How did the UK become a pioneer in the energy transition?
In a few years the UK has worked to phase out coal, develop lots of renewable energy and set ambitious climate goals. Considerable changes also has to take place in industry – but what challenges really need to be solved to decarbonise heavy industry? Can hydrogen and CCS be part of the answer? In this second episode about Europe's energy future, we meet Henrik Andersen who works with low-carbon solutions in Equinor.
In the first episode we talked about what Norway will live of in a low-emission world.
In Equinor's podcast series this spring, we invite in external voices and discuss the opportunities, challenges and dilemmas we and the world are facing when we together work to achieve the goals set in the Paris Agreement.
This is the energy transition
Since the industrial revolution, when machines and fossil energy gradually replaced traditional trades and manual labour, the volume of CO2 in the atmosphere has increased by nearly 50 percent. And greenhouse gas emissions just continue to accelerate. The world has had a dawning realisation over the last couple of decades about the negative consequences this entails.
Climate change means that we must change the way the world produces and consumes energy, to eliminate harm to our society and the natural environment. We must transition away from fossil energy sources to renewable ones, and greenhouse gas emissions must be slashed.
The question we ask ourselves in Equinor is: “What will it take to bring about a successful energy transition for the world, and what role can Equinor play?”
“Our task in the coming decades will be to contribute to the transition from fossil fuels to other forms of energy, while continuing to create value.”
Anders Opedal, CEO Equinor
The job that has to be done is bigger than any one company, any single industry or any one country on its own. This is an endeavour that is described as the defining challenge of our time: “How do we ensure enough energy for everyone, while also solving the climate challenge?”
This is the equation we must solve
Today, nearly 80 percent of the energy the world uses comes from fossil sources. This cannot continue. At the same time, we know that the world will have to support many more human beings in the future, and we want to make sure that as few of us as possible live in poverty. Such a vision means a world that will demand even more energy than today.
In other words, while we work to replace more and more fossil energy with renewables, we will also have to produce more energy overall.
That means a complete change-over of the entire energy system on which our society is built – in the space of just a few decades.
And the clock is ticking.
These are some of the dilemmas
Just how fast can we implement the energy transition?
Even the most ambitious scenarios conclude that we have a long way to go. In the current scenario, we lack both the necessary technology, infrastructure, development areas and financing to achieve the energy transition. And it’s going to take global cooperation on a scale the world has probably never seen, across industries, borders and political divisions.
There is no shortcut to the finish line. There is no one perfect solution, nor do we have time to wait for one.
We have to be able to walk and chew gum at the same time. And we have to start doing what we can do right now.
This is how
There are few countries and companies that ar ein a better position succeed in the energy transition as Norway and Equinor. We have built a veritable industrial fairy-tale on the shoulders of previous generations’ knowledge and success before, and we can do it again.
We have selected three areas where we will focus our efforts:
Photos and videos on this page are from Equinor ASA, Unsplash.com and Videezy.com