Russian Aerial Innovation Could Save Natural Gas Market

Perhaps the most valuable resource on an international scale, natural gas, could soon lose some of its popularity as stocks continue to fall.

According to Market Realist, over only a 10-day period, from February 17 to February 27, 2017, natural gas futures contracts for April’s delivery fell 8.8% and natural gas stocks fell 6.8%.

“You have wind turbines getting more efficient. And a lot of solar is coming online,” said Prajit Ghosh, head of research for North America power and renewables at Wood Mackenzie. “The only way gas markets can increase is by displacing coal and nuclear.”

The Houston Chronicle reports that because of the instability of the U.S. natural gas market, the nation’s power plants could soon reach a lull in performance.

Energy researchers and analysts project U.S. natural gas demand will flatline with the potential to significantly fall off over the next few years. In addition to the unstable market, the changing federal policies pertaining to energy and changing market dynamics are contributing to its downfall as well.

Over that same five-year period of projected natural gas downfall, renewable energy sources are projected to nearly double.

“We’re in a post-coal world,” said Duane Highley, CEO of the Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corporation, “and we’re almost in a post-gas world.”

Despite the gas market trending downward, there are currently over 11 million road vehicles around the globe that run on natural gas as a primary fuel source. This gas is used in both compressed and liquefied states to provide power to cars, buses, taxis, trucks, and construction vehicles.

In addition to roadway vehicles that are in need of natural gas, a new natural gas-powered airplane will soon take to the Russian skies. If this plane is a major success, the natural gas market could even see a boost, potentially extending its financial longevity.

The Daily Mail reports that Russian researchers have developed a new cargo plane that runs on liquefied natural gas, which could potentially revolutionize the global shipping industry.

The ‘Groundskimmer‘ is a massive craft that can carry up to 500 tonnes of cargo at once. The plane is able to carry this much weight thanks to its ability to trap an air cushion underneath its large wing, also known as the ‘ground effect.’

The sky has always been a place for innovation ever since planes began trailing banner advertisements in the 1920s. Now, both international transport and the natural gas market could be revolutionized thanks to the new aerial development.

“The layout combines functions of a wing with those of a body to take optimal advantage of the aircraft interior and to enhance the aerodynamic efficiency,” said researchers at Russia’s Central AeroHydrodynamic Institute.

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