As renewable and sustainable energy sources take the limelight, we want to take this opportunity to discuss the latest news and trends in the gas industry, which is far from dead.
While the push for more efficient sources of energy is important, natural gas is the predominant source of power used in our everyday lives. Electric power plants use natural gas to generate energy and The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimated that, in 2016, the electric power sector “accounted for about 36% of U.S. natural gas consumption, and natural gas was the source of about 27% of the U.S. electric power sector’s energy consumption.”
Once this energy is distributed through a power grid to our homes, we use it to dry clothes, heat our homes, and cook. So needless to say, natural gas is a major part of our lives. This has been reflected in the recent trends in the gas industry.
What’s Currently Happening In The Gas Industry
As natural gas is a non-renewable source of energy, the real question comes down to how much natural gas do we have access to and how long will it last? The EIA “estimates that as of January 2016, there were about 2,462 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) of technically recoverable resources of dry natural gas in the United States.” They also say that the U.S consumes about 27.5 Tcf a year, which puts us 90 years out until the known natural gas reserves run out.
This number can fluctuate both ways depending on consumption trends, imports and exports, and any additional reserves discovered. Which brings us to natural gas imports and exports. The U.S has steadily been increasing production, and therefore exports, of natural gas since 2000. This contributed to lower prices and positioned the U.S as a major competitor globally.
2017 saw the record high to-date of natural gas exports at 3.17 Tcf. Exports were also larger than imports last year in the U.S for the first time in six decades.
The ability to export gas helps all jobs related to the industry as well, which seems logical. When one market excels, generally all closely-related fields excel as well. As long as the U.S. gas industry remains adaptive and flexible, families and businesses will benefit for years to come.
The Future Of The Gas Industry
We’re experiencing an exciting time in the energy industry where there is clearly a need to create more efficient and cost-effective ways to enable power plants to deal with increased demand while reducing emissions and working to protect our environment.
Technology advances will be the answer to how this unfolds. When companies leverage advanced digital assets, they will become more efficient innately. Drones, big data, artificial intelligence are just a few of the exciting innovations that will disrupt every industry, including gas and oil.
These changes in the industry simply provide an opportunity for power and utility companies, like us, to adapt and continue the important work of powering the world and educating stakeholders on the trends and where the industry is headed. Learn more about us to see how we can help your plant be more efficient, safer, and adaptable.