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Electric Generation

PIOGA members tour a natural gas-fired generation plant in northcentral PA.

The electric power sector has grown rapidly in recent years and is projected to become the largest consumer of natural gas in Pennsylvania by 2020. Because of its environmental benefits, natural gas used for electricity generation has increased dramatically. According to the Energy Information Agency (EIA) it’s estimated that by 2032, 40% of electric generating capacity will be fueled by natural gas. Its flexibility for use during times of peak consumption will be invaluable to future power generation. Because natural gas pipelines and infrastructure are situated near areas of demand, electricity generated using natural gas saves consumers on congestion costs.

Environmental Benefits of Electric Generation

The use of natural gas for electricity generation is increasing steadily in the United States, and is a major factor in the significant reductions of key air pollution measures monitored by state and federal agencies. Approximately 6.9 million cubic feet (MMcf) of gas was dedicated to electricity production in 2008, and grew to almost 10 MMcf in 10 years. Electric utilities accounted for the largest jump in that amount, burning 2.7 MMcf in 2008 and 4.7 MMcf in 2017. Natural gas combined-cycle plants made up 40% of the total proposed energy production capacity scheduled to come on line in 2017 in the U.S., and more than 45 new gas-fired electric generators are in various stages of planning and permitting in Pennsylvania, as of the end of 2017.

Did you know?

Due to either closing or retiring coal/nuclear plants, 95%of new generation capacity proposed in Pennsylvania is from natural gas using modern, high-efficiency combined-cycle gas turbines.

Map of natural gas-fired PA electric generation from the U.S. Energy Information Administration