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Net-Zero:

Energy security and the Future Role of Natural Gas in the UK

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The 15th of October Michael Bradshaw from the Global Energy in the Strategy and International Business Group at Warwick Business School, University of Warwick, UK, will present his talk "Net-zero, Energy security and the Future Role of Natural Gas in the UK". 

Abstract: With coal gone from the UK’s energy mix by 2025, natural gas will remain as the most carbon intensive source of energy outside of the transport sector. At the same time, natural gas production on the UK’s continental shelf continues to decline and a US-style shale gas revolution now seems impossible. The result is increasing gas import dependence, with Norway as the largest source of imports. This presentation considers the dual challenges of energy security and decarbonisation in relation to the future role of natural gas in the UK’s energy system. It starts by considering the current role of gas, uses a supply chain approach to assess future gas security and then turns to the future need for natural gas in the path to net-zero emissions by 2050. It demonstrates that there may be a future role for natural gas in a fully decarbonised energy system, but this requires significant technological and commercial challenges to be overcome. Failure to do so, could result in a future without natural gas that presents an existential threat to the incumbent UK gas industry, but resolves the gas security challenge.

Michael Bradshaw is Professor of Global Energy in the Strategy and International Business Group at Warwick Business School, University of Warwick, UK. He works at the interface between geography, international relations and business and management. He is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and a member of Council, and a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences. He holds an MA from the University of Calgary and a PhD from the University of British Columbia. He is the author of Global Energy Dilemmas (2014, Polity Press), co-editor of Global Energy: Issues, Potentials and Policy Implications (2015, Oxford University Press), and co-author of Energy and Society: A Critical Perspective (2018, Routledge). He has just started a 5-year programme of research on the UK’s energy transition in global context for the UK Energy Research Centre and is monitoring and assessing the UK shale gas landscape as part of a 4-year NERC/ESRC research programme on Unconventional Hydrocarbons in the UK Energy System. He is currently completing a book on the geopolitics of natural gas and has recently published papers in: Energy Policy, Energy Strategy Review Extractive Industries and Society, Global Environmental Change, International Affairs, Nature and Energy Strategy Review.

The seminar will be held from 12:15 to 13:00 (we open the doors at 12:00), in the corner room (room 614) at CET, Faculty of Social Sciences, Fosswinckelsgate 6. As always, it is free and open to all interested parties, so bring your lunch and join us for an interesting presentation followed by a Q&A session.