As the Biden administration in the U.S. and governments throughout the world decarbonization push has spurred a renewable boom, which has created both obstacles and opportunities for the oil and gas space.

With a large amount of capital flowing into the renewables space, the energy industry has responded in a number of different ways, according to Cliff Vrielink, partner in Sidley Austin’s energy practice group.

“Of course, some of the larger supermajors have developed other strategies and are also investing in the renewables space but for the most part I think the industry has been focused on trying to reduce their carbon footprint,” Vrielink told Hart Energy’s Emily Patsy.

Still, Vrielink believes the sector has a long way to go in meeting the ambitious goals set for a transition to renewable energy as the main power source.

“On paper, people say we can get there by certain dates but the reality is, as we saw here in Texas and we’ve seen in the U.K., that there are real world consequences to moving too quickly,” he said referring to the recent gas crisis in Europe and the winter storm that hit Texas earlier this year and resulted in massive power outages.

In addition to investments focused on decarbonization such as carbon capture, Vrielink expects more and more capital to flow into the renewables space seeking solutions to address these shortfalls that have resulted in power shortages.

“It’s not going to be an easy solution and I think there are going to be a lot more similar events,” he added.

Jump to a topic:

  • Navigating the renewables boom (1:00)
  • Energy crisis effect (3:10)
  • Renewable opportunities (5:25)
  • Obstacles in the transition (7:35)
  • Pathways for oil and gas (9:45)