Is The Electrification of Everything setting a cinematic stage for a modern-day Hunger Games? This one in which battles will be waged between consumers, industries, and technology hubs over their share of electrical power? If this premise sounds Dystopian you might not be wrong. The surge in power consumption by large data processing centers to support artificial intelligence and machine learning is quickly elevating electricity to the top of the food supply chain. Reese Energy Consulting today is following the latest news on the lightning pace of data center buildouts, the weigh-heavy on U.S. power grids, and how natural gas is getting outfitted for a new Caped Crusader bat suit.

Out of 10,978 data centers worldwide, the U.S. holds the lion share at ~5,388, consuming more than 90 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity every year with an expected demand of 32+ gigawatts by 2030. And they keep coming, as do more power-hungry tech and chip manufacturing facilities. All of which have utilities doubling their peak demand forecasts before the decade’s end. An estimated 43% of U.S. power plants rely on natural gas as their primary fuel.

The burgeoning Era of the Electrification of Everything also has oil and gas producers in a scurry, either preparing for the future power they’ll need for operations or now zeroing in on opportunities the new Hunger Games present. Midland, Texas-based Diamondback Energy is the first producer to put pen to paper as it considers adding small nuclear reactors as power-assist for its drilling operations. EQT CEO Toby Rice, which last month purchased Equitrans Midstream and its Mountain Valley Pipeline set to go live in June, is not only targeting markets to Unleash U.S. LNG but out to capture booming power demand from AI data centers in the Southeast. Let the games begin.