Global energy veteran David Lawrence is a former executive vice president of exploration and commercial at Shell Upstream Americas. After retiring from Shell, David Lawrence founded Lawrence Energy Group, an energy advisory and investment firm consulting on energy opportunities that have the potential to meet the world’s energy needs.
The world needs more energy and fewer carbon emissions. However, this is not an easy task to fulfill. Already more than a billion people live without electricity, and that number is constantly growing, as more than a million people are born every week. While the world does have enough oil, gas, and coal to meet its energy needs, these sources come with CO2 emissions and the perils of climate change. So how does the world meet its growing energy needs while limiting carbon emissions? A diverse approach to generating energy is the answer.
Fossil fuels account for over 82 percent of the world’s energy production. More investment is required in alternative energy sources like nuclear power, which only contributes 5 percent, renewables like wind and solar, which contribute about 3 percent, and hydropower. It will take plenty of time and significant resources to raise the overall contribution of these alternative sources - hence, fossil fuels will continue to be a key source of energy for the world for decades to come. However, this does not mean carbon emissions are an unavoidable reality. Carbon capture and sequestration at scale will play a critical role in reducing atmospheric CO2. Conservation and efficiency measures can be taken to mitigate emissions. And continued focus can be put on natural gas, which produces half the carbon that coal does, and energy-efficient buildings, home appliances, and transportation methods can be further developed and encouraged to reduce the world's carbon footprint.
Utilizing decades of experience as a geologist and business leader, David Lawrence formerly held the position of executive vice president with Shell Upstream Americas in Houston with responsibilities including exploration.