1. BUILDING RESILIENCE IN THE SYSTEM AND TRANSITIONING TO A NEW ENERGY PARADIGM
We are gradually approaching the end of the first quarter of this century.
This is a good time to reflect on the many changes in the energy world that we have seen. It’s a world in transition, full of action, full of effervescent zeal.
Many new energy technologies have made their way into the larger scope and embrace of the energy industry. To name a few: small nuclear reactors and improved BESS, larger transformers with better performance, geoengineering, and developments in liquid hydrogen.
With all these trends, we must always keep in mind what our main goal is. We are trying to find the one energy technology in combination with the right energy carrier that will allow us to provide the population with cheap energy that is relatively abundant while meeting the highest possible environmental standards.
This sums up the frame of reference we have set for ourselves.
Where will we go in the next 20 years, and will we be able to make the leap from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources? If so, we have the opportunity to fundamentally change the energy landscape.
These changes will also become more visible, or rather, they have already become visible in the natural landscape around us. Because energy is the biggest machine in the world. It is also the most interconnected machine there is.
With all its complexity, this energy machine is the largest non-living organism we as a species have ever created. Through social mechanisms, we are tied to its fate. Energy and wealth go hand in hand. And wealth is a prerequisite for a stable and prosperous society, for health and well-being.
These are just some of my thoughts at the beginning of this wonderful space, and we wholeheartedly invite you all to further discussions. What does the future of the energy industry look like and, more importantly, how do we get there?
To see what the energy world has to offer, we invite you to take a look at our website. We share ideas and thoughts about the upcoming energy transition and what energy companies are doing to meet the changing market conditions.
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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. 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.
We invite you – wholeheartedly – to examine these portentous trends.
Energy Author & Energy Publisher