Danish Wind Power
The CEO of the energy advisory firm Lawrence Energy Group is also the firm’s founder, David Lawrence, a former energy executive of the Royal Dutch Shell Corporation. In his role as executive vice president of the exploration and commercial division, David Lawrence directed and managed Shell’s wind energy business.
The Scandinavian nation of Denmark is on track to meet its goal of generating 50 percent of its energy from renewable sources. In 2016, almost 44 percent of electricity consumed in the northern European nation came from wind power, setting a world record. In recent years, Denmark’s government has invested heavily in wind energy, spending over $30 million on test turbines alone in 2018.
Denmark’s focus on wind energy is not directly related to today’s concerns regarding nonrenewable energy sources. The world’s largest producer of wind turbines is a 110-year-old Danish manufacturer, and wind energy production has been subsidized by the Danish government since the early 1970’s.
As demand for renewable energy increases worldwide, the wind turbine market is projected to be an $80 billion industry by 2019. Based on this trend, Danish energy officials expect the wind industry to be self-sustaining in the near future.
A former executive with Royal Dutch Shell and Shell Upstream Americas, with responsibilities including Exploration, New Business Development, Gas Monetization and Shell Wind Energy, David Lawrence formed Lawrence Energy Group, an energy investment and consulting company. As CEO and chairman of the firm, David Lawrence focuses on addressing increasing energy needs while mitigating the impact of climate change.
One technology-driven approach to curbing climate change involves carbon capture and the concept of the “smokeless stack.” A recent Quartz article drew attention to the success of a bipartisan group of senators in securing a 45Q tax credit extension designated for companies investing in carbon capture technology. The technology, which involves scrubbing devices installed at chemical industries and power plants, removes the carbon dioxide from plant emissions, allowing the gas to be compressed and safely sequestered underground.
Approved within a larger spending bill that ensured continued funding by the US government, the tax credits act the same way in which wind and solar power credits have for decades: by incentivizing the use of carbon capture technologies. The plants that put the captured C02 to use in applications such as pushing out oil within depleted fields receive a $30 per metric ton credit; alternately, burying the CO2 in storage underground generates a $50 credit.
With the investment generated by 45Q as an impetus, the same bipartisan group has now introduced the USE IT (Utilizing Significant Emissions with Innovative Technology) Act. The bill seeks to fund research into carbon capture, storage, and use, as well as a private sector competition for developing innovative solutions.
Illinois Commerce Commission
An advocate of energy and climate change research and development, David Lawrence leverages a leadership background that spans Royal Dutch Shell in London and Shell Upstream Americas in Houston. David Lawrence presently heads Lawrence Energy Group, an energy advisory firm that seeks energy investment opportunities of all kinds and advises on energy transitions.
With the US Environmental Protection Agency in flux when it comes to tackling climate change, some states are moving proactively to take up the slack. The Illinois Commerce Commission recently announced an amended Long-Term Renewable Resources Procurement Plan that incorporates changes designed to encourage access and installation of renewable energy.
At the center of the plan is a 2016 Future Energy Jobs Act mandate that the Illinois Power Agency must procure one-fourth of its energy from renewable sources by 2025. The final document eliminates spot procurements from the equation, with that money instead allocated toward major clean energy projects that will help meet long-term objectives.
Another change is that the plan looks beyond the large utilities and includes rural and municipal electric cooperatives within its scope. Through the Illinois Solar for All Program, it also seeks to increase solar power adoption among residents of limited financial means.