3. Succeed in Energy Transition
- So now I'm gonna shift into the energy transition. We'll first talk a little bit about what it is. In simple terms it's the energy sector shift from fossil fuels like oil, gas and coal to renewable energy sources such as wind, solar, geothermal and lithium batteries. It's driven by climate change and new regulations and commitment to reduce our carbon footprint. The Paris agreement has made a big impact on what countries do. It is signed by 189 or 195 UN members. And I'm personally sad to say that the US officially withdrew from this agreement on November 4 of this year. Hopefully we'll get back in with the new administration. Investors are also taking notice and many are prioritizing investment in companies that are serious about their environmental, social and governance factors, ESG factors. For example, the Oslo stock exchange ranks its top hundred companies from A to F based on ESG factors. And just for a tidbit of information, Equinor, formerly Statoil, actually ranks in the A group. Society is of course also driving this and especially the younger generation, and by all means I encourage you to join them. So to continue on the energy transition, what we do know is that it will not happen overnight. It's highly dependent on how serious governments and the public are. And we also know that there will be more opportunities for geoscientists in cleaner energy and renewables. This chart is from BP's website. You can find many different versions depending on which company you go to. It shows the energy consumption by source in 2018 and three estimates for 2050, depending on how quickly the world transitions towards renewable energies. You can clearly see that oil and gas plays a role in all scenarios. Although, of course, much smaller in the net zero scenario. Energy companies are looking at the transition in different ways, when you look at the US versus Europe for example. So the typical US model is to continue with oil and gas, but make it cleaner and more efficient. They're also investing in carbon capture and other type of energy solutions. So for example, Daniel Droog, Vice President for Energy Transition of Chevron, writes that we embrace the future of energy and lower carbon future that includes oil and gas, new forms of energy and new ways of delivering energy. Today we're taking action by reducing carbon intensity, deploying renewables and investing in technology that lowers greenhouse gas emissions. ExxonMobil has similar words, they are pursuing new technologies to reduce emissions and create more efficient fuels. If you look at the European model there's a distinct shift from oil and gas to renewables. BP recently announced that they are transitioning from being an oil and gas company to an integrated energy company. They're increasing the proportion of investment in non-oil and gas project, as well as increasing the research on renewables. Similar for Equinor, formerly Statoil, they are also investing heavily into renewables. And both these companies have specific goals towards cutting emissions to net zero and reducing net carbon intensity by 50% by 2050. If you're a student or in your early career, I highly encourage you to go to some of the energy companies' websites. Take a look at what they're focused on now and where they plan to be in the future. It will give you a great guide to where you might want to focus. So where do you learn about geophysical applications in the energy transition? Well, SEG is a good place to start. If you have an opportunity to go to our annual meeting in October, our virtual annual meeting, you know that there were topics on workshops and sessions such as sustainability, CO2 injection and storage, value of near surface, et cetera. There are also workshops on machine learning. The Leading Edge is another great source. You can just look at the recent or upcoming special themes that explore new ways of applying geophysics, such as smart city geophysics, machine learning and AI, geothermal, remote sensing, et cetera. Our sister societies also offer webinars, online courses and workshops. For example, I recently went to the APG website and found these upcoming free virtual events. EdX or E-D-X is another great source to learn about just any subject. If you're not already familiar with EdX go check it out. It has course offerings from over 140 institutions including MIT, Stanford, Delft, et cetera. And I just searched on artificial intelligence and there were 66 course offerings. And clearly not all of these are related to geophysics or geoscience, but many of them are. I would be remiss if I didn't mention the 17 UN sustainability development goals. If you have not heard about them, I urge you to look them up and read about them more, explore what it's all about. In a sense, the SDGs are goals that go way beyond the Paris agreement. It does include things like climate action, but that's just one of the 17 goals. You also have goals such as no poverty, zero hunger and sustainable cities and communities. The SDGs set forth a global agenda to overcome poverty and promote peace and prosperity for all countries. They provide a framework to understand and address society's biggest challenges. And there's really buy-in to these SDGs by any company that you can think of, especially in the energy industry. So again, go to the different companies' websites and see how and what they're doing for the 17 UN sustainability development goals. I have personally become very passionate about these SDGs and that's thanks to my friend, Maria Angela Capello, who invited myself and Emer Caslin to study how geophysics can be used to support the SDGs. We are writing a paper about this and that will be published in the January TLE. So please look out for it. So some final advice, build up your domain knowledge. It will always be important. Add coding, AI and machine learning to your knowledge base. Read up on new trends, become aware of how your basic skills can be transferred to different applications if you need to or want to. There will be more multidisciplinary projects, so learn the language to be able to communicate with engineers, urban planners, climate activists, young people. And by all means, be part of the solution. Help us move to a sustainable world. You're in charge of your own success, so be proactive, raise your hand and fill out the application. Enjoy the ride. Thank you. That concludes my remarks for today.