How bad is this?greenspun.com : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread
Let me get this straight. Do you people mean the economic crisis that is going on in America because of a shortage of natural gas for the power stations is going to now shut down every power station that runs on natural gas?
-- Brent Nichols (firstname.lastname@example.org), December 11, 2000
Is that your interpretation of the latest news, Brent?
-- Usually (email@example.com), December 11, 2000.
Natural gas, once thought of mainly as a source for winter heating, has become a year-round fuel used to generate the electricity that powers air conditioners and computers. But that rise in use has not been accompanied by an equal growth in capacity, so supplies are tight.
-- Martin Thompson (firstname.lastname@example.org), December 11, 2000.
Will every plant shut down? NO, many will be shut down due to the lack of fuel at cheaper prices, although I've read that most of the Nat.Gas plant can burn fuel oil [read: diesel / heating oil variant]. 'They' the big users that is have been told to stockup on a backup fuel way back in Sep. / Oct. -- it looks like it's gonna get used up.
Considering that many of the newer power plants put online use Nat.Gas. It certainly won't help things. Although the newer plants are mainly for 'peaking' [used during a peak load - i.e. the middle of a hot summer]. These new power plants have consumed fuel during times when the price was supposed to fall and fuel was to be stored. So in turn less fuel has been stored due to the higher price and lower availability, thus we're not in such great shape.
Is this gonna hurt, I would not be suprised.
Brent, wish us a warm winter and enjoy the summer down on the underside of our planet.
-- (email@example.com), December 11, 2000.
There's a problem with the cost of the gas as well as availability. Some of the electric companies that rely on NG for generation are running HEAVY deficits due to high prices but caps on the charges they can pass on to consumers ... and a few articles in the press have been discussing the long-term prospects of some utility companies, in shorter terms. Other plants -- a surprising number in Clifornia, are down becuase of equipment problems. These put heavier demand on the remaining plants, so the margin for production lulls narrows with cold weather .... the grid gets to looking fragiler and fragiler.
-- Squirrel Hunter (firstname.lastname@example.org), December 12, 2000.