Jaenschwalde Coal-Fired Power Plant

Statoil’s CEO Helge Lund gave keynote remarks to the audience at Columbia University’s Center on Global Energy Policy Spring Conference last week. He also engaged in some Q&A with IHS Vice Chairman and author of The Prize Daniel Yergin, who asked Lund about how Europe looks at the US unconventional production boom predominantly fueled by shale gas and oil development.

When asked about how attitudes toward natural gas differ in the US and Europe, Lund said it’s interesting to see gas in Europe struggling in more areas than a few years ago, while coal is becoming a preferred power generation fuel in many cases based on price. “Europe concentrated more on injecting renewables than reducing carbon,” Lund said.

“Europe has had trouble meeting its goals of reducing carbon and making energy cheaper (…) they now have a more expensive product [electricity] and more carbon. – Helge Lund, Statoil CEO



  • John Wylie

    Much said about the Energy Future
    demonstrates a pressing need for public education. It also shows a disturbing knee-jerk denial, and/or lack of understanding by our leaders of the magnitude and gravity of our world energy problem.

    Of the options spoken of, it ain’t “either/or”, but “All of the above, and that won’t be enough.”

    Conservation is doable NOW and generally
    economically effective – Mass transit makes sense but is long payout, and the
    U:S is far behind.—Wind, Solar (without a major technical breakthrough),
    additional hydro and geothermal, bio-fuels, etc. are possible, but location or
    time-of-day limited and mostly marginal or not cost effective without subsidies
    when carefully analyzed. Many of the latter will not recover energy to manufacture and install in theirlifetime. (Solar hot-water heating is an exception).

    Clean Coal (a hope, not a reality), natural
    gas, development of remaining oil, are all limited resources…we can argue the
    duration, but that is a waste of time. All of the above, and control as possible of CO2 emissions are necessary short-term measures to keep us remotely
    close to our existing standard of living, but fall far short of meeting future
    needs let alone extending energy equity to the majority of humankind who do not
    share it.

    We, the US and the World are either at, near, or past the peak of oil production, and demand can only continue to rise. Arguing the details is a waste of time. The facts are there, and laid out in a well researched article some years ago in National Geographic. My only addition is to comment that political clout within OPEC is predicated on stated oil reserves, and this has led, for power acquisition reasons, to overstatement of reserves around the world. Oil is not going to “run out”, but cheap oil is already gone. It’s use is not being paid for now, because of cost of CO2 emissions not being adequately covered.

    Energy use has increased by nearly 8 times, (X8) in the last 60 years while the population of the World increased by about 2.5 times. All the options above
    combined do not even come close to meeting future World Needs projected for
    year 2050.

    Nuclear Fission plants have proven
    dangerous, cause a major unsolved problem of long-life waste storage, and
    proliferate bomb material. It will require 10,000 new 1.4 Giga-watt plants to meet the 14 Tera-watt 2050 energy-needs projection.

    Nuclear Fusion and Fission are two different
    animals! Let’s not tar and feather them
    with the same brush!

    Fusion is the natural process that makes all the energy to support life on Earth…the process that powers the Sun. Nuclear Fusion offers a light at the end of
    an otherwise hopelessly dark Energy Future tunnel. Contrary to modern mythos, (propaganda created by whom?) the science has been done. RF controlled Heavy Ion Ignition Fusion (HIF) seems the most promising approach. It appears
    safe, green, and economically effective.
    (I did NOT say cheap to start!)
    It will be a “Moon Shot” magnitude, costly project, and we can’t make a
    cheap little model to test it, just as one can’t kinda’ try going to the moon.

    Ya’ gotta
    do, or not do.

    Has America still a Leadership and
    Innovative Will???? J. Wylie, Retired: BSME UC Berkeley, 62

    • TyraMH

      Nuclear fission is very, very expensive not just to start. Until nuclear power plants are required to include the cost of mining, extracting, processing, storing, maintaining and dealing with nuclear waste, not to mention maintenance of nuclear facilities — when your waste has to be stored for 70 plus million years there’s a problem with calling it green — but right now those costs are passed on to the people and every future generation yet to be born, if they were included, I’ve been informed, every kilowatt of power produced from a nuclear reactor would cost millions of dollars making nuclear power anything but feasible.

      • John Wylie

        Your waste comments are true for fission, but not fusion, if properly done, and projections are for HIF Fusion process described by fusionpowercorporation (I am not nuclear physicist so cannot comment on all parts of proposal practicality) seems plausable, economically viable, and promises??? electrical power at as low as .04$ per kwh, which is quite cheap..in order of dirty-coal or less.
        Payback for facility, when running, is projected at less than 4 years, with life of several hundred years as opposed to fission of today which are starting to fail around the world, and have projected lives
        of less than 50 years with much waste and teardown cost.
        The various proposals are riddled with “fanticy” so read them with
        caution. Even those being funded, like laser ignition and Tokomak
        don’t seem to produce as much power as it takes to ignite the tritium
        fusion process.

    • needpower

      don’t for get that wind and solar has failed the fed gov(tva) 2 times in its great times of need 12t time april 2011 when the tva lost browns ferry , willows creek and 2000 miles of power lines to a f5 tornado. the 2nd time jan 2014. both times the call went out to solar and wind for help. there was none to be found. both times the fed gov was save by coal power from ga power and other. others.

    • Paul Maher

      Hello John, What happened to it indeed. Your two comments regarding this technology are the only references to HIF available on the Internet. Would you be kind enough to share the location of some papers on this.

      • John Wylie,

        Try Googling Dr. Charles Helsley, U. of Hawaii Geophysicist, retired,
        or FusionPower.com. I saw a lot of work and study had been devioted to the project there, including economic evaluation. If we do not tap
        these old minds soon, they will pass on and all will have to be reinvented.