Sunday, February 24, 2008

"Oil Changed Texas" and so can Renewable Energy

Well after reading your blogs about your disappointment with the Oil Exhibit at the The Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum, I was all set to be disappointed, and with that expectation, the exhibit did not disappoint me.

There was something that found very interesting. There was a map of Texas with the regions colored where oil was discovered. It appeared that oil was discovered in about 50% of Texas, with the noted fields such as:

- Permian Basin and Big Lake Fields
- Panhandle Fields
- North Texas Fields
- East Texas Fields
- Sourlake Fields
- Spindletop Fields
- Humble Fields
- Southern Coastal Fields

Interestingly enough there were some maps that Dr. Webber had shown us during class where solar and wind would be effective technologies in Texas, and if I recall correctly those areas covered about 50% of Texas as well. As noted in the oil video in the museum, all the oil entrepreneurs needed was "creativity and a risk taking attitude" to make this industry grow, and maybe that is exactly what we need to make renewable energies grow. Hopefully 20 years from now, nicknames such as Wildcatter, Boll Weevil, Roughneck, and Roustaout will be uttered in fields of wind turbines and solar panels.

1 comment:

Ben Jones said...

Its funny that you make the connection between oil wildcatters and renewable energy developers. A good friend of mine from engineering school went to work for a wind developer that was an E&P wildcatter. The mentality was very similar, as were the financiers and project management expertise needed. Now with the entrance of Boone Pickens and several of the "big oil" companies into the wind and solar arenas, it is apparent that the skill set and relationship base for both traditional oil & gas and renewable energy development have a lot in common.

Big oil, in general, is taking its time in deciding which technologies will win and what the timeline is going to look like. But make no mistake: as someone who has spent some time around renewable energy conferences and trade shows, the oil companies have a lot of very smart resources already working on this, even if they are moving slow from a public relations perspective.