March 7, 2017
Over the past decade a number of factors have transformed global and national energy markets. Access to low-cost natural gas has been a significant part of this trend. Nationally, natural gas-fired power generation was expected to have exceeded coal-fired power generation for the first time in 2016, and in New England about 50 percent of electricity is now generated from natural gas. With natural gas now such a large part of New England's energy mix, there is a concern that the demand for heating and electricity during cold periods will cause spikes in wholesale electricity prices and that demand may be greater than the available pipeline capacity to deliver natural gas. The region's utility industry has proposed the expansion of pipeline capacity to meet this seasonal increase in the demand for natural gas.