Natural Gas Burns the Wind
The other key problem facing wind energy: low natural gas prices. Wind energy competes primarily with natural gas-fired generation. And when gas prices are low, wind energy is at a big disadvantage in the marketplace,and by the way, natural gas prices are (really) low. There is even a story on how it is impacting nuclear. Makes you wonder what will happen when Saudi starts to focus on develping natural gas, instead of just just flaring it off or virtually giving it away for free. But what is going to be a big economic story is the growing displacement of coal being caused by natural gas. What is that definition of a "disruptive technology"?
See recently the WSJ: Turning Away from Coal, or BusinessWeek: Natural Gas Erodes Coal’s Share at Power Plants: Energy Markets.
But what it means for a lot of towns in the middle of the coal patch.. NYT: A Europe Kicks Coal, Hungarian Town Feels Pain.
Big huge economic story for the (greater) Pittsburgh region which is the still coal country. Which leads to an interesting topic. In a comprehensive economic impact analysis of Marcellus Shale (and other new shale developments for that matter) do you need to net out the negative economic impacts on the coal industry, and I suppose wind as well? If that question matters anywhere it is probably here and WV.