The Pros And Cons Of The Current Energy Options
With the discussion around climate change being a main topic of debate, we wanted to take a look at the options currently presented as alternative energy. Obtaining energy through renewable methods can be just as detrimental to the environment as the extraction of oil and gas. Moreover, there are other financial challenges to consider when shifting to renewable energy (although capital investment into the energy sector is likely to vary, moving forward). There have been additional financial restraints being specifically put on the oil and gas sector such as banks not loaning money or divesting from it from their portfolios, entirely.
These challenges have led to the current debate of whether renewable energy or non-renewable energy in its current forms, should be bought into or abandoned. People in the 1980s were talking about this during the Oil Crisis and specifically in Canada around the time of the National Energy Program. Fast forward to 2020, and the debate is still ongoing. In the meantime, energy consumption has increased four-fold.
One side of the debate in Canada is to continue producing our resources in the most ethical manner possible with our high safety standards, reclamation work, and high standard of human rights to displace energy in the market that is being produced without those conditions. The other side of the debate is to utilize renewables that aren’t the greatest in terms of giving constant energy and injecting massive amounts of capital into that technology. Besides, with renewables, there needs to be mining or deforestation, so it is not an entirely environmentally-friendly option either.
Red Flame Industries has compared both options to shed some more light on the struggles currently posed by renewable and non-renewable energy.
The world’s oil demand from 1980 to today has increased substantially. The energy industry is often attributed to as one of the key resources to help lift people and countries out of poverty by offering opportunities and employment. It also provides the resource that people in differing climates depend on to heat their homes and fuel their vehicles to get around safely. This resource can provide constant energy without disruption, which is very important in areas of extreme heat or cold. Additionally, it is an essential ingredient in a lot of products that people rely on; weather-resistant clothing, eyeglasses, kayaks, and so much more.
The downside of using oil is that to acquire it, the environment must be disturbed. This impacts the environment negatively when drilling and completing wells or expanding operations at facilities and pipelines. Moreover, the industry is being greatly politicized and used as a chess piece which makes a volatile market commodity dependent on which government is in power due to the strong tribalism/polarization we see in today’s politics. This has a detrimental effect in getting that product to market and on top of that, places a large target on the industry as a whole.
Renewable energy would be a great way to guarantee that we have an energy source for future generations and take away the market volatility of being dependent on a resource. Renewables utilize existing features of the earth (sun, wind, water) to generate power which would enable a reduction in emissions, globally.
The cons of renewables are that they also disturb the environment while setting up the equipment needed to obtain power from the sun, wind, or water (most wind farm clearings are larger than drilling leases). Intermittency is also something that is of significant concern, specifically for people living in extreme climates where energy is required for heat or cooling. We are seeing constant rolling blackouts right now (and politicians asking people to turn off appliances to curb demand) in California because their power grid can’t maintain the levels of demand from the residents. Biomass is a newer ‘renewable’; this requires the clear-cutting of trees that clean the air, to shred them, and use it as a ‘renewable’ energy source.
The impacts of using either of these energy options will affect everyone on the planet, both currently and in the future. As the earth’s population continues to grow, the demand for energy keeps growing as well. This makes it mandatory to find a way to make the most environmentally safe energy sources in the most responsible method available to us at this time.
At Red Flame Industries, we are doing what is in our power to provide environmentally-friendly solutions through items such as our Extended Reach Hot Tap System that can bring valves and buried connections above ground, to prevent leak points below grade. We are also committed to finding solutions in local areas to reduce our emissions specifically with travel and have policies in place for diversification and inclusivity so the communities we work in, can benefit equally.
Sadly, the energy sector has been attacked to a level we have never seen before. Outside influences are injecting capital into this anti-energy (oil and gas) movement and targeting those who are employed in this industry, adding to an already stressful environment to everyday people who are just trying to provide for their families. Our sector has been painted with a bad brush and politicized to the point where we can’t gain access to new markets in the world because of this internal battle. Canada is putting itself at a disadvantage to help reduce global emissions due to this tribalization.
In our opinion, we need more Canada with our standards to be leaders in the energy industry. Whether that is helping countries get off of coal by converting to natural gas (LNG), or sharing our safety records for chemical disposal, pipeline leak technology, safe-drilling methods, and reclamation work. We are a country that innovates and continually strives to be better, and with more people willing to offer cleaner energy, we can make a big positive impact on the environment. Continuing to use funds from our resource development should be used to invest in new technologies to advance renewables to a point where their flaws are rectified and can be relied upon but at a responsible level. Change comes in small steps; not large leaps.
Red Flame Industries specializes in turn-key services in the pipeline and facilities sector of the energy industry. We execute In-Service Hot Taps and Line Stops, as well as full-line NDE, and Specialty Mechanical Services.
Our specialized industrial solutions are available throughout Canada and across the U.S.A and Mexico alongside our sister company Bolttech Mannings Inc. We deliver high standards of quality and assure safety across all aspects of our business. We even ensure that our products, services, employees, and facilities attain full accreditation and comply with the recognized industry standards.