No longer just idle talk among financial speculators, the market for natural gas is set to take off, like a rocket, in both the private and public sector, as supplies reach historic levels, and prices are lower than they have been in almost 20 years.
Even engineers at the Argonne National Laboratory, the government-funded facility that is at the center of energy research, have publicly stated that they have shifted focus toward natural gas being the dominant alternative fuel for the next several decades. When compared to other vehicle propellants like ethanol and electricity, natural gas comes out on top due to its incredibly low cost and massive abundance.
An extremely informative film clip, linked below, gives all the details about why natural gas has suddenly come into prominence in the alternative fuel community. A Wall Street Journal discussion on the specifics is fascinating, as the hosts and their expert guest point toward a future where natural gas will be the best thing that has ever happened to the U.S. energy landscape.
A spokesperson for Argonne said that lowering vehicle emissions is indeed a worth goal, but that the lab is currently giving priority to national security concerns, and natural gas is clearly the way to go. Most experts in the field agree that the single biggest hurdle to widespread acceptance of CNG vehicles is infrastructure, though that could change in a heartbeat if financial backing can be arranged. Several high-profile investors have already come forward and begun to make plans for a huge national network of natural gas fuel stations.
For more on the topic of natural gas and the energy market in general, see the highly educational website of the Argonne National Laboratory. More than just a resource about alternative fuel research, the ANL site features extensive sections about the environment, energy news, safety, plus the latest in science and technology.