The other day, I was speaking with a thought leader from South Africa working with the schools and promoting the future of innovation with the goal of fostering business entrepreneurship to allow South Africa to meet the demands needed for the 21st Century. One thing that I find interesting here in the United States is that when we talk about energy innovation everyone assumes that we are talking about solar technologies or better wind turbines. They never seem to consider the traditional energy industry and all the technological advances being made there, such as fracking.
There was an interesting article in the ‘corporate news’ section of the Wall Street Journal on December 17, 2012 titled; “Chevron Enters Shale Hunt in South Africa – Company’s Decision Comes as Temporary Ban on Exploration Is Lifted in a Country Estimated to Hold Large Reserves,” by Devon Maylie and Alexis Flynn which noted that South Africa has the 5th largest estimated reserves using the new fracking technologies – maybe more.
Believe me when I tell you that as more fracking is going on around the world to get out gas and oil, there will be new methods, and even more efficient technologies introduced. In fact, it is happening now. If South Africa and other countries continue to develop safer environmental strategies for fracking, and more efficient ways to get at that oil and gas, then we can have the best of all worlds. You see, shale fracking technology is real energy innovation, and it’s here right now and today.
Much of the incremental gains we’ve achieved in solar and wind still leaves it as less-than-adequate for our needs and return on investment. If we take these technologies along with better ways to efficiently use fossil fuels and put out fewer carbon emissions we will have solved all the challenges, and it appears there is plenty more where that came from; that is to say there is no current risk of peak oil.
All too often what we have is folks in academia promoting alternative energy strategies and new innovations in technologies, never looking at the improvements made in the fossil fuel sector of the energy industry.
While some countries are putting anti-fracking laws into place for supposedly environmental reasons, or to further push their alternative energy agenda, other nations are moving forward with these technologies to ensure that their countries emerge as more than just emerging nations in the future. Please consider all this and think on it.