Peak Gas

You’ve heard of Peak Oil, the theory that the known, and discoverable, fields of oil have reached their peak — or soon will. Even with better technology to extract more from less, there is a horizon of the end-of-oil and it is approaching fast.

Add to that Peak Gas, which in the US at least is upon us as I type.

Stymied in their plans to build coal-burning power plants, American utilities are turning to natural gas to meet expected growth in demand, risking a new upward spiral in the price of that fuel.

Utility executives say they have little choice. With opposition to coal plants rising across the country — including a statement by three investment banks Monday saying they are wary of financing new ones — the executives see plants fired by natural gas as the only kind that can be constructed quickly and can supply reliable power day and night.

But North American supplies of natural gas will be flat or declining in coming years, according to the Energy Information Administration.

Gas

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