A future look at massive changes facing the electric power grid was provided in a recent seminar, featured on McGraw-Hill’s financial TV show, Platt’s Energy Week. Jim Rogers, most recently CEO of Duke Energy, predicted the “emergence of electric productivity gains in generation, transmission, distribution and usage.” He commented that he “expects dramatic changes in the “regulatory model” to regulate utilities in this country.”
Rogers also added that this will lead to the shutting down of many of our current plants needing to be modernized. He believes that the next decade will be the most tranformative in the utility industry’s history.
Mark Little, chief technology officer of GE Oil & Gas focused on energy efficiency services, which will be the main object of his attention going forward. He noted that drilling systems “can be made more reliable, and be able to go deeper under the ground, into harsher environments.” He added that GE’s experience in the development of CAT scans can be used for inspection systems; and that there has been a push for conversion of diesel engines to those powered by the excessive availability of natural gas. Little also indicated the need for better water cleanup systems, utilizing a much more effective use of available energy.
The outlook for U.S. renewables was also brought into the discussion. The attendant participants included National Renewable Energy Laboratory Director Dan Arvizu, who agreed that a more substantial role of solar, wind, and geothermal energy can be utilized for power generation, but in a growing supplemental role for now.
Continental Resources head, Harold Hamm, who received the 2013 Platts Global Energy Award as CEO of the year said that the preponderance of oil and natural gas in this country far exceeds what was possible only a few years ago, but is currently being stymied by the lack of optimum distribution. He added that although rail “has come to the rescue” of oil and gas superbly, it does not replace the facility, speed and effectiveness which has long gone begging in the U.S.
He and other members of the outstanding energy discussion group issued a unanimous plea to the Obama Administration to bring up-to-date an efficient pipeline infrastructure to accommodate the fast-growing new shale sites for safe, cost-effective, and maximum availability; and accelerate the capture of maximum oil and gas usage in the foreseeable future.
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