by Joshua Bondy
Renewables may be hot, but natural gas is becoming the biggest provider of America’s electricity generation needs. The U.S. Energy Information Agency (EIA) expects that from 2012 to 2040 natural gas will grow from 30% to 35% of total U.S. generation. In the same time frame renewables are only expected to grow to 16% of total U.S. electricity generation. If we really want to dethrone coal and make America greener, natural gas is a very effective tool.
What about solar?
Electricity demand peaks from noon to 7 PM. Peak demand happens when the sun is shining, helping companies like First Solar compete with expensive natural gas peakers.
Its strong utility sales give the company a healthy profit margin of 12.2%. First Solar’s expanding sales operations and proven experience have helped it drum up a good sized 7.7 GW DC project pipeline, but the majority of the pipeline is still early stage.
First Solar’s biggest challenge will come once North American utilities have already replaced the majority of their natural gas peakers with solar. Non-peaker natural gas plants have levelized costs of energy (LCOE) as low as $67.1 per MWh, far below solar’s LCOE.
Read more: http://www.dailyfinance.com/2014/02/18/natural-gas-is-americas-real-green-energy/