A more realistic approach to the energy transition

Much of the rhetoric following the Paris Agreement and, more recently, the COP26 climate summit has centered on how the world must transition entirely from fossil fuels to renewable alternatives. But in the face of global energy shortages, it has become clear how much the world continues to depend on oil and gas to meet its energy needs. As businesses and governments increase their investment in renewable energy operations, it’s not a choice between one or the other, but rather a balance between the two – boosting green developments while reducing emissions in fossil fuel projects to ensure energy security while building a resilient renewable energy industry. . The Russian invasion of Ukraine quickly changed political and public opinion regarding energy after a period of optimism around renewable energy development following last year’s COP26 summit. As consumers continue to grapple with rising gasoline prices and the cost of oil skyrocketing, people are changing their attitudes as they care more about their energy security than climate policy. Governments around the world that last year announced net zero carbon targets for 2050 are now looking to boost oil and gas production as they fear severe energy shortages during the winter months.

There was even delays in coal plant shutdowns in countries that were due to end coal mining well before 2030, such as the UK In addition, there has been renewed interest in nuclear projects which were abandoned long ago. And the United States and other countries are now asking OPEC+ to boost oil production in response to rising global energy demand and to ease price pressures. This abrupt movement away from the green thrust gives the impression of approaching the either/or energy.

However, John Doerr, chairman of venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins, said this month that when it comes to fossil fuels versus renewables, it’s not one or the other. ‘other. He declared“Now is the time to double down on renewable, free and abundant sources of energy that are not controlled by oil dictators,” adding “We are now funding both sides of this war.”

Doerr believes that despite the obvious need for fossil fuels to meet the world’s current energy demand, investment in renewables should not be compromised, explaining, “It’s a false choice. We have to do both. He is quick to challenge the idea that new green projects take too long to set up, pointing out that solar farms can be set up in about a year and a half, faster than the time it takes to establish a new natural gas liquefaction plant.

The 2022 Global Renewable Energy Status Report from REN21, published last month, pointed out that there has been a stagnation in the development of green energy projects. While the amount of electricity generated from renewables has increased significantly in 2021, only 4% of transport is powered by green energy sources and overall the share of wind and solar in the mix global energy has increased slightly over the past ten years.

Related: OPEC oil production plummets as cartel overshoots target again

The report shows that despite optimism around an energy transition, coal, oil and gas still dominate global energy consumption. REN21 Executive Director Rana Adib Explain, “The share of renewable energy has fallen over the past decade from 10.6% to 11.7%, but fossil fuels, all coal and gas, have fallen from 80.1% to 79, 6%. So it stagnates. Rana Adib then added: “And since the demand for energy is increasing, it actually means that we are consuming more fossil fuels than ever before.” This suggests that despite big promises, many countries are still sticking to what they know best and not ramping up renewable energy production enough alongside ongoing fossil fuel projects.

This is hampered by an either/or approach, with media and pundits around the world highlighting global dependence on fossil fuels rather than pushing for a dual approach to energy security. Important critical was noted earlier this year on the continued use of natural gas in several countries, as it was listed as a sustainable investment in the EU’s climate strategy. But little attention has been paid to the reason behind it.

The EU has included natural gas and nuclear power in the renewable energy transition plan to ensure that the region’s medium-term energy security is taken into account alongside ongoing green energy projects of development, aware that a the all-or-nothing approach is too narrow and just not realistic. While moving away from all fossil fuels is the long-term goal for many countries, a medium-term transition will be more successful through a shift to less carbon-intensive fossil fuels – such as natural gas – alongside the introduction of carbon capture technologies. in oil and gas operations.

By Felicity Bradstock for Oilpric.com

More reading on Oilprice.com:

Comments are closed.