Monday, June 23, 2014

Who will determine energy haves and have nots?

For emerging economies and for the livelihoods and health of people around the world, affordable, available and reliable energy is essential. To meet the rapidly expanding needs of the world’s growing population, people will need all the energy that can be supplied - not as an " all of the above" slogan, but in reality. If choices are ultimately made to limit the supply of some energy sources like fossil fuels or nuclear, who will determine the energy haves and have nots? Most of us would agree that its best not to have to pick winners and losers - who gets to turn on the lights, heat their homes, refrigerate their food, and power their schools, hospitals, businesses, industry and agriculture. 

Ask yourself, if cost competitive CCS, carbon utilization and/or clean coal technology to substantially reduce CO2 emissions were available within the next 5-10 years, doesn't coal become part of the solution? And, if total solar or wind costs drop to parity or near parity with gas, coal and nuclear, and storage, scale and distribution challenges are met,  won't the market move us efficiently to the best answer? Today, we see this happening with the growth of natural gas in the power sector and, increasingly, in the transportation sector.  Solar costs are dropping. And nuclear energy is once again back in the conversation as the need for scale and market penetration becomes increasingly apparent. Pragmatism coupled with innovation changes the game across all energy sectors - and will enable us to meet both energy needs and the challenge of climate change. 

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