“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 2015 release notes that North America’s robust natural gas supply picture persists and that natural gas is expected to remain a good value throughout the forecast period when compared to other energy sources. Regional demand for natural gas is expected to grow an average of 1.2 percent per year. The use of natural gas to fuel electric generation is the largest driver of demand growth, as the region develops new gas fired generation to serve load growth and more flexible gas fired resources to complement intermittent renewable generation like wind and solar.
“The Natural Gas Outlook serves as an important point of reference for energy stakeholders in the Pacific Northwest,” said Ed Brewer, NWGA Board President and Vice President and General Manager of Williams Northwest Pipeline. “These stakeholders are navigating decisions concerning abundant North American natural gas supply options, existing and potential new markets and the infrastructure needed to bring the supply and demand together,” he added.
Regionally, the demand growth projections in this 2013 Outlook remain modest across most sectors reflecting expected economic conditions (see 2013 Regional Economic Outlook). Gas use for generating electricity shows the most significant growth in the forecast period. Meanwhile, Northwest consumers are benefitting as regional gas distribution companies (LDCs) pass the lower cost of natural gas through to customers.
Released annually, the Gas Outlook is a detailed ten-year look at expected natural gas demand, supply availability and prices in the Northwest. The Outlook offers unique insight, representing a consensus view of the regional natural gas market developed by industry participants directly serving Washington, Oregon, Idaho and British Columbia.
“We have seen unprecedented change in the natural gas industry over the past few years,
” said Frank Morehouse, NWGA Board President. “The Gas Outlook helps industry observers gain insight on what those changes mean for our region,” he added.
Breakthroughs in drilling technology have unlocked vast reserves of shale gas, replacing past concerns over declining production with plentiful supply. Regional demand for natural gas is expected to grow annually by an average of 0.9 percent per year, leading to a cumulative growth of 8.1 percent by 2021. The role of natural gas as a fuel to generate electricity is a key question discussed in the 2012 Gas Outlook.