Motivation for New
Energy Sources in the Future
by Shirley Georgi
A keynote speech by Frank Ingriselli at EVAA energized conference attendees to keep pursing the path towards hydrogen -an ultimate source of power to satisfy our energy needs. The following text contains excerpts from Mr. Ingriselli’s remarks.
Market forces, geopolitics, greenery and technology are shaping the future of our industry and propelling it inexorably to hydrogen energy. Those who don’t pursue it will rue it.....
The primary market force propelling us to new energy technologies is our increasingly energy-hungry world. By mid-century, the world’s population will have doubled to 12 billion, and energy demand will have quadrupled. How do we meet the soaring energy demands of developing nations without jeopardizing the living standards of the industrial world?
Because 70% of petroleum is used for transportation, that’s the obvious place to start. Today’s cars burn half the fuel per mile than they did three decades ago, and tailpipe emissions have been dramatically reduced by more efficient engines and catalytic converters. The trouble is there are more and more cars traveling father and farther....
We have a trillion barrels of oil left to produce worldwide, but at current usage rates, we’ll burn 10 percent of that by 2010. That’s a hundred billion barrels in the next 10 years - the same amount of oil that we’ve used since time began. Fortunately, there is a growing recognition that continued exclusive dependence on fossil fuels is a one-way ticket to oblivion....
The major car and oil companies have finally acknowledged that the internal combustion engine will have significant competition in the 21st century, and accordingly, they need to adjust their business plans and long term strategies to capitalize on this emerging marketplace.
There’s a line currently making the rounds in the energy business that sums up their views: “The Stone Age did not end because the world ran out of stones - and you can expect the Oil Age to end long before the world runs out of oil.”
But, there are additional market forces at work that assure an approaching end to our exclusive dependence on oil.... The increasing cost, risks, and difficulties of finding vast oil fields in ever more remote corners of the world have not only made a good case for all the mergers (among oil & gas companies) we’ve seen, but (those factors) have moved these companies toward being not just traditional oil & gas companies, but truly global energy providers.
And, that takes us to the second force impelling us towards new energy technologies -geopolitics. The tragedy of September 11th brought into sharp focus America’s increasing dependence on oil imported from the Persian Gulf. It illuminated how that reliance is a major source of America’s strategic vulnerability.... We import 60% of our daily oil consumption, up from 47% just 10 years ago. Since the tragedy of 9-11, the need for energy security and energy self-sufficiency has taken on added urgency....
The successful energy company over the next 20 years cannot afford to ignore the growing public antagonism to the political and economic costs of draining the earth of hydrocarbons.
The third factor driving us towards new energy technologies is the unmistakable greening of the world.... Seventy percent of the American people see global warming as a serious threat to their lives and health.... Already we have the reality of state limitations on automobile emissions, starting with the 2003 model year here in California, which mandates that 10% of all vehicles sold must be at or near zero emissions....
The fourth factor driving us toward new energy technologies is technological innovation. Energy and automobile companies have invested billions in advanced energy technologies. This kind of money tells you that this is no whim.
A big obstacle, in terms of capitalizing on the automobile market, is fuel infrastructure. The world is not yet organized to deliver hydrogen on demand.... As automobile and energy companies focus on more hydrogen energy, we’ll see fast-track progress.
The reason that today’s conventional cars emit only about 5% of the exhaust pollutants of cars 30 years ago is that hundreds of thousands of engineers have been toiling for decades to improve the internal combustion engine. By contrast, the number of experts currently working to develop fuel cells worldwide is no more than 5,000. This technology of the future is attracting more and more of the best and brightest among our scientists and engineers. They and their companies understand that market forces, geopolitics, greenery, and innovation are propelling us to hydrogen energy. They understand that if they don’t pursue it, they will be left at the station after the train pulls out....
The history of mankind’s use of energy is a history of the decarbonization of fuels.... The successful energy companies were those in the vanguard of providing the next step up - the cleanest, most efficient, most cost-effective energy available. It’s time for the next step up to cleaner, more efficient, more affordable and more plentiful energy for all the people everywhere. Those who move now will be rewarded by a better bottom line - not just for the companies represented here, but for the people to whom energy translates into a bottom line of health, education and prosperity. +