Energy company officials on Wednesday urged using shorter-term solutions such as energy efficiency and conservation as the world makes the transition to renewable energy, saying companies must scramble to meet climate targets set for 2030.
Global energy supplies have been tight, with fuel costs skyrocketing since Russia’s Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine, shifting the industry’s focus toward supplying current energy demand.
Oil futures have soared about 50% since the start of the year, raising retail fuel costs to record highs in the United States, United Kingdom, China and other countries.
The industry is not doing enough to help reduce carbon emissions for the current decade, instead prioritizing solutions for after 2030, said Guillaume Le Gouic, senior vice president of power systems for Schneider Electric. Le Gouic spoke at the Reuters Events Global Energy Transition 2022 conference in Brooklyn, New York.
Still, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine will likely result in an acceleration in renewable energy to reduce dependence on natural gas, said Enel Chief Executive Francesco Starace.
Enel has separated itself from Russia in all possible ways, Starace added, speaking at the Reuters Events Global Energy Transition 2022 conference in Brooklyn, New York.
Enel has decided to search for a buyer for its presence in Russia, Starace said. Enel, whose biggest shareholder is the Italian state, operates in Russia through Enel Russia, which runs three gas-fired power plants with a capacity of 5.7 gigawatts. It also has two wind power farms.
For the mining industry, some expect there to be a supply crunch in the late 2020s, as late adopters of lower-carbon solutions hurry to execute on renewable projects, said Keith Russell, a director of consultancy Partners In Performance. Too many projects are being left for later, Russell said.
Companies have to have some tolerance for risk and failure when investing in renewable energy projects, as not all will make it to market,” said Allyson Anderson Book, vice president for the energy transition at Baker Hughes.
“Not everything is going to win,” she said.