Episode 125: How have some new energy technologies influenced the global price of energy?

Karen Clay, Associate Professor of Economics and Public Policy in the H. John Heinz III College at Carnegie Mellon, explains how energy technologies can change the price of natural gas around the world.

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Growing global liquids inventories reflect lower crude oil prices from the Energy Information Administration

The Renewable Energy Data Book from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory


Transcript

HOST: How have some new energy technologies influenced the global price of energy? On this week’s Energy Bite, Clay Clay, a professor at Carnegie Mellon University, has some answers.

CLAY: Although prices for natural gas in the United States are low, the same is not true in parts of Europe, Asia, and South America where the price is two and a half to three times more expensive. This is because natural gas must be converted to liquefied natural gas, known as LNG to be transported beyond North America. The number of US plants able to produce LNG is low but more plants are being built and this will eventually lower the price.

HOST: What about transporting electricity?

CLAY: Transportation of energy in the form of electricity is easier. New underwater high-voltage direct current electricity cables linking various European countries has led to market integration and lower prices. For example, Norway exports electricity to the Netherlands. This has reduced air pollution and global climate change emissions in the Netherlands as the power from Norway is typically from hydropower and it is displacing coal. However, it has raised the electricity price in Norway and lowered the price in the Netherlands. The same might occur in the United States with natural gas. If natural gas exports increase, so might the price of natural gas in the U.S.

HOST: Are there price differences like that in North America?

CLAY: In North America, the price for natural gas is essentially the same in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Prices for natural gas in Mexico has have decreased as the country now gets its natural gas from the United States as opposed to Canada.

HOST: Are you worried about natural gas prices increasing if overseas exports increase? Take our poll, see the results, and ask your energy questions at Energy Bite dot org.

ANNOUNCER: Energy Bite is a co-production between 90.5 WESA and Carnegie Mellon’s’ Scott Institute for Energy Innovation.

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