Moniz: Unconventional oil, gas continues to change US energy landscape

While unconventional oil and gas technology breakthroughs have dramatically changed the US oil and gas outlook in the last 5 years, US Sec. of Energy Ernest Moniz said it will be important to recognize and continue progress in other forms of energy as well.

“The energy security problems of many of our allies could become national security problems for us if we’re not careful,” he said in his keynote address June 17 at the US Energy Information Administration’s 2013 annual energy conference. “We still don’t know if natural gas development internationally will be at all similar to what happened domestically.”

Moniz said he continues to study LNG export questions and promised to move “expeditiously” on applications DOE has received. Pressed to be more specific by reporters following his address, Moniz said he was moving into an evaluation phase, and would press to have evaluation reviews completed by yearend.

Repeatedly emphasizing that “we can’t take our eye off the ball,” the secretary said that maintaining momentum in alternative and renewable energy research, development, and deployment will be essential.

“Solar costs have dropped dramatically—down to the $1/watt range—and I believe its implementation rate is underestimated,” he maintained. “People will look back in 10 years and see how quickly it became competitive.” Moniz conceded cellulosic ethanol prices are high, but added they also are coming down.

“We should look back a little bit and see what technology and innovation have accomplished,” he suggested. “That could show us how far we can move in the next 10 years.”

Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com.

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