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Apart from a massive expansion of renewable-powered electricity generation, the energy transition will need natural gas with carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS), as well as hydrogen and huge investments in grids, Angela Wilkinson, secretary general and CEO of the World Energy Council, told CNBC.
“We can’t let perfection be the enemy of the good in this, right? The reality is, to get renewables to scale we’re going to have to have other clean energy friends in the mix, we’re going to have to build multiple clean energy bridges,” Wilkinson said in a recent CNBC panel moderated by Steve Sedgwick.
“We’re going to have to have hydrogen [doing the] lifting, we’re going to have to have gas with CCUS [carbon capture, utilization and storage] lifting, we’re going to have to have grid strengthening going on,” added the head of the World Energy Council, the largest network of energy leaders.
Discussions about how to reconcile a global reduction in emissions with the need to continue providing the world with reliable and, preferably, affordable energy have been front and center for a year now after the Russian invasion of Ukraine sent energy prices soaring last year.
The energy transition narrative, from the industry's point of view, became part of the 'energy trilemma' as BP's chief executive Bernard Looney has put it—delivering secure and affordable energy when and where it's needed while raising investments in renewables and other low-carbon energy solutions. The top executives of the biggest international oil and gas firms are joining Saudi state oil giant Aramco in calling for an "orderly" transition in which people should get the secure and affordable energy supply they currently need and they currently get from fossil fuels.
Still, the UN and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) call for urgent action to tackle climate change.
An IPCC report from last month “is a clarion call to massively fast-track climate efforts by every country and every sector and on every timeframe,” UN Secretary-General António Guterres said.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.