Shift in Power Generation

Natural gas development is reducing the country’s demand for foreign energy sources, creating jobs, cutting carbon emissions, and making renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar, viable options.

A recent report released by the New York Building Congress says New York City needs more natural gas pipelines before the planned closure of the Indian Point nuclear plant.

The study titled “Electricity Outlook: Powering New York City’s Future” says that New York City’s need for energy will expand as Indian Point’s scheduled 2021 deactivation approaches. It points out that 81.5% of the city’s electricity comes from natural gas burned in the five boroughs—and that more will be needed to keep New York’s lights on once the Indian Point nuclear plant is taken offline.

“New natural-gas pipeline capacity with direct connection to New York City and Westchester County also will be necessary to meet expected growth in demand,” the report says. “Ample supplies of natural gas are critical, as almost all in-city electricity generation comes from natural-gas burning plants.”

The Washington Post reported on a study last year that the key to adding more renewables to the power grid in large volumes will involve installing a large number of fast-ramping natural gas plants, which can fill in quickly whenever renewable generation slips.

Reporter Chris Mooney wrote that although the U.S. has ambitious plans for clean energy growth — with state’s like California and New York mandating that 50 percent of their electricity comes from renewables by the year 2030 — natural gas will still play a vital role in reaching those clean energy goals.

Today, the shale energy boom in North America has thrust natural gas into the spotlight as a key fuel in the nation’s energy mix. Demand is growing for natural gas to serve power generation, industrial and local distribution customers, and to capture the value of these low-cost supplies. To meet this rising demand, Williams is executing on a significant natural gas infrastructure growth plan to connect the best supplies to the best markets.

Natural gas-fired Power Generation Projects. Source: EIA, May 2017