This ICF International white paper explores historical concerns related to gas-electric integration and the new concerns related to the Clean Power Plan (CPP). A methodology for effectively analyzing potential problems and potential solutions in different regions is also presented.
The proportion of total electric generation fueled by natural gas has increased greatly in the last decade as older oil, coal, and nuclear plants have retired and more efficient natural gas combined cycle plants have become the most cost-effective source to make up for lost capacity and meet demand growth. The increased reliance on gas-fired generation has focused more attention on the operational and market differences between electricity and gas markets and infrastructure development.
In some regions, these differences appear to be causing shortfalls in gas and/or electric capacity during periods of critical demand. With the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) proposal of CPP to cut CO2 emissions from existing power plants, there are fears that the situation could be exacerbated.