More efficient drilling and production techniques for natural gas has enabled higher production in the United States, which has contributed to a decline in natural gas prices. Naturally, lower prices have prompted increases in consumption. The production of crude oil and natural gas are often interconnected as the release and capture of natural gas can occur during the drilling process. In April 2020, the United States experienced a negative price of oil for the first time in history due to coronavirus (Covid-19) lockdowns across the world. The price of WTI crude oil reached -37.63 U.S. dollars per barrel on April 20. As people stay inside, demand for oil has plummeted, resulting in oil firms renting tankers to store surplus oil supply and forcing the price of U.S. oil to go negative.
One of the reasons that renewables has become more prevalent around the world over the last decade is due to the ever-decreasing prices. Most notable are the falling prices of wind energy and solar energy, which was predicted to contribute to renewables sourcing more of U.S. electricity generation than coal for the first time in 2019. The levelized cost of energy (LCOE) measures the cost of the building and the operations to maintain a facility over its lifetime. Using the LCOE, renewables are expected to overtake fossil fuel sources at ever-growing margins, even without subsidies.