Fossil Fuels vs Renewables – The Great Debate!

Fossil Fuels vs Renewables – The Great Debate!

For many years, I’ve been on the front lines of the publicity war between renewables and fossil energy.  Energy and it costs to both our environment and pocketbook continue to be at odds with each other, especially when politicians and lobbyist are involved.

First, let’s get some facts out there:

* There is no such thing as “clean” energy – both renewables and fossil fuels create pollution prominently on the front or back end.

* There is no such thing as “free” energy – there are significant capital costs for mining, manufacturing, infrastructure, and distribution.

* Both receive government assistance in either grants, tax breaks/credits, direct funding, etc.

Many of you may not know this, but I was an active partner in a renewable energy company in Alaska for 3 years as a side company until I moved to Ft. Worth recently. Now, why would an oil and gas guy be involved in renewables?

The answer is simple: **Application**

Application is all about availability, distribution, amount of latent and peak energy needed (potential and kinetic energy), and affordability. 

For examples:

In Alaska, if you want to live “off-grid” and have power for your property, renewables may be a better choice.  There are very few remote natural gas or electrical utilities (or the cost to hook up can be as much as a new vehicle) and hauling petroleum can be cumbersome and expensive.  Solutions we provided were solar arrays with battery banks to get through 9 months with back-up generators and heating oil for the colder winter months.  Cost of ownership on paper was less than utility hookup and continuous payment for the kWh each month. 

In Ft. Worth, relying on only renewable energy makes little sense, especially in an urban environment where infrastructure’s in place, power availability is consistent, and cost per kWh is relatively cheap even for peak power.

Governmental policy and public opinion have pushed renewable applications too hard when they are simply not ready.  We see the results of this ridiculous push in real time.  Keep in mind the Big Boys would not describe themselves as oil and gas companies today, but energy companies. Renewables don’t come close to the storage and distribution of potential energy like fossil fuels or atomic energy (chemical battery technology simply not close).  When they do, trust me, the Big Boys will make the move.

In the meantime, I feel like the best bet is to apply your energy funding O&G heavy and renewables and other sources light.  Oil and Gas have FINALLY won the political and public argument for the foreseeable future and is not going away until battery storage and distribution becomes economically and environmentally feasible worldwide.

I believe that both renewables and fossil fuels need to play a role in our continual development towards clean, affordable, and reliable energy. Neither should be rejected outright for future use.

Again, it comes down to application.