“Colorado regulator Megan Gilman worries that the electrification of home heating could leave fewer natural gas customers paying increasingly high bills.
But Consolidated Edison executive Marc Huestis told the Energy Bar Association’s annual meeting Wednesday that could be avoided by continued use of natural gas infrastructure for delivering low-carbon fuel.
That’s the hope of the Low-Carbon Resources Initiative (LCRI), a joint project of the Electric Power Research Institute and the Gas Technology Institute that is exploring the role low-carbon chemical energy carriers such as clean hydrogen, bioenergy and renewable natural gas can play in an economy-wide decarbonization.
“The [local distribution companies] and the gas system could provide a very elegant solution to this problem,” said Huestis, Con Ed’s senior vice president of gas operations, during a panel discussion on the future of natural gas utilities in a carbon-constrained world. “If we can innovate and develop at scale affordable, low-carbon resources that leverage the existing natural gas infrastructure — there’s 2.5 million miles of pipelines across this country — think of the potential: Instead of converting building by building, customer by customer, millions of separate locations, we can decarbonize the fuel at its source and use it in concert with electrification. We’ll get there faster, and we’ll get there cheaper.””
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Heidorn, Rich. RTO Insider 16 May 2021.