At the moment, the United States is experiencing a glut of natural gas with record underground gas storage inventories and prices around $4/MMBtu, which serves to underscore the new thinking about...
Fossil Fuels and Energy Policy: Understanding the New Natural Gas Economy
one practical solution to growing regional shortages of power that have led to unacceptable periodic fly-ups in spot-market prices to levels of $250 to $1,000 per megawatt-hour and even higher. It is the construction by 2020 of a total of as much as 300 GW of gas-fired simple combustion turbine systems to meet peak and some intermediate load requirements and of highly efficient (up to 60 percent) combined-cycle, combustion/steam turbine systems for intermediate and baseload requirements.
This new capacity may require up to 7 Tcf of additional annual gas supply, compared to current annual consumption of about 22 Tcf. Such an increase entirely is feasible, although not at the $2 to $3 per million Btu wellhead price levels in constant dollars projected over the next 15 to 20 years until quite recently. The challenge is to ensure that this supply will materialize at prices that still make gas the logical fuel for new generating capacity and replacement of any existing coal-fired capacity, which cannot meet tightening environmental standards at acceptable costs.
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