BRIDGE ISSUES TO OUR SUSTAINABLE ENERGY FUTURE
As I observe activity surrounding our transition to a sustainable energy future, plans exist for where we should be in 10, 20, 50 years and more. I do not, in every case see adequate definition of the criticality of time frames. The difficult area for time frames is the transportation energy sector. The electric grid will find its way as suggested below.
* In the electric generation sector, I see, as primary resources wind, solar in pv and CPV augmented by undefined storage technology and CST and geothermal as the primary near term solutions which can become the backbone of our electricity supply. I see the transition in the electric grid as having significant momentum today with RPS’s, loan guarantees and tax credits while transmission is being addressed by increased authority to the Federal government.
* The plan is no where near as clear in the transportation sector where we are struggling to free ourselves from excessive dependence on fuel from potentially unfriendly places. In this area our plan is to improve efficiency, develop batteries, create liquid fuels from bio-sources and perhaps use renewables generated hydrogen or renewables generated liquid fuels. All of these processes have uncertain time frames. WHAT WE NEED HERE IS A BRIDGE TO SUSTAIN US TODAY WHILE THESE TECHNOLOGIES SORT THEMSELVES OUT.
* THE BRIDGE – Drill responsibly could yield one to two million barrels per day in a decade; use coal-to-liquid for one million barrels per day in a decade. Efficiency should get us one million barrels per day in a decade and biofuels another million barrels per day. Review the status every two years on how the clean technologies are doing and decide where to put emphasis; more drilling? More coal-to-liquid? Other?