TNG Sits Down With Jeff Clark of the Advanced Power Alliance
Mon, November 21, 2022
At Texans for Natural Gas, we focus primarily on the ways in which oil and natural gas powers the Texas economy and makes our modern life possible. From keeping the lights on and fueling the cars and trucks on our roads, to providing much needed energy to our global allies, Texas oil and natural gas makes it all possible.
So how are other energy sources, like renewables, enhancing Texas oil and gas and ensuring we get the most out of these resources? TNG put that question to Jeff Clark, president and CEO of the Advanced Power Alliance, which promotes the wind, solar, and energy storage industry in Texas and several neighboring states.
Check out the interview below and visit PowerAlliance.org to learn more.
TNG: Most see Texas as the oil and gas engine of the country, and as you know, many experts recognize that oil and gas will continue to power our world. In what ways will renewables like wind and solar help the oil and gas industry meet Texas’s growing energy needs?
Jeff Clark: Oil and gas will continue to be a key part of our global energy mix, and the industry will always be a critical component of the Texas economy. To stay competitive and the world’s energy leader, it’s essential that Texas – and other oil and gas producing states - also prepare to meet global consumers’ needs by setting the pace in diversification, cost reduction, and decarbonization. Rather than pit our energy industries against one another, we should leverage the best attributes of each to meet the world’s energy needs.
Everyone knows the complementary nature of renewables and natural gas when partnered in power generation to meet the electricity needs of our consumers and industry. Renewable energy can also provide low-cost, low-emission energy to help decrease the carbon intensity and cost of several stages of natural gas production, from using electric grid-powered fracturing, through transport, to compression and export. Renewables can affordably power carbon capture and hydrogen production facilities and can play a role in powering water treatment and desalination facilities. Collaboration makes our traditional energy products more attractive to customers worldwide who increasingly demand lower carbon fuels, and the collaboration positions American energy industries to lead together as the sector evolves. Some call this era an energy transition, I view as an energy convergence.
TNG: Can you share some examples of how the natural gas and renewable industries are working together in Texas?
Clark: Texas already has several landmark partnerships between renewable power generators and our state’s oil and gas producers. Some have chosen to build their own facilities, usually solar, to supply the more long-term affordable power they need. In other cases, leading companies have entered into power purchase agreements (PPAs) to power their drilling, production, and transport. We’re pushing for LNG terminals that use renewable energy for liquefaction, focusing on emissions reduction and cost savings. For more than a decade, I’ve advocated for this inter-industry collaboration, and it is gratifying to see these partnerships expanding and accelerating. Working together makes America’s traditional energy producers more competitive and their products more attractive to international customers.
TNG: What are the benefits – for each side – to work together?
Clark: We live in a dangerous world where energy is increasingly weaponized. Hopefully, consumers are waking up to the threats posed by reliance on hostile regimes for our energy resources. At this moment in history, the world can’t afford for American energy industries to bicker with one another on the sidelines. We need “More of Everything.” We need to responsibly produce as much of every resource we can, affordably meeting our nation’s needs, and exporting the balance of these resources to a world under siege. Democracies make better energy, and America has an opportunity to prove that we are a reliable ally and energy producer. Working together, we can meet these needs and this moment more affordably and in the most environmentally responsible manner.
TNG: As someone who is supportive of Texas’s natural gas industry, what do you think critics of natural gas get wrong?
Clark: Consumers want an automobile that moves when called upon, they want lights that turn on when the switch is flipped. They want to count on their energy supply without worrying. They want energy to be affordable, reliable, and as close to emission-free as possible. And, more and more consumers care about addressing climate issues quickly. To achieve affordability, reliability, and emissions reduction quickly, our best option today is leveraging natural gas, energy storage, hydrogen, and renewables together. This relationship will change and rebalance as our industries and technologies evolve and converge, but consumers will benefit as we collaborate and grow together.
TNG: Texas LNG is one of the fastest growing areas in natural gas today. Tell us a bit about renewable energy’s role in helping LNG meet global energy demand.
Clark: American LNG will be key as Europe rebuilds a more resilient, secure energy structure. It’s unfathomable that, after the atrocities committed by Russia, Europe would return to relying on Russian natural gas. We need to cut off their ability to wage unjust war which means pairing Europe's renewable energy and other resources with American LNG.