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Report also touts potential economic growth from emerging energy efficiency technologies
WASHINGTON, D.C. (November 12, 2012) – The American Chemistry Council (ACC) lauded new projections today from the International Energy Agency (IEA) on energy trends through 2035 that herald a promising future for enhancing domestic energy security and boosting the competitiveness of America’s manufacturing sector.
“Today’s IEA World Energy Outlook 2012 reiterates the importance of capitalizing on vast new supplies of natural gas from shale formations in the United States to meet our future energy demands and to fuel a resurgence in American manufacturing,” said Cal Dooley, president and CEO of the American Chemistry Council.
IEA projects that the United States will benefit from a long-term, abundant supply of natural gas, which bodes well for America’s chemical manufacturers who use natural gas for heat and power, as well as a feedstock for materials used in countless consumer products. The report projects that the United States will become ‘all but self-sufficient in net terms’ of its energy requirements, thanks to domestic energy production of oil and natural gas, as well as energy efficiency technologies.
“The IEA projections, which come after a recent analysis by IHS CERA that also showed increasing domestic natural gas production, underscore the importance of sound regulatory policies at the state level that will determine whether natural gas from shale remains a ‘game changer’ for America’s energy security and for our manufacturing sector or a sorely missed opportunity to generate economic growth and jobs,” Dooley said.
Chemical manufacturers have already announced 50 new chemical projects to take advantage of new supplies of natural gas and expand their production. A recent ACC study found that the expected increase in natural gas production is not just revitalizing the chemical industry but could create 1.2 million new jobs across a broad sector of America’s manufacturing base.
The IEA report also stresses the importance of energy efficiency in spurring economic growth and reducing energy consumption, pointing to ongoing opportunities for savings in the buildings and industry sectors. Chemistry plays a key role in enabling energy efficiency innovations in building technologies, and a recent ACC study found that chemistry products and technologies annually save enough energy to power half of all U.S. homes, saving up to $85 billion a year.
The report also details the importance of industrial energy efficiency, which can be promoted through new deployment of combined heat and power (CHP). CHP generates energy close to where it is needed, and can produce energy twice as efficiently as older coal-burning electric utilities. President Obama recently set a goal of doubling CHP capacity by 2020, which would enhance American manufacturers' ability to compete in the global economy and stretch our nation’s natural gas supplies.