The photo is sourced from alec.org
January and July became the peak months from the demand standpoint: in January 2022, the gas consumption in residential and commercial sectors grew by 9% vs. January 2021, and in electricity generation sector – by 10%. In its turn, the July peak was associated with a seasonable growth of demand for air conditioning: the summer of 2022 was one of the top three hottest ones throughout the entire history of meteorological observations in the USA. The long-time average annual ambient temperature during the summer months in the USA is 21.9 degrees Celsius, while as in the summer of 2022 it reached 23.3 degrees.
Electricity generation sector became the largest gas consumer accounting for 38% of demand. The usage of gas for electricity generation purposes grew by 8%. It was underpinned by gradual withdrawal from the coal-fired generation: in 2021, 31 coal-fired generation units were decommissioned in the US with the total capacity of 8.5 GW, and in 2022 – 34 coal-fired generation units of 13.5 GW, according to Global Energy Monitor. At the same time, the gas-fired generation infrastructure continued to expand: in 2022, gas-fired power plants of 2.5 GW were commissioned in the USA, which was the second biggest metric after China (8 GW).
Similar dynamics will continue in the nearest future: by early 2023, gas-fired power plants for 12.1 GW were under construction and plants for 13.3 GW – at the pre-investment stage. At the same time coal-fired CHPPs for 37.6 GW will be mothballed in the USA during 2023-2025, and during 2026-2030 – more CHPPs for 50.5 GW. That is why oil-fired power plants most likely will stay in use to cover the energy demand surges, as it was done in February 2023, when the power grids operators in New England (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New-Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont) in the coldest times utilised all the available generating capacities including oil-fired CHPPs for 5 GW.