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The Wall Street Journal: Van der Veer: Efficiency: Renewable Fuels

June 25, 2007, 3:49 pm
Posted by Mark Gongloff
Stephen Grocer has this report on a noteworthy take on renewable energy:
The world has high hopes that renewable energy will relieve its energy crunch. But the public may have placed too much faith in the ability of wind and solar to replace fossil fuels and is blind to the extent energy demand is rising, according to an editorial by Royal Dutch Shell’s CEO Jeroen van der Veer (left) in the Times of London today.
Mr. van der Veer writes that the world needs to face several “hard truths.” First, the extent to which energy demand is surging, especially in the developing world, hasn’t really sunk in yet. Mr. van der Veer points out that by mid-century energy use may more than double.
Second, the supplies of what Mr. van der Veer calls “easy oil” – or easily extracted oil and natural gas — will struggle to keep up with the rise in demand. “The world now produces 135 million barrels oil equivalent a day of oil and natural gas. We could still raise that number with new technologies, but only gradually and certainly not indefinitely,” Mr. van der Veer writes.
Third, countries, such as the U.S., China and India, will increasingly turn to coal for energy security, which will cause an increase in CO2 emissions.
Fourth, renewable energy may not be widespread for many decades and thus is not the full answer to the world’s energy problems. Mr. van der Veer writes that renewable energy sources could account for 30% of the energy mix by 2050, an increase from their 1% share now, but fossil fuels still will make up most of the remaining 70%.
So what is Mr. van der Veer’s solution? Simply put, the world needs to be more energy efficient. He points out that half the energy produced every day is wasted. The goal, therefore, should be to double the world’s energy efficiency by mid-century.
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There it is, short and simple. Nice post.
Comment by Ernie Montague – June 26, 2007 at 12:01 am

More empty rhetoric from Jeroen van der Veer. The first thing he ought to do to cut CO2 emissions is cancel the current 50 city PR tour of the USA by John Hofmeister, the President of Shell Oil Company.
The defence by Hofmeister of gas price gouging and Shell’s atrocious environmental track record involving paying millions in fines for repeated emission violations is adding greatly to the amount of hot air in the atmosphere. When will these people learn that it is deeds not words which count?
Since Big Oil senior management is populated by some of the greediest overpaid conmen on the planet, we should not be surprised at the obscene profits generated from high oil prices.
If we take one example, consider the current Shell “green” themed advertising campaign with flowers seen rising from a Shell oil refinery. In reality the emissions are rather more deadly in nature. You can compare the flowery idyllic imagery with the actual ethically challenged and pollution filled track record of this oil giant by visiting the Wikipedia article: Controversies surrounding Royal Dutch Shell. Prepare to be stunned by the impartial verified content. If you don’t have time to read the detail, just flick through the astonishing headings in the Content Index.
Posted by John Donovan, co-owner of the website: http://royaldutchshellplc.com/
Comment by John Donovan – June 26, 2007 at 3:37 am
 

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