Natural gas is cheaper than coal, natural gas plants are cheaper than nuclear power, and natural gas has the best track record in the United States, according to a new study.
Natural gas and renewables are on the decline as coal production declines and the industry is grappling with the environmental fallout of its decades-long dependence on coal.
But the latest study by the International Energy Agency shows that the cost of natural gas, a natural gas source, is down by as much as half in just three years, as electricity prices have plummeted.
The IEA said in a release that the findings are the “largest global estimate of natural-gas prices for the period 2001 to 2018.”
The agency also said the findings support the conclusion that natural gas prices have dropped by more than 80 percent over the last decade.
It said natural gas in the U.S. has fallen by nearly 10 percent since 2008.
The price of natural, or “clean,” gas is down more than 60 percent since 2009.
And natural gas produced in the nation’s coal-dependent West has fallen more than 70 percent since 2010.
The study found that natural-gase prices were down by more of a margin than natural-coal prices, at about $1.25 per million British thermal units (MWh) versus about $0.85 per MWh.
That’s due to natural gas being cheaper than oil, natural-fuel coal, and nuclear power.
The report said natural- gas prices are lower than those in other countries because of a rise in renewable energy production in China and elsewhere.
Natural gas, particularly natural gas from the North American shale oil and gas industry, has been gaining popularity.
But in 2017, the industry reported a sharp decline in output as the U-shaped supply curve developed.
The report said the drop in production led to higher prices for consumers.