A lot of work is going on at feverish pace to change the source of energy from Carbon to Non-Carbon
. This transition in energy source to non-carbon has become necessary because of the dramatic changes in the climate patterns and rainfalls that have manifested in the recent years. Every day, we see pledges of becoming carbon neutral or Net Zero by Heads of Countries or Heads of Large Corporations. All this is necessary & vital for the survival of Human Race on our planet.
We also come across news of path breaking new technologies being developed for production, management, usage & storage of Green Energy
. The range of technologies include Green Hydrogen, Ammonia, Fuel Cells, Electrolysers, cultivated biomasses, Gasification, Wave power, battery & other storage technologies, & the like. The focus of most of these developments is to make the Green Energy affordable by using new & innovative techniques.
Despite the urgency demonstrated by all of us, we seem to be a little away from getting commercially affordable Green Energy, especially for poor & developing countries. It will be some time before these new technologies become commercially affordable for the poor & developing countries.
While the whole world is looking forward to availability of affordable Green Technologies, majority of the existing energy producers & users are staring at the devastating prospect of their investments in the Energy infrastructure becoming obsolete & worthless!
The world is caught in a peculiar situation. While waiting for emergence of the cost effective Green technologies, we will continue to harm the planet & once they emerge, we have to write off a lot of our long term investments!
Practical Pathways to manage the Energy Transition
In the given situation, it is necessary for the world to find energy transition pathways that satisfy the following conditions
• Pathways that start minimising the environmental impact while we wait for the economically viable Green Technologies to become available
• Pathways that make the existing Energy infrastructure suitable for Green Technologies & minimise the cost of write-offs
We have a great example of a Practical Pathway created by the automobile Industry. The approach of Hybrid Vehicle has provided this Practical Pathway. The Hybrid vehicle allows users to cut emissions by up to 50% while waiting for the EVs to become viable with progressive deployment of charging infrastructure& extension of driving range.
Based on my experience of more than 38 years in the Energy Industry, I believe that a similar “Hybrid”Practical Pathway is also available for Energy users to meet the twin objectives of immediate start of emission reduction & prevention of future loss of investments.
I believe that, while it is immensely important to continue to focus on development of commercially viable Green Technologies, it is equally important to find Practical Pathways for quicker & easier Energy transition that focus on immediate reduction in CO2 emissions & that minimise losses in the value of existing Energy infrastructure.
I have given a few examples of such Practical Pathways that will permit the Energy Transition to start right away without waiting for availability of commercially viable technologies.
I am sure, if all the energy producers &users look harder, they will find a lot many Practical Pathways to Clean & Green Energy. I would call this as the Energy Industry’s “Hybrid” solution!