Elmer R. Reiter and other researchers at Colorado State University have examined the impact of industrial consumers switching from natural gas to other energy sources. This will wipe out one of the emergency energy supplies that cities have routinely used in severe weather—the interruptible industrial consumer. If there are no longer any major interruptible customers, storage is the only possible buffer against excessive demand fluctuations.
Reiter, in a talk at the spring AGU meeting, pointed out that ‘the last winter should have taught us a valuable lesson. It can serve as an example for the weather-caused variability in gas demand with which our delivery system will have to cope’.