Natural gas will fuel future of U.S. energy needs
Updating policies will help realize the full potential of a the new abundance and availability of domestic natural gas is opening up opportunities for consumers, businesses and industries to expand their use of this fuel source, as detailed by a study recently released from IHS CERA and the American Gas Foundation (AGF). However, in some cases, the study finds that policies need to be revised to clear the way for all Americans to experience the energy efficiency, environmental and affordability benefits.
The study, “Fueling the Future with Natural Gas: Bringing it Home,” is the successor to the original 2001 “Fueling the Future” study and outlines how natural gas has altered the U.S. energy landscape over the past decade, benefiting consumers and businesses. The study connects the abundance of natural gas in the United States with a domestic market that can be expanded beyond its current usage to provide new growth prospects for all sectors of the U.S. economy, in addition to traditional residential, commercial, industrial, power and transportation uses.
“Today, natural gas is plentiful and accessible, and there are many potential benefits for residential and business customers beyond today’s traditional applications,” said Chris Johns, president of Pacific Gas and Electric Co. and chairman of AGF.
“In order to make these future opportunities a reality for our customers and the nation as a whole, we must update policies, invest in safe and reliable infrastructure, and educate our customers about the many potential new benefits.”
Learn more about the natural gas industry:
The study calls for a strong working relationship between American policymakers, communities, natural gas utilities, and customers to facilitate the benefits of this fuel source.
As detailed in the study, technological advancements are taking place in the areas of natural gas home appliance technology, CNG and LNG vehicles and even industrial applications. In some regions, oil-based heating is quickly being replaced with natural gas furnaces, several gas-intensive industries are expanding their U.S. operations, and small-scale natural gas power micro-grids are becoming realities.
“Many policies surrounding natural gas were developed during a time when natural gas was perceived to be scarce,” according to Dave McCurdy, president and CEO of the American Gas Association and board member of AGF. “All Americans stand to gain if we make investments and update our policies to realize the full potential of a natural gas-fueled future.”
Natural gas is transported via the United States’ 2.4 million miles of natural gas pipelines directly into homes and businesses, dramatically reducing emissions and energy lost during transportation. This capability results in natural gas appliances having 92 percent full-fuel-cycle energy efficiency, compared to the electric system’s 32 percent efficiency, reducing utility bills and life-cycle costs.
“The increased and strategic use of American natural gas across all sectors will help achieve national goals of reducing our costs for energy, environmental protection and energy security,” McCurdy said.
Hydrostor receives $4m funding for A-CAES facility in Canada
Hydrostor has received $4m funding to develop a 300-500MW Advanced Compressed Air Energy Storage (A-CAES) facility in Canada.
The funding will be used to complete essential engineering and planning, and enable Hydrostor to plan construction.
The project will be modeled on Hydrostor’s commercially operating Goderich storage facility, providing up to 12 hours of energy storage.
Hydrostor’s A-CAES system supports Canada’s green economic transition by designing, building, and operating emissions-free energy storage facilities, and employing people, suppliers, and technologies from the oil and gas sector.
The Honorable Seamus O’Regan, Jr. Minister of Natural Resources, said: “Investing in clean technology will lower emissions and increase our competitiveness. This is how we get to net zero by 2050.”
A-CAES has the potential to lower greenhouse gas emissions by enabling the transition to a cleaner and more flexible electricity grid. Specifically, the low-impact and cost-effective technology will reduce the use of fossil fuels and will provide reliable and bankable energy storage solutions for utilities and regulators, while integrating renewable energy for sustainable growth.
Curtis VanWalleghem, Hydrostor’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “We are grateful for the federal government’s support of our long duration energy storage solution that is critical to enabling the clean energy transition. This made-in-Canada solution, with the support of NRCan and Sustainable Development Technology Canada, is ready to be widely deployed within Canada and globally to lower electricity rates and decarbonize the electricity sector."
The Rosamond A-CAES 500MW Project is under advanced development and targeting a 2024 launch. It is designed to turn California’s growing solar and wind resources into on-demand peak capacity while allowing for closure of fossil fuel generating stations.
Hydrostor closed US$37 million (C$49 million) in growth financing in September 2019.