Regional variations in the global gas boom

While gas-fired generation is up around the world, regional variations in the nature and extent of gas use are substantial. Siemens Energy's Living Energy magazine analyzes gas use in four regions to describe these variations. 

In the U.S. that is witnessing a shale gas boom, for instance, the price factor is paramount. Gas prices are 50% cheaper than in Europe. But generators are also confident that shale gas availability will be sustainable into the future. Projections are that there will be a doubling of gas-fired capacity by 2030 and a 90% increase in generation. The U.S. will be a net exporter by that time and this is expected to be a game changer for the U.S. economy, much like the Internet was in 1990s and 2000s. 

In the Arabian Gulf, gas will retain its 50% share of the fuel mix in power generation but renewable power (solar) is likely to supply 40% and nuclear 10%. Subsidies have skewed the situation and led to wasteful use and short supply, and there's a call to remove price subsidies in the region.

Gas already accounts for 70% of Russia's power supply, but the government is intent on leveraging the nation's substantial coal reserves and boost nuclear power. Nevertheless, much of gas capacity is steam and there's a tremendous market for converting them to combined/simple cycle units. 

In the East, South Korea is a typical case of a nation depending entirely on LNG imports through ships to sustain its gas-fired generation. Here efficiency is crucial, though in South Korea, too, gas-fired generation and capacity is expected to double by 2030.

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