(Image courtesy of Business Insider) Energy is available in many different forms. From the combustion of fossil fuels, nuclear power


(Image courtesy of Business Insider)

Energy is available in many different forms. From the combustion of fossil fuels, nuclear power and various forms of renewable energy, there are many ways we can generate energy. The U.S. stands at a critical juncture on how to provide these energy services in the future.

Energy policy is a complicated issue when considering many different national and global interests. The modern world is powered by fossil fuels. The realization that fossil fuels put carbon dioxide into the atmosphere is contributing to a global climate change has created a push towards other energy sources, primarily renewables as the clean alternative.

However, the world’s reliance on fossil fuels is not likely to change anytime soon until renewable energy is brought more fully into the mainstream. Renewable energy will become an important option for the future, driven by steadily reducing costs. It is the now well documented and a growing understanding that renewable energy can provide the bulk of our electrical energy needs. However, the development is not moving fast enough to meet predetermined timelines that are needed to be met to avoid irreversible damage to the earth.

Bill Gates, whose charitable foundation is the world’s largest, has made a commitment to help move the world beyond fossil fuels and mitigating climate change. His company Microsoft over the past 3 years have reduced the company’s emissions by 7.5 million metric tons of CO2e. While speaking to the Financial Times, Gates said that he would double his current investments in renewables over the next five years in a bid to “bend the curve” on tackling climate change.

I previously wrote about the global impact of fossil fuel divestment would have on the world’s economies. Gates claims that divestment would have little impact on truly reducing carbon output. It is estimated that between 2/3rds and 4/5ths of fossil fuel reserves would have to remain unused to reach the level agreed on the international stage as the benchmark to avoid irreversible climate change.


First and foremost, Gates has called for a “substantial carbon tax” then Governments could then increase spending on research and development. New technology is the only way we can shrink the global carbon footprint. With investments in new advanced technologies, we could expedite the transition to lowering our carbon output.

He said that a “miracle” on the level of the invention of the automobile was necessary to shift the tide and that current renewables are not yet close to being able to meet projected energy needs by 2030.

Gates believes that because of innovation there is reason to be optimistic. The problem is that innovation is a very uncertain process. Our whole modern economy and our lifestyles are an accumulation of innovations. By driving innovation at high pace, we might be able to tilt the time table of mass production, and eventually consumption of renewable energy sources. This might be the only answer to fully addressing the issue.


Matt Helland
Senior Vice President – North American Energy Advisory







Choose Your Energy Supplier

Energy Professionals is committed to finding its customers the best possible rates on electricity and natural gas. Tell us your location and service type and our energy manager will connect you to the most competitive offers.

Switching to an alternate supplier is easy. There is no chance of service disruption, and you'll continue with your current utility for energy delivery and emergency service. Take a few minutes to discover your best offers, and enjoy the benefits of retail energy in your home or business.

1. Energy Type

2. Service Type

3. Zip Code