Re: Burning gas to produce electricity is ‘stupid,’ the CEO of power giant Enel says
I'm really surprised at the comments here. Natural gas is a finite resource. Finite resources should be used for the applications for which they are best suited and for applications where substitution is more difficult. Natgas is ideally suited for heating and is an easy feedstock for plastics, fertilizers, etc. While nuclear is great for producing heat, we aren't going to be heating our homes anytime soon with it. Nuclear->electricity->heat works but there is a lot of waste involved because electricity for heating is incredibly inefficient. The obvious answer (at least to this knuckledragger) is to save the natgas for heat and run the grid on nuclear. Throw in a little solar, wind and hydro if you must to make the greens happy but the future of electricity is obviously nuclear.
Sure, natgas seems abundant now, but read the Gorozen research. Maybe there was 100 years of gas resources in North America when the shale gas basins were assessed a decade ago. But a decade of gas has been produced since then and production has increased dramatically due to the phase out of coal and will increase even more as we electrify the grid and export more gas to Europe and Asia. It's totally conceivable that within 50 years (or less, <gulp>) gas will not be able to be produced in sufficient quantity for what we really need it for, heat, let alone electricity. To me, that's poor stewardship bwthdik.