We caught up with Schlumberger New Energy Executive Vice President Ashok Belani to discuss the opportunities for the energy transition and the changes it will bring.
There are many challenges as far as the energy transition is concerned. It’s the subject of energy, and energy is something that is so fundamental to every walk of life that the first thing you recognize about energy is that, if it’s not employed at scale, or deployed at scale, then it’s going to be practically useless because it is a large-scale item in life.
It’s not simple. It’ll take time, and it’ll take effort, and it’ll take execution. There are risks at every aspect of this story, but at the same time, all those risks are also opportunities, and they make it very exciting as well for the same reason.
We understood that the world has actually progressed a lot over the last 15 years or so in the world of solar and wind infrastructure development. However, when the world’s energy use changes from fossil fuels to electricity coming from solar and wind, then a lot of other associated changes are required to absorb this change in resource because the characteristics of solar- and wind-related energy are quite different from the fossil fuel energies of the present or of the past.
And these are different in many ways. First of all, solar and wind produce electricity/electrons, and these electrons are going to go toward electrification of as many applications in the world as are possible, so the world will use a lot more electricity in the future—in 2050, supposedly twice as much as what we use today. But that increase in electricity usage has to then be absorbed by energy carriers that can actually move the energy from the place of generation to the place of use and, at the same time, changing all the applications that can use more electricity.
Schlumberger naturally is a global technology development and deployment company. And we will be in the world of new energy as well. On top of that, we have learned in the recent past how to form really interesting partnerships with industries that are far away from the world of fossil fuel. And these partnerships are being leveraged in practically all the ventures that we are engaged in today.
I think, in the end, it's all about innovation and business, and there is a lot of that going on in Schlumberger New Energy. To summarize the ventures that we have and in the context of the energy transition that I've spoken about:
That today summarizes the portfolio of Schlumberger New Energy, and there is a lot more to come.
Remove CO2 and achieve negative emissions, even in hard-to-abate sectors.
Heat and cool buildings while reducing CO2 emissions by up to 90%.
Use the heat of the Earth to generate electricity by tapping into hot water and steam zones.
Unlock affordable hydrogen production, energy storage, and fuel applications at scale.
Explore new ways to produce and process high-purity lithium with the entire production ecosystem in mind.