Here at Drift, we believe it’s possible to save money and invest in long-term, strategic thinking about renewable energy use at the same time. This winter’s cold snap across most of the United States provides an interesting case in point.
Natural gas, a non-renewable energy source, currently provides approximately a third of the energy used in the United States. Given its large slice of the energy consumption pie, the federal government keeps a close eye on the nation’s natural gas stores. Earlier this month, they noticed something unusual. “During the recent cold weather event that affected much of the eastern United States, more natural gas was withdrawn from storage fields around the country than at any other point in history.”
Natural gas is stored underground, mostly in depleted gas or oil fields. When it’s cold out, consumers use more natural gas. Natural gas stores in 2017 have generally been lower than usual, and the weather this winter has generally been colder than usual. With the record-breaking withdrawals, natural gas stores will be unusually low this spring.
Despite these developments, natural gas is predicted to remain the primary source of electricity in the United States in the short term. The United States continues to invest in natural gas power plants, and natural gas prices are predicted to remain low.
What does it all this mean? Given the volatility of energy production and consumption, we think investing in local and renewable energy sources makes practical and economic sense, regardless of the weather. Renewable sources don’t run out, and, given the usefulness of batteries (for example), the continued transition from old-school energy sources to renewables can serve consumer and producers in the short and long term.
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