What's up with the new WLPGA report?
Generally speaking, the association's activities last year revolved around demonstrating the advantages of LPG (not just autogas, but also as cooking and heating fuel, among other uses), informing, educating, influencing decision- and policymakers, supporting development of LPG markets, promotion of obiding the standards, praising good practices in business and safety regulations, recognition of innovation and facilitating knowledge transfer. How exactly were the above goals achieved?
The WLPGA runs a number of dedicated initiatives to support various areas of LPG use, including:
- Cooking for Life – a campaign for the replacement of traditional cooking fuels (wood, coal, etc.) with LPG; there's a lot to campaign for, since the target group for this initiative is estimated at a billion people worldwide;
- Exceptional Energy – promotion of LPG through presentation of success stories, case studies and new applications across various branches of economy and everyday life;
- GLOTEC – an LPG industry growth network, concentrating on promotion of new technologies and innovative solutions;
- GCN – a network dedicated to sharing experience, expertise and good practices in order to establish trust and confidence among end users;
- GAIN – a global autogas industry development network, working to lobby among policymakers, establish and maintain contact with car manufacturers and autogas system producers;
- World LPG Forum – the annual meeting of LPG industry professionals from all over the world.
The good news coming from this year's report is that LPG's growth potential in all sectors where it's used was never as big as it is today. This is primarily because policymakers realise (more so than they used to) the importance of LPG and the role it has to play, especially (but not only) in developing countries. The future of autogas seems particularly bright, since more and more cities decide to favour this fuel over conventional ones in order to improve air quality (which holds true for both economically developing and developed countries). LPG availability and affordability are also improving worldwide, to a large extent thanks to the North American shale revolution making the world overflowing with cheap fuels.
On the other hand, the bad news is that in many countries discussion over future of LPG-based energy solutions is disrupted by misconceptions and half-truths concerning liquefied gas, while in reality it is one of the cleanest widely available fossil fuels. A lot remains to be done, but the WLPGA declares readiness to work hard in order to popularise thorough factual information and address harmful stereotypes, instead highlighting advantages of LPG use. There's much work ahead, but nothing's lost at this point.
All in all, the condition of the worldwide LPG industry is very good and promising, but its current potential must be used well. The sector cannot sit on its hands and passively wait for the situation to develop, as this would be the easiest way to waste what has been already achieved and prevent future progress and growth. As the saying goes, the road to success is always under construction. Thankfully, there's a lot to build on.
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