Professor says fossil fuels will fill U.S. energy needs
University of Houston Professor Michael J. Economides told the PVF Roundtable at its Feb. 21 meeting in Houston that oil, gas and coal will satisfy U.S. energy needs for years to come. Further, he called the Obama administration’s emphasis on alternative energy sources misguided.
“World demand for energy coming from fossil fuels is 87%. In 2030, world demand for fossil fuels will be 87%,” said Economides, who is a professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering. “Solar and wind power will never provide more than 1% of world demand for energy. Wind power has been exposed as expensive, and it won’t save energy costs.
“There are no alternatives for hydrocarbon fuels in the near future.”
In contrast, he noted, projected growth of natural gas as an energy source will average 7.36% per year worldwide to 2035. By the same year, almost half (49%) of the natural gas in the United States will come from shale.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration estimates the United States has more than 2,500 trillion cu. ft. of technically recoverable natural gas, of which 33% is held in shale rock formations.
“Shale gas is great for the United States,” Economides said. “Innovative technology made shale gas a reality.”
Drawing a connection between energy consumption and wealth, he said the United States is the world’s biggest energy consumer.
“A rich country will use more energy,” Economides said. “Use of energy generates wealth.”
The PVF Roundtable’s next meeting will be May 15 in Houston. It will be preceded on May 14 by the PVF Don Caffee Memorial Scholarship Fund Golf Tournament. For more information, visit www.pvf.org.
Here are more photos from the Feb. 21, 2012 PVF Roundtable.