A few months before the presidential elections, and with the intention of promoting essential aspects for the country, such as quality of life, air quality, energy transition and the economic growth of the most vulnerable Colombians, the Colombian Natural Gas Association (Naturgas) called on the different candidates to address the essential issues of the industry, and consider the close relationship that the sector has with the well-being of the population, the energy transition, and economic growth.
In this sense, the association pointed out that to speak of natural gas is to speak of 1% of the national GDP, of the future of 100,000 current jobs and an additional 20,000, of more than USD $2.9 billion in probable investments, of reducing emissions of polluting gases, and of the viability of the energy transition in Colombia.
“We intend that the conversation in the public debates address issues that are essential for the health and competitiveness of the nearly 35 million Colombians who use natural gas, and for the potential of citizens who today do not have access to this service. For this reason, we have defined three essential points for discussion between candidates, aspects of general interest that have an impact on all the dynamics of Colombian life,” said Luz Stella Murgas, President of Naturgas
The three key aspects about the use of natural gas that interest Colombians are:
– Well-being and quality of life: According to the WHO, the most harmful air pollutant for human health is fine particulate matter, which is a product of the burning of liquid fuels such as diesel in transport, and solids such as firewood and charcoal. Using natural gas in transportation has reductions close to 100% of fine particulate material and sulfur oxide that cause cardiorespiratory diseases, especially in children and older adults. Natural gas reduces about 75% of nitrogen oxide emissions and between 30% and 50% of carbon dioxide, compared to those generated by a vehicle powered by diesel.
– Energy transition: renewable energy sources, such as wind and photovoltaic, constitute the future of global energy supply. However, due to their intermittent nature, they need a clean energy source that works as a backup: natural gas. Thanks to the fact that it is a product available in Colombia, its environmental attributes and its competitiveness compared to other fossil fuels, this energy is the natural complement to support the intermittency of solar and wind energy. According to the International Gas Union (IGU), the use of natural gas, hydrogen, biomethane and carbon capture and storage technologies will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the energy sector by 30%.
– Strategic engine for economic growth: there are 127 strategic projects identified, which translate into development, growth, and economic and social reactivation for the country. Some of these projects are already underway and others are in the process of being structured. Unlike other countries in the world that see disproportionate increases in natural gas prices due to its scarcity, Colombia has the resources to continue supplying its 10.4 million users without having to spend excessively on their bills. In Colombia there is a potential of reserves of up to 60TPC, which will allow natural gas self-sufficiency for up to 100 years.