Trevor Curwin of CNBC writes how abundant, domestic natural gas power has become the go-to fuel option for power generation facilities in the U.S.
“Natural gas is, and is likely to remain, the low-cost option for new generation capacity,” says Mark Fulton, managing director of Deutsche Bank’s DB Climate Change Advisors.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration, EIA, estimates that nearly 500 trillion cubic feet of natural gas are recoverable in shale formations, like the Marcellus one that spans New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia, significantly boosting national gas reserves to what some estimate is a 100-plus-year supply.
An abundant supply of fuel is great, but modern gas-fired power plants also have lower operating costs than their antiquated coal-fired counterparts, folding in technological improvements that span not just years, but generations…
According to the most recent EIA figures, natural gas use in electricity generation rose by 40 percent year-over-year in March, while coal’s market share fell by 20 percent.
While coal prices have also dropped by over 25 percent since April, experts say it won’t affect the preference for natural gas.
The EIA says that of the 52 gigawatts (gw) of new power generation capacity to be added to the U.S. grid by 2015, half will come from natural gas.”