With reduced Oil and Gas prices, the industry has shrunk in recent years. It has become unfeasible to extract oil from many oil fields. Renewable sector has meanwhile grown strength to strength.
Oil is a perishable commodity and even within the oil industry, there are two schools of thought. One deems that there are two trillion barrels of oil left while the other more conservative group suggests only one trillion barrels of oil left. Therefore no one is suggesting that with our current consumption levels, Oil would remain beyond 2050.
In light of this preparation has to be made for the post oil era. The only thing on the horizon that can replace our oil glut is renewables.
Fortunately, some of the skills in the Oil & Gas sector can be readily transferred to the renewables sector.
Having already plucked the low hanging fruit of onshore wind and solar, Renewables of the future will be pushed out towards off-shore. There have been several floating solar arrays installed. Similarly, floating wind turbines are also being tested. Both these technologies require floating platforms. Thanks to off-shore renewables, the technology of developing floating platforms is well established.
Similarly, marine energy sector of Tidal and Wave power also requires off shore expertise. These include laying down cables and pipes to the power generator. It should be noted that some of these machines (like the Oyster Wave power) actually use the power of sea to pump liquid onshore. This pressurized liquid is than converted into electricity in an onshore power house similar to run of the river hydel power.
Drilling for oil or gas skills can be used to tap geothermal energy. It should be noted though that there are only a few regions on earth where drilling for geothermal energy can be carried out.
Last but not the least, chemical engineers working on oil and gas plants can use their expertise to also run a bio-mass plant.
Mankind has always been able to avert disasters through their ingenuity. It is time we rise to the challenge of global warming and cut the cord on Fossil fuels. Renewable as an Industry has proven to be able to absorb more people in jobs compared to oil and gas sector for the same amount of energy. Electrification of transport will go a long way in prolonging the existing fossil fuel reserves we have. We can use these fuels in where we need them the most i.e. Aviation and managing grid fluctuations.
We have after all examples of economies that have successfully transitioned from Oil based to Renewable Energy based, like Scotland. Similarly there are other economies also looking to migrate their oil expertise to renewables.
Please feel free to share this article using the buttons below.