THE SOLUTION IS TECHNOLOGY – FRMR ENERGY SEC’Y
James Schlesinger, former CIA Director, Secretary of Defense and the first U.S. Secretary of Energy: “We regularly hear that we must ensure that energy supplies are abundant, affordable and secure—an aspiration devoutly to be wished [that’s Hamlet]…We are not going to have energy security. What we are trying to do is fashion a set of policies that limit or mitigate energy insecurity. And we have done fairly well in that regard...”
Schlesinger expects the price of energy to continue to rise and says the U.S. cannot have energy independence while it depends on the internal combustion engine. The only solace he offered was in his hope that technology would produce solutions: "The solution is technology…” Without reference to solar or wind energy, Schlesinger was enthusiastic about the response of Silicon Valley entrepreneurs to $100/barrel oil.
He didn’t endorse “peak oil” but affirmed the suspicion of Saudi Arabia’s ability to continue producing at high enough levels to meet world demand: “If the world continues on its current path of oil use, we must find and develop the equivalent of nine more Saudi Arabias…I think the probability of being that successful is very low."
The solace America's first Secretary of Energy offered was his enthusiasm for new technologies like this Google-funded eSolar solar thermal power plant concept. (click to enlarge)
Schlesinger: No Energy Security In Sight
Marianne LaValle, March 13, 2008 (Beyond The Barrel via U.S. News & World Report)
James Schlesinger, the first U.S. Secretary of Energy
Secretary Schlesinger said there can be no energy independence as long as the country relies on the internal combustion engine and spoke highly of A123 System's battery technology. (click to enlarge)
Schlesinger talked about oil, the U.S. energy future without enough of it and offered his opinion on the possibility of energy independence.
- Schlesinger was Secretary of Energy from 1977 to 1979. Before that he had served as Director of the CIA and Secretary of Defense.
- Schlesinger appointed the first Department of Energy Carbon Dioxide Effects and Assessment Program.
Schlesinger’s remarks were made at a National Academy of Sciences energy summit.
Schlesinger didn't say oil is peaking but pointed out it will take 9 new Saudi Arabias to feed the growing world oil habit while, in fact, Saudi output is pretty flat. (click to enlarge)
- Schlesinger mainly defines energy independence in terms of fossil fuels. He recalls that in the 1970s energy independence was thought to be in the U.S.’ coal reserves but implies that global climate change concerns eliminate that option.
- Schlesinger was enthusiastic about Google’s determination to make New Energy economically practical and about A123 Systems’ advances with the lithium ion battery.
- He was also expressed confidence in the development of next-generation cellulosic ethanol.
- Schlesinger: “Do not chase the will o' the wisp of energy independence.”
- Schlesinger: “Cellulosic ethanol will come, and [the] beauty of it is it will overcome what I shall delicately refer to as the defects of ethanol production from corn."