How Much Natural Gas Is Used To Generate Electricity?

In 2021, the yearly average amounts of coal, natural gas, and petroleum fuels used by US electric utilities and independent power providers to create a kilowatthour (kWh) of electricity were:1

  • 1.12 pound/kWh coal
  • Natural gas is a renewable energy source.
  • 7.40 cubic feet per kilowatt-hour
  • 0.08 gallon per kWh of petroleum liquids
  • 0.80 pound/kWh petroleum coke

Electric utilities and independent power producers in the United States generated the following yearly average number of kWh per amount of coal, natural gas, and petroleum fuels utilized for electricity generation in 2021:1

  • 0.90 kWh/pound coal
  • 0.14 kWh/cubic foot natural gas
  • 12.86 kWh/gallon for petroleum liquids
  • 1.25 kWh/pound petroleum coke

The figures above are based on preliminary data from the Electric Power Monthly for 2021, which was published in April 2022, as well as simple averages of national-level annual statistics for electric utilities and independent power providers. They are the annual average amounts for the majority of the electricity generated for sale in the United States, but they do not include power generated in the commercial and industrial sectors. Fuel use for useable thermal output in combined heat and power plants is not included in the fuel consumption data used for the above quantities.

Actual numbers for a particular generator or power plant may differ significantly from those listed above. The amount of fuel consumed to create electricity is determined by the generator’s efficiency (or heat rate) and the heat content of the fuel. The types of generators (primary movers), the type and heat content of fuels, power plant emission controls, and other factors all affect power plant efficiencies (heat rates).

The amount of fuel consumed to generate a kilowatthour (kWh) of electricity can be calculated using two formulas:

  • Heat rate (in British thermal units per kWh) divided by Fuel heat content = Amount of fuel used per kWh (in Btu per physical unit)
  • Fuel heat content (in Btu per physical unit) divided by Heat rate = Kilowatthour created per unit of fuel used (in Btu per kWh)

The following are some of the data sources available from the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) for those calculations:

  • The average quality of fossil fuel receipts for the electric power industry is shown in Table 7.3. ( xls )
  • Table 8.1: Selected Energy Sources’ Average Operating Heat Rate ( xls )
  • Average Tested Heat Rates by Prime Mover and Energy Source (Table 8.2) ( xls )

Appendices providing fuel heat contents, electricity heat rates, and conversion factors are included in the Monthly Energy Review.

On a national and state level, as well as at individual power plants, the EIA releases monthly and annual data on the quantity of electricity generated and associated fuel consumption by electricity producers. This information can also be used to compute fuel use per kWh of electricity generated, as well as kWh generation per unit of fuel consumption.

  • Data on total power generation in the United States (Table(s) 7.2) and electricity generation fuel consumption (Table(s) 7.3).
  • Historical power data files at the state level, including annual and monthly electricity generation and fuel usage.
  • Data on fuel consumption and electricity generation at individual power plants in the United States, broken down by fuel/energy source.

1 In combined heat and power plants, fuel is not used for usable thermal output.

Other FAQs about Oil/Petroleum

  • When was the last time a refinery in the United States was built?
  • Is there information from the EIA on the rail movement (transport) of crude oil, petroleum products, gasoline ethanol, and biodiesel?
  • What do I get for my money when I buy a gallon of gasoline or diesel fuel?
  • A kilowatthour of electricity is generated using how much coal, natural gas, or petroleum?
  • What do you think the price of home heating fuel will be this winter?
  • Does the EIA have information on the locations of oil refineries in the United States?
  • Does the EIA have data on natural gas and oil pipelines in the United States?
  • In the United States, how much oil is consumed?
  • How much oil is used in the production of plastic?
  • In each condition, what sorts and amounts of energy are produced?
  • In the United States, how much shale (tight) oil is produced?
  • Is there enough oil on the planet to suit our future needs?
  • What’s the difference between crude oil, petroleum, and petroleum products?
  • What are petroleum products and what is the purpose of petroleum?
  • One barrel of oil yields how many gallons of gasoline and diesel fuel?
  • Does the EIA provide state-by-state estimates or projections for energy output, consumption, and prices?
  • In the United States, how many alternative fuel and hybrid automobiles are there?
  • What is the energy source for power generation in the United States?
  • Is there data from the EIA on the type or quality of crude oil?
  • What are the world’s top oil producers and consumers?
  • What is the amount of petroleum that the United States imports and exports?
  • What percentage of the oil consumed in the United States comes from other countries?
  • Does the EIA have data on energy production at the county level?
  • Is the EIA aware of any unplanned disruptions or shutdowns of energy infrastructure in the United States?
  • What percentage of the crude oil produced in the United States is used in the country?

How much natural gas is utilized to generate electricity?

Natural gas is used in the electric power sector to generate electricity and usable thermal output. In 2021, the electric power sector consumed about 37% of total natural gas consumption in the United States, while natural gas provided about 32% of the primary energy consumed by the electric power sector. The majority of the electricity generated by the electric power sector is sold to and consumed by other consuming sectors in the United States, and this electricity consumption is factored into each sector’s overall energy consumption. (Natural gas is also used to create energy in the industrial and commercial sectors, and they consume practically all of it themselves.) In 2021, natural gas accounted for 38 percent of all utility-scale electrical generation in the United States.

Natural gas is used in the industrial sector as a process heating fuel, in combined heat and power systems, as a raw material (feedstock) for the production of chemicals, fertilizer, and hydrogen, and as a lease and plant fuel. In 2021, the industrial sector consumed around 33% of total natural gas consumption in the United States, and natural gas provided about 34% of the industrial sector’s total energy consumption. 2

Natural gas is used in the domestic sector to heat buildings and water, cook, and dry clothes. Natural gas is used to heat space and water in over half of all residences in the United States. In 2021, the residential sector consumed roughly 15% of total natural gas consumption in the United States, while natural gas accounted for about 23% of overall energy consumption in the residential sector.

Natural gas is used in the business sector to heat buildings and water, run refrigeration and cooling equipment, cook, dry clothing, and provide outdoor lighting. Natural gas is also used as a fuel in combined heat and power systems by some business customers. In 2021, the commercial sector consumed roughly 11% of total natural gas consumption in the United States, while natural gas accounted for about 19% of overall energy consumption in the commercial sector.

Natural gas is used in the transportation sector to power compressors that carry natural gas through pipelines, as well as as a vehicle fuel in the form of compressed natural gas and liquefied natural gas. Government and private car fleets account for nearly all natural gas-powered vehicles. The transportation sector consumed roughly 3% of total natural gas consumption in the United States in 2021. Natural gas accounted for around 4% of total energy consumption in the US transportation sector in 2021, with natural gas pipeline and distribution activities accounting for 95% of that.

What is the daily natural gas consumption of a power plant?

According to the federal Energy Information Administration, increased gas-fired power generation boosted U.S. natural gas consumption to new highs last year.

How much gas is required to generate 1 megawatt?

Second, a natural gas-fired combined-cycle power plant with great efficiency may use around 7000 Btus of gas to generate one kilowatt-hour of electricity. That’s around 7 cubic feet of natural gas. As a result, one megawatt-hour would require around 7000 cubic feet of gas.

A kWh equals how many m3 of gas?

Watts are the units of measurement for electric energy. 1 kW (kilowatt) equals 1000 watts. We use 1 kWh of electricity if we run a 1,000W electric device for an hour. The cost of 1 kWh of electricity varies from 0.10 in Bulgaria to 0.30 in the United States (Germany).

We need to burn 0.0947 m3 or 94.7 liters of natural gas to generate 1 kWh of electricity (100 percent efficient combustion).

We may use this information to calculate how many kWh a given volume of natural gas (measured in m3) will produce:

What is the world’s most widely used energy source?

Oil has traditionally been the world’s most consumed energy source, accounting for around 39% of global energy consumption. Despite a two-decade fall, oil demand has remained high, owing primarily to demand from growing economies, particularly non-OECD countries.

Oil consumption increased by 0.8 percent in 2014, the fastest rate of growth among all fossil fuels. For the past two decades, the United States has been the largest oil consumer, followed by China, which has been consuming increasingly more oil, particularly gasoline. Middle distillate demand has been sluggish in recent years as a result of lower diesel consumption due to poor economic development, although light distillate demand has been increasing.

What are the six applications of natural gas?

What is the purpose of natural gas? Natural gas applications

  • Electricity. With natural gas, we can generate energy using steam turbines and gas turbines.
  • Transportation and manufacturing (industrial use)
  • Natural gas applications.
  • There is air conditioning.

What makes natural gas such a poor energy source?

Every extraction of fossil fuels is harmful to the environment and increases our economic footprint. So, if you’re wondering, “The answer is yes, natural gas is worse for the environment than solar power. However, if we inquire, “Is natural gas the most environmentally benign fossil fuel? The answer is yes.

Fracking, which uses a lot of water from local water reservoirs and pollutes streams, is the most serious concern from natural gas extraction. Furthermore, this process emits methane into the atmosphere. While carbon dioxide emissions are low, natural gas combustion also emits methane, a potent greenhouse gas that seeps into the atmosphere in large quantities.

Carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides (NOx), and sulfur dioxide are all released when natural gas is burned (SO2). It’s also hazardous if it’s not transported or extracted properly. If natural gas is not transported properly, it can result in an explosion. Natural gas has a storage problem: its volume necessitates larger storage facilities, which are more expensive to operate.

The fact that it is not renewable is a significant disadvantage. According to Worldometers, natural gas reserves are only available for 52 years. If you never want to run out of energy, you must consider alternative energy sources to natural gas.

However, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) claims that natural gas has a larger and more geographically distributed resource base than oil, making it a more reliable source of energy.

How much diesel is required to generate 1 kWh?

Diesel generators are extremely important appliances that use diesel fuel to generate power. To create power, these machines combine an electric generator with a diesel engine. Diesel generators use combustion to transform some of the chemical energy in diesel fuel to mechanical energy. This mechanical energy is then used to turn a crank, which generates electricity. Moving the wire through a magnetic field induces electric charges in it. The magnetic field is commonly produced by two polarized magnets in an electric generator application. After that, a wire is coiled multiple times around the diesel generator’s crankshaft and positioned between the magnets and in the magnetic field. The wires are moved throughout the magnetic field when the diesel engine rotates the crankshaft, which might create electric charges in the circuit. A diesel generator will use 0.4 L of diesel every kWh produced as a rough rule of thumb. In essence, the diesel engine is an internal combustion engine. The diesel engine, unlike a gasoline engine, relies on the heat of compression to ignite and burn the fuel pumped into the injection chamber. Diesel engines, in general, have the best thermal efficiency of any internal combustion engine, allowing them to achieve a percentage of Carnot efficiency. Many crude oil derivatives can be used in diesel engines. Natural gas, alcohols, gasoline, wood gas, and diesel are all possible fuels for a diesel engine.