December 03, 2020

LNG's Role in the Energy Transition

Liquefied natural gas (LNG) can play an important role in addressing emissions impact. LNG is natural gas that has been liquefied and supercooled, decreasing in volume by a factor of 600.

Liquefying natural gas makes it possible to transport large amounts of this fuel around the world. This gives countries the opportunity to choose something other than coal as their primary fuel source for electricity generation.

Leading by Example

The United States provides an example of the impact switching from coal to natural gas can have on emissions. Since 2016, the U.S. has shifted from coal to natural gas as its main source of energy for electricity generation. As a result, this has reduced emissions by more than 2,800 million metric tons (MMT).

Additionally, the availability of natural gas has provided the flexibility and reliability needed to add significant (but intermittent) wind and solar generation resources to the electric grid.

Emissions from power generation in the United States have dropped more than 40% below 2005 levels, according to the most recent data. Overall U.S. CO2 emissions, from all sources, are down over 1 gigatonne (GT) from their peak in the year 2000, the largest absolute decline of any country on earth.

U.S. Emissions Reductions as a Result of Increased Use of Natural Gas and Renewables

U.S. Emissions Reductions as a Result of Increased Use of Natural Gas and Renewables

in million metric tons of CO2   |   data source

Unlocking LNG's Potential

Our first fully operational LNG facility, Cameron LNG, is expected to operate at a carbon dioxide intensity (CO2 per ton of LNG produced) that is 10-15% below the per-year level allowed by its environmental permit. Future facilities in Baja California, Mexico and Port Arthur, Texas, have been permitted and designed to even lower CO2 intensity levels.

Beyond the fence line of these facilities, we are also exploring opportunities to improve the CO2 intensity of the electricity we buy to power these facilities. Entergy, Inc., our power provider for Port Arthur LNG and Cameron LNG, has publicly announced a goal to halve its CO2 emission rate by 2030.

We also support eliminating routine flaring and venting and other methane emissions that occur during exploration for, or production of, natural gas upstream of our infrastructure. Such efforts are critical to maximizing LNG’s role in a lower-carbon energy system. We seek to engage others in partnerships in this area to determine what is possible — and how we can help.

Looking to the future, LNG can play a key role in building a brighter future. It can serve as a catalyst in the global transition to lower-carbon energy while improving trade and providing energy security for U.S. allies. These can be important wins in the decade ahead.