DOE Takes Steps to Modernize Natural Gas Infrastructure
Building on President Obama’s Climate Action Plan, the US Department of Energy (DOE) announced steps to help modernize the nation’s natural gas transmission and distribution systems. The DOE’s Initiative to Help Modernize Natural Gas Transmission and Distribution Infrastructure includes the following:
- Efficiency standards for natural gas compressors: DOE will begin establishing energy efficiency standards for new natural gas compressor units, which are currently estimated to consume more than 7 percent of natural gas in the United States.
- Advanced natural gas system manufacturing: In collaboration with industry, DOE will evaluate and establish a high-impact manufacturing research and development initiative to improve natural gas system efficiency and leak reduction.
- Incentives for modernizing natural gas infrastructure: DOE has recommended that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) look at ways to provide greater certainty for cost recovery for new investment in modernization of natural gas transmission infrastructure.
- Encouraging state leadership for efficient distribution: DOE will join the National Association of State Regulatory Utility Commissioners in a technical partnership to accelerate investments for infrastructure modernization and repairs to natural gas distribution networks, with DOE providing grant funding and technical assistance to help inform decision-making by state utility commissioners.
The Administration is also carrying out a Quadrennial Energy Review (QER) to develop a comprehensive blueprint for meeting 21st century energy challenges. The first installment of the QER is focused on the issues of transmission, storage and distribution infrastructure across the energy sector, including natural gas.
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