GTI Report Delivers Quantitative Data to Support Natural Gas Standby and Emergency Generators

August 21, 2018
Des Plaines, IL

The inherent resilience of the natural gas infrastructure allows it to provide cost-effective and reliable power generation. Underground natural gas pipelines are typically not vulnerable to weather conditions such as high winds and ice storms, and have proven stable and dependable throughout most major weather events.

Market interest in using natural gas for power generation has grown by 115% since 2000, driven by efficient, flexible, and low-emission natural gas combined-cycle power and combined heat and power systems. Increasingly, end users are using onsite natural gas standby and emergency generators to supplement grid electricity in place of diesel generator sets, based on a number of important benefits. Historically, regulatory requirements have impeded use of natural gas generators in certain commercial and industrial facilities due to traditional practices that favored diesel-fueled engines with onsite fuel storage.

GTI, along with Utilization Technology Development (UTD)Operations Technology Development (OTD), the American Gas Association (AGA), and other market players, is working to ensure natural gas service reliability is properly incorporated into emergency power and standby power supply codes and standards.

Through technical studies and interactions with industry associations, researchers are presenting scientific data to overcome perceptions that have been barriers to onsite natural gas power generation for standby and emergency service.

One prime example is the recent GTI report on Assessment of Natural Gas and Electric Distribution Service Reliability. It analyzes factual data to summarize availability of natural gas and electric distribution services to homes and businesses, and the frequency or likelihood of annual outages. These quantified metrics illustrate that natural gas distribution systems operate at exceptional levels of service availability.

To provide customers looking at onsite standby generators with a tool to help with decision making, a total cost of ownership calculator was developed to compare the business case for natural gas and diesel. GTI worked with Generac, a major generator set manufacturer, to create this tool which is available at

Natural gas engines and generator sets sales are growing, aided in recent years by abundant gas supplies, economical natural gas prices, and improved first-cost of natural gas equipment. Natural gas is poised to play a key role in an integrated distributed generation solution that helps ensure safe, reliable, and resilient power for homes and businesses, particularly during extreme weather events and other major grid disruptions.

About GTI Energy

GTI Energy is a leading research and training organization. Our trusted team works to scale impactful solutions that shape energy transitions by leveraging gases, liquids, infrastructure, and efficiency. We embrace systems thinking, open learning, and collaboration to develop, scale, and deploy the technologies needed for low-carbon, low-cost energy systems.

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