NERC: Natural gas to be power industry’s primary fuel

The majority of new generating capacity projected in the next 10 years will rely on natural gas as its primary fuel, according to a recent assessment by the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC).

The assessment identified several key issues, including:

·         Key differences exist between the power and natural gas industries. While the electric industry is somewhat functionally bundled, the natural gas industry is structurally unbundled.

·         Increased coordination and communication are needed. Information sharing is needed for the reliable operation between both industries to ensure reliability of the bulk power system.

·         An ample gas supply is expected. In terms of supply, almost all future natural gas growth comes from the electric sector. Shale gas will likely make a significant contribution to the U.S. supply portfolio.

·         Pipeline expansion to accommodate the electric sector. Pipeline infrastructure planning must take into account the long-term growth of gas-fired generation, as more pipeline capacity ultimately will be needed.

To download the “2011 Special Reliability Assessment: A Primer of the Natural Gas and Electric Power Interdependency in the United States” assessment, click here.

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