Building a Resilient Energy Future

In a report for the American Gas Foundation, Guidehouse examines the resilience of the US natural gas system and how it contributes to the overall resilience of the US energy system

A resilient energy system is essential to the operation of nearly every critical function and sector of the US economy and the communities that depend upon its services. Disruptions to the US energy system create widespread economic and social impacts, including losses in productivity, health and safety issues, and—in the most extreme cases—loss of life. As utilities, system operators, regulators, and policymakers deliberate the design and structure of future energy infrastructure, it’s important they consider the resilience of the entire energy system. 

In a report for the American Gas Foundation, Building a Resilient Energy Future: How the Gas System Contributes to US Energy System Resilience, Guidehouse says this examination should include an analysis of the increasing interdependence of the gas and electric systems and their dual role in creating a more resilient future. 

The report highlights the gas system’s ability to support resilience through inherent, physical, and operational capabilities that enable it to meet the volatile demand profiles resulting from resilience events. The gas system supports quick response to events and provides long-duration storage resources to meet peak and seasonal demand.

“The increasing frequency and intensity of climatic events combined with the transformation of the energy system to one increasingly powered by intermittent renewable sources establish the need for a new consideration of the resilience of the energy system,” the report says. “Utilities, system operators, regulators, and policymakers need to recognize that resilience will be achieved through a diverse set of integrated assets—for the foreseeable future, policies need to focus on optimizing the characteristics of both the gas and electric systems.”

The study also answers the following questions:

  • What are the characteristics of the US gas system that contribute to its resilience? 
  • How do those resilience characteristics allow the US gas system to contribute to the overall resilience of the US energy system? 
  • How can the US gas system be leveraged more effectively to strengthen the US energy system? 
  • What are the policy and regulatory changes needed to ensure that gas infrastructure can be maintained and developed to continue to support energy system resilience?

Visit the American Gas Foundation's website to download the full report, an executive summary, and a fact sheet.

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