Monday, May 13, 2013

Transitions: A Matter of Scale and Effort

In researching an unrelated article, I came across Joe Romm's post at in which he summarized the Energy Technology Perspectives 2012 report published by the International Energy Agency (IEA). Given all the hype and hope of late (among some) around natural gas as the bridge fuel to a clean energy future, I think it worth resurrecting IEA's report 11 months later and giving it a read. 

Romm's article reminded me of a conference I attended two years ago in Washington, D.C., that brought together women 200 women leaders from the fossil fuel and renewable energy industries, as well as the environmental sector. In discussing how to convert the U.S. energy portfolio to a greater percentage of renewables and alternative energy sources, one oil industry executive nonchalantly stated that, “Transitions take a long time. And the U.S. is rich in fossil fuels.” Ergo, there's no rush. 

While transitions can take a long time, this one should not. They are simply a matter of scale and effort. But our technological know-how seems to be outpacing our wisdom when it comes to embracing a clean energy future. Scavenging for extreme oil and natural gas is certain to drag out the U.S. transition.