Energy Transition: Learn What It Really Means!

Everyone seems to know that the earth’s atmosphere is warming, climates are changing, and weather patterns are becoming more severe.

  • We sense that there is a growing consensus to do something about it and that it involves reducing emissions of greenhouse gases, most of which come from the combustion of fossil fuels.
  • Most of us have heard words like “decarbonization”, “net zero carbon”, and “carbon sequestration” but are not sure what they mean.
  • We might even have heard that we need to limit atmospheric temperature rise to 2 degrees centigrade and act soon to accomplish that goal.
  • Our governments are beginning to discuss policies and incentives to reduce the “carbon footprint” and our children are hearing about “global warming” in school.
  • We have even been hearing the words “Energy Transition” and wonder what it truly means and how this will influence our lives.
  • We hesitate supporting changes because we still want to drive our motorcycles, cars, and trucks, heat and light our homes, cook our food, keep our manufacturing plants operating and economies growing as our populations expand.
  • Oil and gas industry personnel are wondering how soon their jobs will become obsolete and whether they should look to the Renewable Energy industry for a new career.
  • Most of all we would like to learn what all this means and how we can assist in combating climate changes.

I felt this way, too, and sensed that it was up to me, as the founder of IHRDC, a long-standing energy industry training organization, to build an overview course that would provide answers to these concerns. One that would explain the Energy Transition that will take place from 2020 to 2050 for the world and its 10 major regional geographical regions, with its promise to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and decelerate climate changes.

Our intended audience for the course is broad – anyone who needs to know, for professional purposed, and others who simply want to become more informed about global warming, the current and future state of energy supply, and its impact earth’s environment.

At the outset of the course, we explain how and why the earth is warming and demonstrate, through six logical steps, how greenhouse gas emissions have led to more severe and frequent weather events.

IHRDC adopted a Base Case “Energy Future” Model for the course that consists of a single projection rather than a set of scenarios, provides a rational view of the future and is easy to explain to a broad audience. The developer of the model has provided us with access to its databases, published reports for the world and 10 geographical regions.

The IHRDC Base Case “energy future”, used during the course, is based on reasonable estimates of government and corporate policies, population and GDP growth, capital cost learning curves, the impacts of expected applications of energy conservation, improved efficiencies, decarbonization, CO2 sequestration and conversion or disposal of greenhouse gases, and a focus on “electrification” of markets.

We then explain the energy and emission transitions that should occur from 2020 to 2050 with respect to energy demand, energy supply and electrification, with the strong growth of renewables and diminishing use of coal and oil. These projections are summarized in the chart, such as the one shown below, for the world energy supply. During the course we also explain the contributions that are made within the 10 geographical regions that make up the world’s composite energy supply and its impact on greenhouse emissions.

We also explain how these major energy supply transitions, over the 30-year period, impact CO2 emissions and the extent of global warming. Unfortunately, all the proposed transitions incorporated into the IHRDC Base Case Model do not limit the temperature rise of the earth’s atmosphere to 2oC above the pre-industrial age average temperature. Unless certain supplementary actions are initiated early, zero carbon emissions will most likely be achieved only in 2100.

To enhance the learning process, teams of participants will be asked to manage the 2020-2050 energy transition supply mix for the Republic of Entrans, a hypothetical country in East Africa, whose population and GDPs are both growing at high rates and a president who is seeking enlightened advice to reduce carbon emissions.

The course is a fascinating journey into the future. You will learn the full meaning of greenhouse gases, the drivers of our changing environment, the reason and need for government, corporate and individual actions, the meaning, and impact of “Energy Transition” strategies for the various stakeholders, including oil and gas companies, you, and me. You will also learn how annual greenhouse gas emissions are reduced by 50 percent even with substantial growing demand for energy.

We encourage you to join us in an upcoming virtual or “live” presentation of this important and transformative course. You can find a course brochure and offering schedule here: tinyurl.com/2adbttc3

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