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WLPGA study highlights benefits of transitioning to LPG

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Hydrocarbon Engineering,

The World Liquefied Petroleum Gas Association (WLPGA) has released a report exploring the role and benefits of the LPG supply chain, with a focus on opportunities in US and European markets.

The report highlights the strategic role LPG could play over the next two decades and presents an opportunity for policymakers to consider the merits of this energy source.

“In a world that is transitioning away from more traditional fossil fuels, there is very much a place for LPG in the future energy mix,” said James Rockall, CEO and Managing Director of WLPGA. “Ultimately, LPG has a key role to play in tackling the challenges outlined in the report.”

Across a range of sectors, LPG, along with proactive and long-term policies, can support efforts to solving pressing environmental issues (such as pollution, air quality and climate change) by transforming energy systems. With a carbon intensity lower than coal, LPG serves as an enabler of decarbonisation across the domestic heating, industrial and transportation sectors in the US and across Europe.

In the US, diesel overwhelmingly dominates the heavy-duty truck sector. If 50% of new diesel trucks are replaced by LPG by 2030, the carbon and air quality benefit would be equal to US$12 billion and US$11 billion respectively. The cost benefit for vehicle owners converting diesel trucks to LPG would be just over US$29 000 over their useful life.

It is estimated that about 30 GW of on-site diesel generators will have been installed in the US by the end of 2018. The carbon and air quality benefit of displacing 50% diesel fuel with LPG would be US$2.5 million and US$21 million by 2040, respectively.

In the US market, the industrial and commercial sectors are dominated by coal and oil for heating. Higher penetration of LPG and eventually BioLPG by 2040 would reduce carbon emissions by 62 million t of CO2. This equates to a social benefit of US$11 billion.

In the EU rural heating market, a mixed technology approach to decarbonisation, including BioLPG and gas-transition technologies, is one third of the cost of a 100% electrification route, while also delivering substantial emission savings against heating oil and coal.

“The future of energy should not be a binary choice between traditional fossil fuels and 100% renewable electricity,” said Rockall. “LPG has a vital role to play, both now and in the long-term future, in improving air quality as a cost-effective low-carbon energy carrier – something that will increase as BioLPG becomes progressively more available. All stakeholders in the energy business need to be aware of the opportunities that LPG can bring.”

For the full report, click here.

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