a Bachelor’s degree in Physics and Computer Science from Memorial University.
Read more: Whatever happened to the Golden Age of natural gas?
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A division of Johns Hopkins University, the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) is a global institution that offers students an international perspective on today's critical issues. For nearly 75 years, Johns Hopkins SAIS has produced great leaders, thinkers, and practitioners of international relations. Public leaders and private sector executives alike seek the counsel of the faculty, whose ideas and research inform and shape policy. Johns Hopkins SAIS offers a global perspective across three campus locations: Bologna, Italy; Nanjing, China; and Washington, D.C. The school’s interdisciplinary curriculum is strongly rooted in the study of international economics, international relations, and regional studies, preparing students to address multifaceted challenges in the world today.
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Wednesday, August 30, 2017