Quotation Foster, Gillian Joanne. 2018. Ethylene Supply in a Fluid Context: Implications of Shale Gas and Climate Change. Energies. 11 (11)




The recent advent of shale gas in the U.S. has redefined the economics of ethylene manufacturing globally, causing a shift towards low-cost U.S. production due to natural gas feedstock, while reinforcing the industry’s reliance on fossil fuels. At the same time, the global climate change crisis compels a transition to a low-carbon economy. These two influencing factors are complex, contested, and uncertain. This paper projects the United States’ (U.S.) future ethylene supply in the context of two megatrends: the natural gas surge and global climate change. The analysis models the future U.S. supply of ethylene in 2050 based on plausible socio-economic scenarios in response to climate change mitigation and adaptation pathways as well as a range of natural gas feedstock prices. This Vector Error Correction Model explores the relationships between these variables. The results show that ethylene supply increased in nearly all modeled scenarios. A combination of lower population growth, lower consumption, and higher natural gas prices reduced ethylene supply by 2050. In most cases, forecasted CO2 emissions from ethylene production rose. This is the first study to project future ethylene supply to go beyond the price of feedstocks and include socio-economic variables relevant to climate change mitigation and adaptation.


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Publication's profile

Status of publication Published
Affiliation WU
Type of publication Journal article
Journal Energies
Citation Index SCI
Language English
Title Ethylene Supply in a Fluid Context: Implications of Shale Gas and Climate Change
Volume 11
Number 11
Year 2018
Reviewed? Y
URL https://www.mdpi.com/1996-1073/11/11/2967
DOI https://doi.org/10.3390/en11112967
Open Access Y
Open Access Link https://doi.org/10.3390/en11112967
JEL Q41, Q54


Foster, Gillian Joanne (Former researcher)
Institute for Ecological Economics IN (Details)
Research areas (ÖSTAT Classification 'Statistik Austria')
2919 Energy research (Details)
2959 Sustainable development, sustainable economics (Details)
4118 Renewable energy (also energy sources, raw materials) (Details)
4119 Regenerable raw materials (Details)
4924 Sustainable development, sustainable economics (Details)
5368 Sustainable development, sustainable economics (Details)
5912 Social sciences (interdisciplinary) (Details)
5914 Environmental research (Details)
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