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Will the clean energy industry be any different than oil?

  1. Mar 14, 2017 #1
    I was reading an article today about how Shell is discussing the move towards "cleaner" energy. This got me thinking.

    Eventually, most companies will be forced to move towards renewables as public opinion and natural resources become stacked against them. Many large oil and coal conglomerates will be able to use their massive capital to make the switch, so we may see many familiar faces dominating the industry.

    How can we stop this from happening? If the industry is not ran by former fossil fuel giants, how can we stop future companies from becoming the massively influential entities they are now?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 14, 2017 #2

    StatGuy2000

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    Education Advisor

    Your post raises several questions/issues, as follows:

    1. "Many large oil and coal conglomerates will be able to use their massive capital to make the switch, so we may see many familiar faces dominating the industry."

    "How can we stop this from happening?"

    Why is this a bad thing? If oil and coal companies (or more properly, energy companies) move away from oil and coal mining & refining and switch to renewable energy or other forms of "clean" energy, then isn't that a good thing, since their impact would potentially greatly reduce the amount of carbon being released into the atmosphere? As you suggested, these companies have the economies of scale in place to make this transition more or less smoothly.

    2. "If the industry is not ran by former fossil fuel giants, how can we stop future companies from becoming the massively influential entities they are now?"

    So is the issue that energy companies specifically are massively influential, or large companies/corporations in general are massively influential? If the latter, then it really would not matter whether or not future companies are involved in renewable or clean energy, now would it?
     
  4. Mar 14, 2017 #3

    russ_watters

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    Staff: Mentor

    What, specifically, do you see as the problem? Do you just not like big companies? If that's the case, then your question is kind of circularly self-realizing: big companies are big. And big companies are "influential". But again, why do you see that as a problem?
     
  5. Mar 25, 2017 #4
    Beyond the fact that theoretically no CO2 or other hydrocarbons are produced by the method in question in making electricity. Doesn't the use and manufacture of "Green Energy" often negate (* itself when compared against) the results of the carbon footprint of normal energy production methods? Seems to me a lot of compounds are used and manufactured which take conventional fuel / energy processes to make, not to mention are dangerous to use. In the case of wind farms, and solar. The need for large storage batteries / facilities has the same effect. Or am I wrong in that assumption? Are there even any numbers that could be trusted outside of the usual pro / con biased sources?
     
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