Released annually, the Gas Outlook provides a detailed 10-year overview of expected natural gas demand, supply availability, infrastructure development and prices in the Northwest. The Outlook represents a consensus view of the regional natural gas market developed by industry participants that directly serve more than 3 million natural gas consumers in British Columbia, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington.
Interested in hearing a first-hand account of this year’s Outlook Study? Check out our 2016 Outlook webinar with NWGA Executive Director, Dan Kirschner, embedded below: (video will be visible shortly into the presentation)
“The Natural Gas Outlook helps to inform decisions made by energy stakeholders in the Pacific Northwest,” said Kirschner. “Natural gas is a vital part of the Northwest energy picture. Stakeholders tell us that having access to the information presented in the Outlook is invaluable,” he added.
The 2016 release notes that North America’s robust natural gas supply picture persists and that natural gas prices are expected to remain affordable over the long term. According to the Outlook, “Residential and commercial natural gas customers in the Northwest saved almost $2 billion in 2014 compared to what they would have paid in 2007 (adjusted for inflation).”
The 2016 Outlook forecasts demand for natural gas in the Northwest to grow at a moderate pace over the next ten years (0.8%/year), paced by the use of natural gas as a fuel to generate electricity. Opportunities exist to expand the use of natural gas as a clean, affordable transportation fuel, and as an efficient energy resource when used directly in homes and businesses.
The 2016 Outlook contemplates demand scenarios beyond the study’s expected, low and high demand cases. They include promising new industrial loads and the possibility of additional natural gas demand to replace retiring coal-fired generation in the region.
“The accelerated demand scenarios in the 2016 Outlook point toward the possibility of significant load growth,” said Kirschner. He added that the current natural gas system operates efficiently and reliably to serve existing loads but that substantial growth will amplify and accelerate the need for incremental delivery capacity. Kirschner noted, “It can take five years or more to permit and build or expand natural gas infrastructure so our members take great care to consider and prepare for future growth.”
Kirschner is available to present the Outlook or other natural gas-related material to your group or event. Please contact the NWGA for more information at 503.344.6637.