EIA informed that expects a 40% increase in natural gas consumed in the US industrial sector, from 9.8 quadrillion British thermal units (Btu) in 2017 to 13.7 quadrillion Btu in 2050. By 2020, industrial natural gas consumption will surpass the previous record set in the early 1970s, according to Annual Energy Outlook 2018.
The US industrial sector consumes more natural gas than any other sector, surpassing electric power in 2017 and the combined residential and commercial sectors in 2010.
Several industries including bulk chemicals, food, glass, and metal-based durables used natural gas for 40% or more of their heat or power applications in 2017. EIA expects that these industries will continue to use the same proportion of natural gas for heat or power applications through 2050 because of the cost associated with fuel switching.
As the largest natural gas consumer in the industrial sector, the bulk chemicals industry consumed about 3.0 trillion cubic feet. The bulk chemicals industry includes production of organic chemicals, inorganic chemicals, resins, and agricultural chemicals.
Increases in the bulk chemicals industry’s consumption of natural gas surpasses overall growth in the industrial sector through 2050, with 51% growth compared with the sector average of 40%. Most natural gas in the bulk chemicals industry is used for heat or power applications, but about 25% of bulk chemical natural gas consumption is used for feedstocks in agricultural chemicals and methanol production.
For more information regarding the Annual Energy Outlook 2018, click in the PDF herebelow