Thursday, October 05, 2006

Natural Gas

Yesterday I was at natural gas seminar sponsored by WPS Energy Services at Monona Terrace in Madison.

Monona Terrace is a new Frank Lloyd Wright building. He designed it in the late 1930s, but it was never built. Amazingly, considering the location near the state capital and on the shore of Lake Monona, the land he designed the building for was never developed. The main interior space is fabulous – it’s as though you were right on the lake.

The seminar was interesting. Some highlights:

  • We have 3.254 trillion cubic feet of gas in storage, a near record.
  • Gas prices have been plummeting, currently about $4.4/MMBTU.
  • Gas represents about 18% of electricity generated, but is about 42% of generation capacity: not surprising when you think about it.
  • LNG is expected to be about 16% of gas consumed by 2030.
  • The annual world energy consumption is about 450 “quads” – quadrillion BTUs.
  • The U.S., with about a quarter of the GWP, uses about 115 quads annually.
  • The U.S uses about half the energy per unit of economic output as China, the number 2 energy consumer.

One of the speakers, William F. Ford was president and CEO of the Atlanta Federal Reserve Bank and served with both Paul Volker and Alan Greenspan. He’s a pretty entertaining guy. He sat at my table during lunch.

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