Less regulated natural gas companies continue to lead the upward charge, surpassing the S&P 500 for the first time this year. The Less Regulated Electric Index continues to be laggard, although April was a good month for a number of its components, including NRG and Calpine.
Wind energy is here to stay, however, new gas-fired power plants will be needed to protect the grid against the vagaries of wind. The cost and risk of new coal capacity also is making this alternative less realistic with its logical replacement also being natural gas. While prices are likely to continue to be highly volatile, natural gas is going to play an increasingly important role in North American electricity production.