Some of the industrial sectors with the hardest carbon footprints to abate are also predicted to be key future consumers of natural gas, but energy transition experts see signs of change coming quicker than previously predicted.

From 2020 to 2050, industrial use will make up more than 75% of natural gas demand growth, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). Most of that sustained increase is attributed to the fact prices for gas are expected to remain lower than historical levels over the next 30 years.

Those lasting dynamics have protected some heavy industries from investing in new emissions technologies, according to Varun Sivaram, senior director for clean energy and innovation in the office of the U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate.