One of the main challenges facing the world today is the Energy Trilemma: finding a balance between security, affordability, and sustainability in how we access and use energy
Solving the Trilemma requires technical innovation, infrastructure development, and collaboration across industries and governments. The task of decarbonising the world is enormous and requires immediate action. ADIPEC 2022 will bring together policymakers, global energy leaders and industry professionals for an unparalleled opportunity to share insights and brainstorm ideas to address the challenge of the Energy Trilemma for a better tomorrow.
The energy sector has a demonstrated track record of coming together to overcome various challenges time and time again. A distinct characteristic of the sector is its ability to collaborate successfully even with competitors. Similar to the Safety Culture transformation, which the industry achieved via extensive collaboration between relevant stakeholders, including regulators, solving the Trilemma requires visible leadership, empowered employees, and accountability within every function.
The Oil and Gas Climate Initiative (OGCI) is such a consortium, where CEOs of 12 leading producers actively sharpen the dialogue, with the aim of leveraging their collective strength and expanding the pace and scope of the industry’s transition to a lower-carbon future. OGCI has launched the Aiming for Zero Methane Emissions initiative this year. It calls for an all-in approach that treats methane emissions as seriously as the industry treats safety – aiming for net-zero and striving to do what is required to get there.
While the industry develops the innovations required for more complex problems, there are a few low-cost solutions which are ready to be implemented today. For example, immediate action on methane emissions reductions can be taken because the technologies are presently available and cost-effective. Both OGCI and Climate Investments – a specialist decarbonisation investor set-up by OGCI – argue that methane is a solvable climate threat, and that it is critical to eliminate methane emissions to advance the goals of the Paris Agreement.
Energy efficiency is another area which can be addressed fairly easily today but is not prioritised enough. As much as two-thirds of the primary energy the world creates is wasted. Increasing efficiencies could save both energy and capital while also reducing emissions.
However, the focus on methane and energy efficiency is not enough and the world will need to invest in carbon capture, use, and storage (CCUS), as well as to develop alternative technologies – including renewables and hydrogen and direct air capture. OGCI Climate Investments is focused on under-capitalised high-emitting sectors across energy, industry, transportation, and built environments. It invests in cost-effective technologies to detect, measure, and mitigate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, in energy efficiency solutions and CCUS. Technologies exist to address emissions and are cost effective. Therefore, it is time to implement and scale.
Solving the Trilemma requires the world to decarbonise while also delivering energy security and energy equity to a growing population. According to the UN’s Human Development Index, prosperity and wellbeing are dependent on the availability of energy, which means that providing energy security and combatting poverty are inherently interlinked. The Energy Trilemma is a complex, global challenge that involves balancing competing priorities and requires immense changes in physical and digital assets. It is an issue not just for the industry, but for the whole world.