Reasons for projected natural gas-fired generation growth vary by region – Today in Energy – EIA

EIA projects that natural gas-fired electric power sector generation in the contiguous United States will increase to 1,600 million megawatthours MWh by 2040, a 1.3% average annual increase. This growth is spread throughout the Lower 48 states, and the reasons for the growth vary by region.For the United States, increasing natural gas supply results in unexpected future growth in natural gas-fired electric generation, particularly after 2020. Total U.S. natural gas production increases 56% from 2012 to 2040, largely because of the development of shale gas, tight gas, and offshore natural gas resources.The three regions with the highest growth in natural gas-fired generation, SERC, RFC, and WECC, also have the highest overall amounts of coal-fired generation. Coal-fired generation still grows significantly in SERC Reliability Corporation SERC and ReliabilityFirst Corporation RFC, despite significant retirements of coal-fired capacity, and the increased cost of building new coal-fired facilities. In the Western Electricity Coordinating Council WECC, natural gas-fired power competes with renewable sources for future electric power demand, while in the Texas Reliability Entity TRE region, natural gas accounts for almost all the growth in new generation.

via Reasons for projected natural gas-fired generation growth vary by region – Today in Energy – U.S. Energy Information Administration EIA.

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