By Editors of Power Engineering
Natural gas-fired generators accounted for 42 percent of all electrical generating capacity in the United States last year, according to the Energy Information Administration.
Though in terms of actual electricity produced, natural gas provided 34 percent of the total, surpassing coal.
Combined-cycle units accounted for 53 percent of the 449 GW total natural gas capacity, as the method made up a large share of the capacity added between 2000 and 2005. Combined-cycle units are also a top choice for baseload generation.
Combustion turbines made up 28 percent of gas capacity, and steam turbines made up 17 percent.
Gas plants tend to be relatively young at an average age of 22 years, compared to 64 years for hydro, 39 for coal and 36 for nuclear.
Gas is widely distributed across the United States, with at least one every state except Vermont. However, 38 percent of all gas capacity is located in Texas, California, Florida and New York. Texas has the most natural gas capacity of any state, with 69 GW or 15 percent of the national total.