The stupidity of the captain’s call continues to be revealed

Bloomberg reports on this week’s World Gas Conference in Washington: Quote.

To reduce emissions and provide affordable electricity, the world needs to burn more fossil fuels, not less.

That?s the message being delivered by the world?s biggest energy companies at the World Gas Conference in Washington this week, where they championed natural gas as the fuel of the future, rather than one that simply bridges the gap toward renewables.

The world is facing the twin challenge of growing power supply — which Royal Dutch Shell Plc says needs to increase five times over the next 50 years — and reducing emissions to meet climate change targets. Energy companies see gas doing double duty: it has half the carbon emissions of coal when used in power generation, is abundant and relatively cheap.

The ?big challenge for us in the industry is helping people recognize gas as a destination fuel, not just a transition fuel,? BP Plc Chief Executive Officer Bob Dudley said during a panel discussion. ?There?s another camp, a surprising camp, that is intent on discrediting gas as an option.?

It?s an argument that?s difficult to win with policy makers and the public, many of whom say that fossil fuels, including gas production facilities, are causing climate change and should be phased out, especially with wind, solar and battery technology making great strides in recent years. […]

U.S. emission levels are down to levels not seen since 1990 while those in the U.K. are at the lowest since the late 19th century due to gas replacing coal in power generation, according to BP?s Dudley.

The fuel should also be seen as a complement to renewable energy for when weather detracts from wind and solar power production, according to Shell?s De la Rey Venter, echoing a widely-held view in the industry.

?If you really want to have a lot of renewables in your energy mix, you need to have a substantive gas backbone in the energy mix to enable that,? he said. ?This notion of gas as the ultimate enabler of deep renewable penetration in an energy mix is very powerful.?

Chevron CEO Mike Wirth warned that a focus purely on renewables risks ignoring the needs of the developing world, where 1 billion people have no access to electricity. ?Each of these people deserves access to reliable and affordable energy,? he said. Energy demand will rise 30 percent to 2040, boosted by rising populations, he said.[…]

?In the recent past we have seen people were sort of shying off the fossil fuel,? he said. ?In spite of all the push and effort in renewables, gas is going to remain a mainstay, not only a transition fuel.?

Oil and gas producers clearly have a vested interest in championing their own products as the answer to the world?s energy needs. But their views and policies define how billions of people around the world live. Rising renewable technologies potentially pose a threat to their businesses if they succeed in replacing fossil fuels, the mainstay of their earnings.

As policy makers grapple with the future of energy, companies are busy pushing the next big gas frontier.

Anadarko Petroleum Corp. announced at the conference it will make a final investment decision on its mega-project in Mozambique in the first half of next year, while Exxon and Eni SpA are pushing ahead with their plans nearby, showing that fossil fuels have a long future.

?While the future of energy will be cleaner, it won?t be simple,? Chevron?s Wirth said. End of quote.

  • you need a substantive gas backbone in the energy mix to enable renewables
  • gas is going to remain a mainstay
  • companies are busy pushing the next big gas frontier
  • fossil fuels have a long future

Except, of course, for New Zealand.

Someone promoted way above their competence level (not due to the Peter Principle?in this case, more due to the unprincipled Peters) decided without talking to experts or her advisors or her caucus or anyone except Greenpeace, that gas was out of the New Zealand future.

We have 10 years’ natural gas supply left and absolutely no infrastructure, or suitable location to build such infrastructure, to import gas. After that, we are reliant on converting the methane from unicorn farts into fuel to charge the electric car batteries.

  • ?While the future of energy will be cleaner, it won?t be simple?

Especially not in New Zealand, it is going to be an unmitigated disaster unless the captain’s call can be overturned, hopefully along with her ship of fools.

Like any good captain, it is her duty to go down with the ship.