04 May 2009 23:18 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS news)--At best, alternative fuels will remain a complement for at least a generation, as traditional energy supplies will continue to dominate in the US, an oil and gas industry player said on Monday.
Myths and misinformation about the immediate impact of alternative energy sources such as solar, wind and biofuels, and their possibilities for phasing out oil and gas are dangerous, said William Whitsitt, senior vice president of public affairs for US-based Devon Energy. He was speaking at the 2009 Offshore Technology Conference in Houston.
“We need to have a better conversation,” he said. “We have a huge country with huge energy needs, and our conversation has to be reasonable about how we achieve those energy needs in the future.”
Whitsitt said wind power is emerging as a viable energy source, but, compared with natural gas, it is limited in its supply.
A single day of production by Devon North Texas' Barnett Shale generates 1bcf of natural gas, which is enough to power 29,000 US homes for a year, Whitsitt explained.
In comparison, 200 wind turbines would need to operate for an entire year to elicit the same amount of power, he said.
“We know alternative sources of energy are important. They are absolutely critical,” he said.
“In a move towards more independence and security, we are going to need all forms of energy," he said. "We need as much oil and natural gas in this country to improve our security and price outlook.”
Offshore exploration is where domestic energy independence should start, Whittsitt said.
“Of course, we don’t know what’s there until we explore,” he said about the energy options off the coast of the US. “Turn us loose. Let’s see what we can do.”
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