Flare Gas Reduction
Gas flaring is one of the most challenging energy and environmental problems facing the world today. Gas flares are used to eliminate gas which usually can’t be used or transported. Unfortunatley, flaring wastes valuable natural resources and harms the environment, adding about 400 million metric tons of CO2 into the atmosphere each year. Technology and policy solutions do exist today to reduce gas flaring, but more needs to be done. Here’s how:
Strengthen International Commitments
Flaring eradication requires a major, coordinated effort from central and regional governments, oil and gas producers, technology providers, and the international community. A proper alignment between punitive actions and incentives has to occur to be effective, though. GE believes that with good government policy and effective corporate governance technology, solutions can be found.
Advance Local Solutions
Localization efforts are key for successful gas flaring reduction. These include convincing governments and developers of the financial benefits and increased efficiency gained from reduced flaring; securing support of local authorities in the monitoring and enforcement of flaring regulations; and showing local companies how to set up, operate, and service distributed power generation.
Expand Access To Financing
Even if localization efforts can bring stakeholders together, lack of capital can stop projects. Governments or producers may be reluctant to commit funds within the structure of the country’s petroleum industry. In such scenarios, carbon financing should play a critical role along with expanding the eligibility criteria within the existing Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) program.
Encourage National Regulatory and Legislative Solutions
Governments play a critical role in aligning producer and consumer interests for a nation. Using both a carrot and stick approach with these entities will encourage regulation compliance while promoting additional energy and economic development.
Establish a New International Sector Agreement
A new sectoral agreement focused specifically on global gas flaring reduction is needed. This new global effort could undertake commitments to reduce gas flaring, while developed countries could assist with technology transfer, best practice sharing, and financing.
Gas flaring reduction has the potential to be a great energy and environmental success story. By creating value from a wasted resource, flare gas reduction enables wider access to energy, improves environmental conditions, and provides economic development for local, provincial, and national governments.