A buffer against higher natural gas prices that has traditionally been available to U.S. electric utilities, gas-to-coal switching, has become less tangible as more coal-fired power plants are retired and supply chain challenges linger, according to analysts.

“I do not think utilities have any options, other than to burn dry gas in their” combined cycle gas turbine (CCGT) power plants and generate power needed in the United States, Chiron Financial LLC’s Tom McNulty, manager of investment, told NGI.

CCGT plants can run on natural gas or coal.

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“Rising gas prices mean higher electricity prices across the board, for now that is a...