A lot of work and regulations has been done in the past 5 years around the world to help transition the energy industry into a more sustainable and renewable one. This work at times has felt rushed and unsustainable and although there is no doubt some change is needed, the pace and timing of that is still very much in question. Below is an opinion piece of this current tradition and the confusion that currently exists across the non-renewable and renewable industries.
An opinion piece by our founder, Autie Mcvicker
Seems many are hell bent on dropping the baby and the bath water out the window when it comes to energy. ‘Get rid of hydrocarbon consumption at any cost and use wind, solar and alternative sources at any cost.’ At any cost. I hear it every day and in what used to be towers of logic.
This thought is dangling in every conversation between those who believe ‘it can simply be’ and those who, even if idealistic, think a transition is required in all changes. Even if we are talking about the most rudimentary things. Facts trump wishes in the real world.
First, let us remember that humans are reluctant to accept change. Particularly, change that is near to their daily routines. Second, we must also acknowledge that moving from, say, diesel transport trucks to electric formats will take not only years to develop but years to create acceptance. I can’t seem to forget that vehicles in general are made of metals and plastics. Plastics from chemicals derived from hydrocarbon and steel or aluminum forged with those same energy types.
Ok, let’s assume the best way forward is to move toward solar and wind (tidal, thermal and nuclear not mentioned). Review the manufacturing process for wind turbines and see the power lines and piping coming into the plant where they are made. Examine the material used to prevent friction in the huge gears aloft in the nacelles. Have a long look at the towers and wiring that carry the windmills’ power to the grid. The grid. Yes, examine the materials used in the grid.
Now, contemplate if you will, the structure of a solar panel. Those silicon chips, that aluminum frame, the plastic enclosing the connections and the coverings on the wires are all derived from what? Or, if off grid, the batteries storing the energy are made of … You begin to see the logic.
A sailor and an oil man, I have seen both sides of this argument firsthand for many decades. Truly, clean energy is in everyone’s best interest. Let’s agree, however, that a transition which acknowledges the facts and circumstances is the best way forward. Simply shouting about things you want will not pave the road to success. In fact, it sounds more like my very young grandson…
Food for Thought
The road to ensuring we protect our climate, and our environment is one that we must be careful and considerate about. Looking at the full process of this transition and understanding at all levels the supply and logistics chain is what can truly allow us to plan, execute, and operate a sustainable transition that utilizes not just renewable energy but a logical and practical use of all forms of energy creating and material producing sources.