Thought Leadership

Energy of the Future: Redefining Sustainable Energy Production

Climate Changed Series

Global pressure to reduce carbon emissions continues to increase yet demands for energy sources remain high. Stakeholders, governments, and even public opinion has put increasing pressure and demand on energy producers to go green.

Electric powerlines at sunset

Evidently, energy producers will have a large role to play in this transition. But this is also not some far away aspiration, changes are happening now. The energy of today is quickly evolving to what will become the energy of the future.

The oil and gas industry in particular must not only adapt to these changing policies but also support or even lead efforts to decarbonize the energy system. In other words, energy producers will need to consider transitions to zero-carbon sources including wind, solar, hydro, geothermal, nuclear or low carbon energy options like natural gas. They will also need to invest in clean technologies, carbon capture and storage and green/blue hydrogen production. Other efforts will include shifting their downstream market offering to supply cleaner fuel products and power an expanding electric vehicle fleet.

The transition to sustainability is not a one-size-fits-all approach 

Redefining sustainable energy production is critical to ensuring resilient operations today and in the future. But so too is an understanding of mixing energy sources to achieve results.

Understanding the balance between traditional energy sources, clean technologies and renewable energy options is key to developing innovative ways to achieve your net-zero commitments. Quantifying GHG emissions, offsets, and credits is equally important.

Thermal energy powerplant at night

Luckily, the energy landscape of the future is multi-faceted. Not only are there a variety of energy sources, but there is a mix of energy production from those feeding the grid to the energy used in day-to-day operations. The potential mix of renewable energy solutions, carbon capture, energy storage, and greener versions of traditional energy sources, are all available for consideration.

A smoother, more efficient and more cost-effective transition to sustainable energy

For energy producers, assessing and selecting the best options to meet their needs in a changing climate can be a challenge. But the move to greener energy brings opportunities: navigating the transition can be smoother, more efficient and more cost-effective than often thought.

Aerial photo of hydroelectric electric dam on sunny summer day

There are many energy production strategies to consider: from efficient gas plants to hydro and nuclear power plants, rooftop to solar farms and floating solar platforms, onshore to offshore wind turbines, landfill gas collection to biofuels production, or energy considerations for remote or indigenous communities. Addressing the environmental and operational challenges of each requires experience with regional regulatory landscapes and your particular site.  

Ideally, you will need to develop custom solutions for your site and your specific project needs. Working with an experienced engineering consultant like RWDI can help you assess feasibility and environmental impact, identify incentives and cost savings, navigate the regulatory landscape, optimize operations, and assess the resilience of your energy assets to climate change.

Whether your goal is to go to fully renewable, or just be a bit ‘greener,' whether you’re feeding the grid or looking to diversify your site’s energy consumption model, achieving your resilience goals throughout the life of your asset is more attainable than ever.  

Learn more about creating resilient energy production operations. More information is also available in our green energy brochure.

This post is part of our ongoing climate changed blog series. We encourage you to follow RWDI on Linkedin to stay informed of future posts and to reach out if you have a challenge you would like to discuss.