EERC’s CEO, Charles Gorecki, recently participated in a roundtable conversation with Computer Modelling Group (CMG) and other industry leaders about the transition to a lower-carbon energy landscape.
The transition to a lower-carbon global energy system is accelerating, but we are still in the midst of that evolution, and energy leaders need solutions for today that help them de-risk projects, and meet regulatory requirements and investor expectations, while also achieving their environment and social justice (ESG) goals.
To understand what leaders do differently, and the role prioritization plays in successful outcomes, CMG spoke with experts from a range of backgrounds: technology and innovation, regulatory and research, and production.
They all agree, the time to act is now.
“We’re in a golden window to try to resolve the dilemma through CCS and energy diversification,” Gorecki says. “We have the technology. We know how to do it. Many places have the framework set up. Support is there. The economic models are there.”
So what’s needed to finally test and make CCS successful at scale?
Final investment decisions from big operators and public awareness are the critical next steps, Gorecki says. “If it can’t happen with today’s regulatory environment, economic frameworks, and skills we have, it’s not going to happen.”
Furthermore, Gorecki explains the importance of public engagement in successfully implementing this energy transition. “We need to show the public the clear and present value to them personally,” he says. “The closer we can link value to individual people, the better off we’re going to be in preventing a not-in-my-backyard (NIMBY) mentality.”
Nimbyism describes an opposition mindset to proposed developments in a local area because they are perceived as being too close to one’s home, but if they were to take place somewhere else, they are less of a concern. Gorecki believes hydrogen or carbon storage is more likely to be embraced if the energy industry gets out in front of the public often and openly and discusses opportunities and concerns.
“Talk about jobs, and what it does for a family’s livelihood, and what it will do for the community. Once you see the value of this closer to where you are and how it’s part of a [larger set of activities], it helps to prevent nimbyism.”
Without education and engagement about the role of energy in society and the work being done to lower its carbon emissions, Gorecki says projects risk being stalled—or worse—shelved altogether. “Public engagement is key,” he says.
Editor’s note: The contents of this article are taken from CMG’s The Energy Imperative report. To download the full Energy Imperative report, click here.