Monday, June 23, 2008

Natural gas prices to rise 25% by next winter

Economic forecasts are for natural gas to rise 20-25% by next winter, in part due to competing demands for its use to generate electricity.

Since the 1990s, natural gas use in Arizona has grown seven-fold. [right: coal-fired plants are black triangles, gas-fired plants are orange. Hydroelectric are blue diamonds. Credit, DOE-EIA]

Power utilities are reluctant to build new coal-fired plants because of uncertainties over controls or costs of greenhouse gases, especially carbon dioxide.

Natural gas plants are cheaper and quicker to build than coal plants. This is a trend across the country.

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