Pipeline-quality natural gas consists of at least 95% methane and trace amounts of other gases. Natural gas can be combusted for space or water heating, used in turbines to generate electricity, or used as a transportation fuel. Nearly three quarters of Colorado households use natural gas to heat their homes.
According to EIA, in 2016:
- 23.23% of electricity generated in Colorado was fueled by natural gas.
- Colorado ranked 6th in marketed natural gas, producing over 1.7 million cubic feet.
- Colorado has the third largest gas reserves in the country.
- Colorado produces more natural gas than all the energy it consumes in a year across the entire energy sector.
Natural gas has become an increasingly popular fuel for electricity generation due to low costs and relative environmental benefits. In January 2015, natural gas generation exceeded coal-fired generation for the first time since the Energy Information Administration began tracking generation data in 1973.
In the transportation sector, natural gas can be compressed or liquefied and used to fuel vehicles. Compressed natural gas reduces smog-forming emissions compared to petroleum by 20-45% and greenhouse gases by 5-9%. Colorado has one of the best business climates for compressed natural gas, with tax credits and grants available for vehicles, as well as plans to build 25-30 new CNG stations by 2018 through the ALT Fuels Colorado program.
Oil and gas development is regulated on the state level by the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.
Natural Gas Utilities in Colorado
- 2010 Colorado Utilities Report
- Refuel Colorado website
- Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission
- Colorado Department of Natural Resources
- Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment
- Produced Water Beneficial Use Dialogue Report