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US Gas Consumption Trends

March 16, 2023

By Paul Homewood

The US EIA have just published a report, which shows how natural gas consumption has been steadily rising in the US since 2013:




No surprise there, as gas has steadily been replacing coal in the electricity mix.

But I would draw your attention to the seasonal peaks and troughs. As with the UK, gas consumption rises sharply in winter, typically about 60% above summer levels.

This is a reminder of how difficult it will be to replace gas and coal with renewables, which cannot be simply be turned up and down as required.

12 Comments leave one →
  1. Graeme No.3 permalink
    March 16, 2023 7:51 pm

    Renewables MUST have gas as backup using OCGTs, nothing else is viable at present. So more renewables means more gas usage and MORE CO2 emissions.

    • Iain Reid permalink
      March 17, 2023 8:14 am

      Graeme No 3,

      OCGTs run rarely, only at extremes of demand. The grid is carried by Closed cycle Gas Turbines which run all the time, modulating output as balancing requirement dictates. This is detrimental to their efficiency as often they run at a low level of output. They also provide much needed inertia.
      Yes, without gas we would have no electricity.

      • Graeme No.3 permalink
        March 17, 2023 9:22 pm

        Thnks Ian. So the “Government” have managed to wreck the CCGT economics which explains why no-one wants to build any.
        What happens when the essential backup breaks down?

      • March 18, 2023 7:46 am

        Graeme No 3,

        exactly, what incentive is there to build new when government noise is they are only short term. Quite how they will achieve the impossible by eliminating fossil fuel generation is yet to be explained?

  2. tomo permalink
    March 17, 2023 6:03 am

    Tucker Carlson does AGW etcetera…

    Is there something else going on here?

  3. Graeme No.3 permalink
    March 17, 2023 8:06 am

    It is standard practice for Climate “Scientists” e.g.
    1923 Montana Glacier could disappear by 1948
    Says Professor Waterman.
    1924 Montana Glacier could disappear in a few years
    Says Dr. Elrod (University of Montana)
    1924 Montana Glacier could disappear in 25 years
    Says Dr, Matthes US Geological Survey
    1952 Montana’s Glacier Park may need new name
    The giant glaciers are melting away and could be gone in 50 years
    say naturalists The Post-Standard
    2009 No more Glaciers in Montana by 2020?
    National Geographic News March 2 2009
    2010 Signs installed about glaciers being gone by 2020
    2014 No more Glaciers in Montana by 2034? What will they call Glacier
    National Park (Montana) in 30 years when all the glaciers are gone?
    2019/20 Signs removed (all 29 of them)
    2021 All of the glaciers in Glacier National Park are expected to be gone by
    2030,” said Noah Greenwald,
    Tucker C. is just pointing out more recent alarms.

    • dave permalink
      March 17, 2023 8:24 am

      Glaciers are just rivers of ice. Like all rivers they sometimes dry up and they sometimes go into spate.

      Sometimes the ski season is good and sometimes it is bad.

      Sometimes the English summer is lovely and sometimes it hardly happens.

      Why do people WORRY about any of this? It seems rather ungrateful to Mother Nature. I call it her tough love. Or maybe she is just a bad mum!

      Ellsworth Hartington, the Yale geographer, wrote a long book suggesting that variability in weather and climate was stimulating to Civilization.

  4. Iain Reid permalink
    March 17, 2023 8:24 am

    “But I would draw your attention to the seasonal peaks and troughs. As with the UK, gas consumption rises sharply in winter, typically about 60% above summer levels.”

    This is a point I’ve made before with regard to heat pumps in the U.K..
    If the government achieves what is planned there will be a significant variation in electrical demand between summer and winter, much larger than we currently have.
    We will need sufficient capacity to meet winter needs and if that is renewable to some extent, requires that there will need to be over capacity built because of availability, and in the summer oversupply and curtailment. All have a large impact on electricity prices.

    BEIS papers demonstrate they do not understand heat pumps and significantly overestimate their efficiency confusing COP as such.

  5. Gamecock permalink
    March 17, 2023 9:36 am

    ‘typically about 60% above summer levels’

    This may be buffered somewhat with industrial use. As for residential, I use gas for heat, stove and water heater. My winter bills go up to $150-200 per month. In summer, they are so low I’ll write a check for $100 and carry a negative balance for months. The swing approaches 90%.

  6. ecobunk permalink
    March 17, 2023 9:44 am

    Heat pumps as promoted will have a very unfortunate characteristic for the grid. COP is a function of difference in temperature between source and output. A very cold spell will reduce the efficiency, increasing grid requirements as the temperature falls. Then users will supplement inadequate capacity with resistive heaters, COP=1. So demand will be a maximum when there is little solar and little wind.

  7. gezza1298 permalink
    March 17, 2023 12:26 pm

    And as Australians are finding out, the more free wind and solar you add to the grid, the more expensive your electricity gets.

  8. Hugh Sharman permalink
    March 17, 2023 12:41 pm


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