Without further ado:
The tide turns.
– Tidal energy batters at the gates of the old energy world –
And the gates to the energy world are very flimsy now.
1. THE NEW ENERGY WORLD REFUELING THE PHOENIX’S FLAMES – OPPORTUNITIES ARISE IN TUMULTOUS TIMES
The European energy industry experiences a tumultuous energetic undercurrent. My thoughts wander to the most important trends, peak oil, an IT-led energy infrastructure and the decline of nuclear power in Europe, partly as a response to the nuclear disasters in Fukushima and Chernobyl. In spite of all the danger, we are witnessing the emergence of nuclear power globally as a sudden outburst forcefully protruding from the heartland, being propagated in India, the UAE and East Asia. In Asia, nuclear power is on the rise, which has to do with a better EROI of nuclear power relative to renewable energy.
2. UNITED STATES – ENERGY INDEPENDANCE POSTPONED – SHALE OIL AND SHALE GAS AREN’T IDEAL LONG-TERM INVESTMENTS
I render my thoughts to what is happening in the United States. Speaking quite frankly, fracking and drilling for tight oil and shale gas in the American Mid-West and in Texas will not deliver the promised energy independance the United States had hoped for, because of the poor EROI of shale gas and tight oil. Nevertheless, recent discoveries suggest that the Permian basin is richer in hydrocarbons then we previously thought possible. Nevertheless, I would be hard pressed to change my position on the future of shale gas and am even more sceptical when it comes to the long-term outlook of shale oil.
The U.S. has options that European nation-states don’t have. The United States is able to meet its own energy needs by increasing domestic oil and gas production. The U.S. is able to restrict energy imports. Some European nation-states rely on Russian natural gas at least to some extend. Some countries more then others. Both LNG and pipeline gas may be viable options to solve Europe’s energy dilemma.
3. EUROPE – FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE – THERE ARE BIG OPPORTUNTIIES OUT THERE FOR EUROPEAN INVESTORS AND INVESTMENT FUNDS BECAUSE EURASIA’S ENERGY INFRASTRUCTURE IS INTEGRATING FURTHER
Europe goes its own way, but the continent is not as commonsensical as many have hopened. Renewable energy is now the preferred option to generate electricity, which means supplying unvarying power will become a problem. The political problems in Russia can undermine energy provisioning. And in response German politicians want to address this challenge by importing LNG from Qatar. So there will be competition between LNG deliveries and natural gas supplies delivered to Europe through Russian pipelines.
I forsee other more subtle developments that are harder to spot, but these trends will reshape various aspects of the energy and waste industry in the long-run, but they also offer great opportunities for the prudent investor, to invest capital in areas which promise great returns and support the economy of the 21st century.
4. ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE RESHAPES THE ENERGY INDUSTRY
Oil and gas reserves will vanish over the next 20 to 30 years, energy saving measures will most likely have a measurable impact on our energy consumption, and will henceforth impact on our ability to manage peak oil effectively. The impact will be felt very slowly as artificial intelligence and digitalization reshape and automate various aspects of the energy industry, taking over more and more functions and job roles in managing the grid infrastructure, managing decentralized sources of energy production. The change will become visible in manufacturing too, in the production of technical components to build our future energy infrastructure, as jobs in administrative roles are under threat that are relatively repetitive and predictable.
5. WASTE INDUSTRY: A BIG OPPORTUNITY – INVESTMENTS IN WASTE-TO-FUEL AND WASTE-TO-ENERGY WILL BE OF GREAT INTEREST FROM 2020 TO 2040
Industrialized economies will phase out fossil fuel use over the coming 20 to 30 years, as we slowly enter a new age in which used commodities and used products will be reutilized in completely new ways. Products will be used in such a way to make new products that are essential to keep our economy churning along. In the energy field, the R&D departments of the large oil companies are heavily involved in the production of biodiesel from algaes, Currently, it has been found that the EROI of these fuels is still not high enough to make it economical to produce these fuels in large quantities for transport. In particular, the length of time to produce fuel from such algaes and other plant-based fuels such as biomass makes it unattractive as a potential energy source. Recycled materials, plastics in particular, will likely play a much more important role in the future and installations to produce fuel from plastics can be set up in all over the country, and investors potentially tapping into a gold mine.
For the coming 10 years, from 2020 to 2030, I estimate waste-to-energy will be part of a growing trend to diversify energy supplies.
I invite you – wholeheartedly – to examine these portentous trends, and we will look at the most opportune investments and investment trends out there – in the energy and waste field.
Energy Author & Energy Publisher