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GRI: Industrial Energy Demand Up 25% by 2015

GRI: Industrial Energy Demand Up 25% by 2015

In its latest study, the Gas Research Institute (GRI) predicted natural gas will dominate the market share among competing fuels for industrial energy demand over the next 15 years. Currently, industrial demand accounts for 45% of all gas consumption. The study, released last week, was prepared by the GRI and Energy and Environmental Analysis Inc.

The Institute said gas will account for 35% of the total industrial energy demand through 2015. Gas consumption, driven by usage associated with stand-alone boilers, cogeneration and process heat, is expected to increase from 10.2 quadrillion Btus (quads) to 13.3 quads in 2015. Petroleum will retain a 32% market share, the GRI said. Electricity consumption will increase from 3.5 quads to 5.2 quads, but will still account for only 15% of total industrial energy consumption.

Gas use in stand-alone boilers and cogeneration is expected to have annual increases of 1.4% and 1.3%, respectively, over the 15-year time period. An increase is also predicted for the process heat sector, from 52% in 1996 to 56% in 2015.

"The stability of the gas load and the projected strong growth in consumption serve as a solid foundation that is highly beneficial to gas consumers in other sectors," said Marie Lihn, the GRI project manager.

The driving force behind all these increases is industrial production, which is expected to jump 2.9% annually, more than double the expected growth in industrial sector energy consumption of 1.3%. The chemical industry will continue to be the largest energy user, the Institute predicted, as it will increase its consumption 3.2 quads from current levels to reach 10.8 quads in 2015.

"Industrial production is the key driver of energy demand," said Lihn. "The gap between industrial production and energy consumption is a healthy indicator of the continuing trend toward greater efficiency and conservation by American industry and changing market dynamics, including faster growth in less energy-intensive industry."

Questions should be addressed to Kelly Murray, GRI Baseline Center, Arlington, VA., at 703-526-7832. The study can be ordered from the GRI Document Fulfillment Center by fax at 630-406-5995. The study is $20 for GRI members and $25 for nonmembers.

John Norris

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