New England's increasing reliance on natural gas has regional energy officials worried about potential shortages over the next few years, especially if the area is hit with an extremely cold winter, according to a report by the Boston Globe.
Many power producers and home and business owners have switched to natural gas in recent years, and federal energy officials and the operator of the region's power grid, ISO New England, say they are concerned that pipeline capacity is not keeping up with growing demand, the Globe reports.
"In the case of an extended snap of very low winter temperatures and a rise in heating demand, pipelines might not be able to transport enough gas for both homes and power producers, leading to cutbacks in electricity generation and possible power interruptions," stated a study by ISO New England.
"You have all these stresses and strains being applied to the gas pipeline that weren't there before," ISO New England chief executive Gordon van Welie told the Globe, "and that manifests itself in reliability problems on the gas supply system from time to time, which causes reliability problems on the power side."
"Today, more than half of the electricity consumed in New England is generated with natural gas, according to ISO New England, up from just 15 percent in 2000, and 5 percent in 1990. In Massachusetts, more than 70 percent of the state's electricity is made with natural gas, according to the Department of Energy," the Globe wrote.
To read the Boston Globe article, click here.