3 Energy Industry Solutions to Fight Climate Change
To reduce carbon emissions and fight climate change, there must be innovative solutions, competitive pricing, and policy changes across the energy industry.
Air Date: May 19, 2021
Moderator: Martin Durbin, President, Global Energy Institute, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
Featured Guests: Jérôme Pécresse, Chief Executive Officer, GE Renewable Energy, Michael Sabel, Chief Executive Officer, Executive Co-Chairman, and Founder, Venture Global LNG, Erik Oswald, Vice President, Strategy and Advocacy, ExxonMobil Low Carbon Solutions
As companies are making efforts to address climate change globally, the approach to current forms of energy will play a critical role. Meeting global energy needs requires the correct energy mix to create sustainable and renewable resources for the future of the planet.
During the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Global Forum on Economic Recovery, Martin Durbin, president of the Chamber’s Global Energy Institute, spoke with industry experts about the current energy climate. Here are three insights from their conversation on corporate energy solutions, how cost reduction contributes to reducing carbon footprints, and the need for government policy.
The Energy Sector Is Providing Solutions to Fight Climate Change
Corporations in the energy industry are working hard to meet future energy needs and emission reduction targets. For instance, Erik Oswald, VP of strategy and advocacy at ExxonMobil Low Carbon Solutions, said ExxonMobil’s new venture in Houston would leverage the area’s “hub for energy innovation.”
“The project would capture 50 million metric tons of CO2 by 2030 and twice that amount by 2040,” he explained. “That's equivalent to taking 20 million cars off the road every year.”
Jérôme Pécresse, CEO of GE Renewable Energy, added that one of the main missions of GE Renewable Energy “is building, servicing and maintaining the existing fleet of renewable energy assets … [and] continuing to reduce the cost of renewable energy.” Meanwhile, the main goal of Venture Global LNG has been to displace coal, said Michael Sabel, the company’s founder and CEO.
“Venture Global is committed to continuing to look for ways to lower the cost to allow customers the flexibility either to displace coal … or use those savings to invest in offsets, sequestration, efficiency or other aspects of the delivery of energy,” Sabel explained.
Competitive Pricing Will Ultimately Decrease Energy Consumption and Help Climate Change
Experts in the energy sector say reducing costs is necessary to decrease overall energy consumption over time. Sabel explained that by creating competitive energy pricing, people will gravitate towards natural gas over coal.
“Gas is going to be a critical part of … the short, middle, and long-term transition to alternative energy production,” explained Sabel. “When they compare coal, which is generally the cheapest in the market, with other sources … gas needs to be competitive with that.”
Pécresse stated that lowering the costs of renewable energy sources, including wind and solar, must continue in order to compete with other, less sustainable sources of energy.
“There is still more we can do in bringing down the cost of wind electricity,” said Pécresse. “[Wind is] now, as a source of energy, cheaper than fossil fuels in many markets of the world, but we can continue to go down.”
Government Policy Is Crucial for the Energy Sector’s Success
To make these changes that will help fight the current global climate crisis, experts say government policies and assistance must be in place so corporations can secure funding.
“If we can get the right policy and regulatory framework in place to initiate this Houston hub, similar projects could follow,” said Oswald of ExxonMobil’s project. “We would be building a foundation for innovation and competition to advance the transition to a lower-carbon energy future while protecting jobs today and creating jobs for tomorrow.”
“We think that with the right policy support, we can make a significant difference,” added Pécresse.