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US Energy Dept. Predicts 8% Increased Natural Gas Use for US Electric Generation

The US electricity industry has been retiring some coal-fired generators and converting others to run on natural gas in response to the implementation of environmental regulations and to the sustained low cost of natural gas, according to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA).

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Utilities in the United States are planning to generate an additional 11.2 gigawatts of electricity using natural gas in 2017 followed by a 25.4 gigawatt increase the following year, an 8 percent increase in the next two years over 2016 levels, the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) said in a press release on Monday.

"The electricity industry has been retiring some coal-fired generators and converting others to run on natural gas in response to the implementation of environmental regulations and to the sustained low cost of natural gas," the release stated.

LNG tanker. File photo - Sputnik International
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A gigawatt is the amount of electricity produced by 4.6 million solar panels or 500 utility-size windmills, according to the US Department of Energy.

With new generating capacity, natural gas is expected to maintain its status as the primary energy source for power generation, even with an anticipated moderate increase in gas prices, the release noted.

The EIA release predicted that gas would supply 33 percent of the nation’s electricity in 2018, compared with 32 percent generated with coal.

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