Written by Michael Vrtis President of Realgy Energy Services in response to the CNBC article “Natural Gas a Raging Bull in Its Battle With Coal”
The thinking has always been that the US will lead in coal use as we have the largest supply in the world. In our history, coal has contributed no less than 50% of our total electrical energy needs.
Today with the technology of “fracking” the US has discovered an abundance of recoverable natural gas. So much so that US natural gas prices are nearly $2.00 less than the average world price for natural gas (this is a huge economic advantage when you consider our cost for natural gas is about $3.00).
So abundant natural gas drives the cost lower, and so with the lower cost and long term supply natural gas takes market shares from its closest rival; coal. The benefits of this economic decision have environmental benefits.
All sounds great right?
Diversity in our generation supply (a mix of natural gas, coal, nuclear, wind, solar, wave, etc) makes our electric supply gird stronger and more competitive. Consider if we had discovered this natural gas field and had not developed the technology to generate electricity from it more efficiently.
Nothing last forever; while 100 year supply sounds great. Its only one lifetime! This is where US Energy Policy has to step forward. The US should continue to invest in new technology that will not let us deplete the natural gas richness of this country and leave our children more dependent on electric energy without developing a replacement.
Check out the CNBC article: “Natural Gas a Raging Bull in Its Battle With Coal”