"It is apparent that natural gas is a vital component of the world's supply of energy. It is one of the cleanest, safest, and most useful of all energy sources."


Natural Gas: Fuel for the Future

Natural gas is believed by many to be the most important energy source for the future. The abundance of natural gas, coupled with its environmental soundness and multiple applications across all sectors, means that natural gas will continue to play an increasingly important role in meeting demand for energy in the United States.

While forecasts made by different Federal agencies may differ in their exact expectations for the increased demand for natural gas, there is one common thread across studies: demand for natural gas will continue steadily for the foreseeable future.

Traditionally, demand for natural gas has been highly cyclical. The primary driver of natural gas demand has been the need for residential and commercial heating. Obviously, heating requirements are highest during the coldest months and lowest in the warmest months. However, the relatively recent shift toward the use of natural gas for the generation of electricity has challenged this traditional cyclical behavior. While demand for natural gas as a heating source decreases during the summer months, demand for space cooling increases during the season. Electricity provides the primary source of energy for residential and commercial cooling, which leads to an increase in demand for electricity. Because natural gas generates a large portion of electricity in the United States, increased electrical demand means increased natural gas demand.

Although natural gas use in the transportation sector is still in its infancy, natural gas fueled vehicles present an enormous opportunity for cleaning up the emissions from this sector. The demand for alternative fuel vehicles, including natural gas vehicles is expected to increase in the foreseeable future, primarily due to new legislation and regulations. As more stringent emissions standards are adopted, both at the state and national level, the automotive industry will have no choice but to devote significant resources to the development of natural gas vehicles. In addition, consumer preferences will require it.

Because natural gas is used for residential heating, industrial processes, electricity generation, and to some extent, as a transportation fuel, increased demand in any of those sectors will increase demand for natural gas. Natural gas is the cleanest burning fossil fuel. As public concern over air quality increases, and more stringent emissions regulations are adopted, natural gas is the primary clean-burning, environmentally friendly choice. It is apparent that natural gas is a vital component of the world's supply of energy. It is one of the cleanest, safest, and most useful of all energy sources.*

* Source: www.NaturalGas.org