May 30, 2015

Energy used by natural gas pipelines

The amount of energy used by natural gas pipelines has increased 50% in the last decade. (brown line in the middle of the graph below.) 

According to the US Energy Information Agency, we've increased the amount of energy consumed by natural gas pipelines by 300 trillion Btus over the ten years from 2004 to 2014. 

That is the equivalent of 88 million MWh. By way of comparison that is 60% more than the 55 million MWh of electricity the Commonwealth of Massachusetts consumed in 2012. 

The total amount of energy used by natural gas pipelines is ~900 trillion Btus or 264 million MWh. That is slightly more than the total amount of electricity consumed in California in 2012. 

This certainly highlights another benefit of generating energy directly at the point of consumption. 

By generating all of our electricity from solar - we could eliminate one California's worth of electricity consumption, just in pipeline energy costs. 

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