Natural gas is America’s clean, reliable and domestically abundant energy resource. Electric utilities from coast to coast use natural gas to provide clean and affordable power generation. Power suppliers from California to Georgia, and from Indiana to Texas are recognizing the reasons using natural gas to meet the needs of their customers makes sense.
Natural gas emits half the CO2 emissions of coal when used to generate electricity. And since 2005, the use of natural gas by power plants that generate electricity has increased dramatically. Natural gas now accounts for nearly a third of all the power that is produced in the United States and will be the single source of power generation in 2016. That’s the biggest reason why levels of harmful carbon dioxide in the air are the lowest they have been in nearly 25 years. In fact, the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported that almost two-thirds of the CO2 emission reductions from 2006 – 2014 came from fuel shifting toward natural gas.
Electricity supply and demand must always be in balance. That’s why all power systems require power generation that meets the needs of homes and businesses during peak electricity demand times — like the coldest and hottest days of the year. Natural gas is reliable power because it can be quickly put to work as demand rises. Wind turbines and solar panels are obviously dependent on how much the wind blows and the sun shines. That makes natural gas the reliable base-load power necessary to integrate those intermittent sources.
A lot of natural gas means affordable natural gas. And America has a lot of natural gas which means long-term stable and affordable prices. To put the amount of natural gas the U.S. has in perspective think about this: In 2015 across every home, business and power plant that used natural gas the United States consumed 27.5 trillion cubic feet. But there is 800 trillion cubic feet available right now at the exact same price. Even more remarkable? There is 50 times more gas or 1,400 trillion cubic feet recoverable at just a little more of a cost.
Clean. Reliable. Affordable. These are the benefits of natural gas. And they are why the United States is leading the world in lowering greenhouse gas emissions, providing reliable power that better integrates solar and wind while at the same time lowering heating and electricity costs for households and businesses across the country.