Since we got back from the Total Energy USA conference last month, I have been thinking a bit about renewable energy and the role it will play in coming decades. In a session called “The Big Picture,” Russ Conser from Shell’s GameChanger Team stated that there will be no “no quick switch to low carbon energy.” Despite the many predictions that we will make a full transition by 2030, his team simply does not see the United States being ready by then and called the efforts to get there a “long slow slog.”
So the data challenges that many oil and gas companies are seeing today as they try to maximize investments in Shale probably aren’t going away anytime soon. Conser did say however that in 2010, Shell spent 50% of what was invested in oil and gas on renewable energy research. Based on this research, he shared a viewpoint about how energy is evolving in the US:
- 1970-2000 represented the 1st supply wave (development of more traditional fossil fuel sources)
- 2000-2025 represents a second supply wave (development of newer sources of fossil fuels, like Shale)
- 2025 and beyond represents an integration challenge as diversity of energy sources grow
This period in the future of integration is of particular interest to us. As more energy sources like wind, solar and perhaps new technologies that we have not even heard of before become available, how will we make them all work together? Energy companies will have to invest not just in the energy sources themselves, but also in data management solutions that allow them to tie it all together and maximize their investments.
For more on how data management has helped energy companies maximize their efforts, see this post!