Soaring natural gas prices and a growing interest in fuel diversity for power generation is driving a major resurgence in plans to develop coal-fired power plants, according to Scott Klara, deputy director for the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Coal and Power at DOE’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL). The latest DOE statistics show about 129 proposed coal-fired power plants (77 GW) will be developed over the next 20 years, a $104 billion investment.
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Cash prices saw a major resurgence Monday that owed more to screen strength Friday and Monday and new tropical disturbance activity than it did to weather-related fundamentals. Northeast citygates were pushing above $10 again amid overall gains ranging from about a quarter to nearly 80 cents.
Based on the recent resurgence in the U.S. economy and the technical gas futures rally sparked in part by a surge in oil prices, Salomon Smith Barney (SSB) analyst Robert Morris has raised his natural gas price forecast for 2002 and 2003, joining the ranks of other investment analysts. Earlier last week, Raymond James & Associates analyst Wayne Andrews cited stronger supply-driven fundamentals as a reason for his more bullish near-term gas outlook for higher prices during the second and third quarters.
After tapping on the brakes a few times Wednesday, theresurgence in November prices had its foot back on the acceleratorThursday. While not quite pedal-to-the-metal as in Tuesday’s gainsthat often hit 30 cents or more, double-digit increases againdominated the cash market.