With Cheap Plentiful Natural Gas, Should Data Centers be sited near Natural Gas supply for lower cost and carbon footprint?

WSJ has an article on Shale Gas.

Shale Gas Will Rock the World

Huge discoveries of natural gas promise to shake up the energy markets and geopolitics. And that's just for starters.


There's an energy revolution brewing right under our feet.

Over the past decade, a wave of drilling around the world has uncovered giant supplies of natural gas in shale rock. By some estimates, there's 1,000 trillion cubic feet recoverable in North America alone—enough to supply the nation's natural-gas needs for the next 45 years. Europe may have nearly 200 trillion cubic feet of its own.

The author is convinced this will change the energy industry which data centers are a part of.

I have been studying the energy markets for 30 years, and I am convinced that shale gas will revolutionize the industry—and change the world—in the coming decades. It will prevent the rise of any new cartels. It will alter geopolitics. And it will slow the transition to renewable energy.

The author touches on thoughts on renewable energy.

Then, I think we still need to invest in renewables—but smartly. States with renewable-energy potential, such as windy Texas or sunny California, should keep their mandates that a fixed percentage of electricity must be generated by alternative sources. That will give companies incentives and opportunities to bring renewables to market and lower costs over time through experience and innovation. Yes, renewables may seem relatively more expensive in those states as shale gas hits the market. And, yes, that may mean getting more help from government subsidies. But I don't think the cost would be prohibitive, and the long-term benefits are worth it.

Still, I don't believe we should set national mandates—which would get prohibitively expensive in states without abundant renewable resources. Instead of pouring money into subsidies to make such a plan work, the federal government should invest in R&D to make renewables competitive down the road without big subsidies.

Is natural gas supply a new criteria for data center sites running cogeneration plants or fuel cells?