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This post originates from discussions currently under way for this year’s 8th annual Energy Africa Conference here in Colorado. This will be my 3rd year attending, and I feel very honored to join the organizational committee for this year’s conference.
The topic we are trying to address, “What are the barriers to [US] investment and partnerships in Africa?” To which we have all agreed there is a topic needing discussion, but it has been passed up in years prior, because it is as they say, “controversial.”
Gentlemen, yes I agree in premise about not wanting to incite any ill-will amongst attendees and understand this is a delicate topic, but The Elephants are in the room and few want to broach what everyone recognizes anyways – that The Elephants ARE in the room.
A “Futurist” thinking colleague just emailed me….
Always enjoy your posts.
Conversations can be so frustrating, let’s take land use for example, I briefly figured out the thousands of acres available along highways and inner median space; some areas maybe cover roadways (why not). Highways could involve all layers of community and government (which I realize could complicate)
What do you think? Also with greater efficiency why not hydrogen storage along canals, lakes and rivers.
To which I quickly responded in this way…
^^^^ exactly what you are talking about.
I have wanted to take that to the next level and saturate all the open/brown space within transmission Right of Ways (ROW). Less chances cars or semis will plow through them… and they are already within the domain of the utilities –> so reducing the governmental and community hurdles you mention.
Within the context of South African energy development, and less so within the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC), I often find myself being misunderstood as to the role coal plays within the energy economy.
I recognize, on the surface, many observers and colleagues alike, may gather an impression I am advocating for the unequivocal closure of all coal assets and the direct economies they support. Nothing could be further from the truth, and although my knowledge and experiences tell me, coal’s impacts on the global climate are negative, with dire human and economic consequences, I have long since passed the days of being an ‘environmental crusader’, motivated by heart, not facts and reality.
Ending all coal fired electric generation tomorrow, if this was my position, would be pushing for the closure of currently operational power stations and ceasing the capital flow of hemorrhaging new builds under construction, struggling to meet project deadlines and cost projections. My pragmatism steers me clear of any designs that risk a near certain economic collapse regardless some “ideal energy world” I may dream up.
I’m Hans. Born, raised & educated in upstate NY, USA. After university (Bachelor’s degree in engineering & sciences), I moved to California and worked with several of the largest electric utilities;(PG&E, SDG&E and SPPC/Nevada Power) in the country. Not as an electrician or engineer, but rather within their USD $100m/yr, or more, vegetation management programs; learning and patrolling 1000s of miles of overhead power lines, experiencing generation schemes and customer needs first hand.
Outside training my fellow foresters, I broke new ground and developed protocols for system-wide implementation based on the simple concept of bringing all interested parties together and forging mutually beneficial agreements for all. They worked, very well. After I left, I was asked back on several occasions to assist during critical program milestones.
After chasing personal interests throughout the American West, living in Colorado, I settled in Oregon, building a residential tree pruning/removal start-up as a financial backstop to pursuing a nursing degree. I loved biology and chemistry, thrive under the demands of making life & death decisions quickly, and wanted to travel the world as a nurse in an ER/ICU capacity.
What I seek to accomplish in the global energy industry to facilitate accessibility for the under-served majority of the world’s population?
My primary objective is to architect, launch and advance a social enterprise within the geographical sphere of sub-Saharan Africa, facilitating the use of regionally abundant resources to promote energy accessibility through mutually beneficial partnerships and self-sustaining economics. The premise being to springboard beyond the physical, governmental, technological and social constraints presently hindering the realization of a true “Africa Rising” for over one billion people, where the exploitation of natural resource abundance has garnered minimal localized benefit, and energy exists as the critical ingredient and catalyst to regional, educational and social empowerment.
What qualifies my position within a niche market that has exponential growth potential?
Utilizing the experience and knowledge acquired over 20 years within a professional capacity as a consultant to several of the largest investor owned electric and gas utilities within the United States, and as an intermediary to multinational energy interests around the world;
Valentine’s Day can bring out the best and the worst in people.
In this new “love ballad” by the Energy Policy Alliance, we see how the inherent need to be loved is not just a human trait anymore. How certain sectors of the energy industry can take on human emotions of neglect, rejection and the wear and tear of getting older.
Unfortunately, this can bring out the worst in not only humans, but industry as well, and desperation can set in. Such is the case with all relationships, and the choice is ours to decide whether we want to see the glass half-full, or half-empty. To appreciate what we have, or lament what we are lacking.
It looks as though Mrs. Oil has a half-empty attitude, but can you blame her given her long run at the top and being the most universally adored and fought over energy for decades? Changes are bound to happen as nothing lasts forever, and the global energy environment is at its most dynamic position shy Ms. Black Gold’s storming the stage not more than a hundred years ago to claim the spotlight.
Is Mrs. Oil starting to get desperate? Is she seeing the writing on the wall? Is she trying to steal the noteworthy fame of her fellow energy divas knowing full well they frequented the same clubs, but rarely socialized directly with each other all through their history?