Full Title: Put Gas on Standby
Author(s): Jonathan Sims, Catharina Hillenbrand von der Neyen, Durand D‘souza, Lily Chau, Nicolás González-Jiménez, Lorenzo Sani
Publisher(s): Carbon Tracker Initiative
Publication Date: October 19, 2021
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Events in 2021 have brought the extreme levels of price and supply volatility present in the global gas market to the fore of discussions over future energy system dynamics.
Wholesale gas prices have risen to record highs across key supply hubs, highlighting the levels
of market risk that gas-fired power stations are exposed to, and demonstrating the urgent
requirement for increased investment in alternative forms of flexible supply, which are steadily
Even before this year’s crisis however, gas-fired power stations across Europe and the US were
already confronting declining operating profitability and rapidly growing competition from
low carbon sources. A steady shift towards the primary use of such technologies is vital if net
zero emissions goals are to be achieved.
While small amounts of unabated gas-fired capacity may well be required to remain available
in these regions and to sit predominantly idle as back up peaking capacity to ensure long-
term system supply security, we believe that this should be the limit to such units’ future role.
This report aims to demonstrate that stakeholders committing to the long-term funding of such
assets are already risking the loss of billions of dollars, while the risks of continued investment
will only grow further.