Ever since I went to my first Natural Gas conference, I wondered. Why were those events so self-congratulatory? Why were they so reclusive? Great topics were sometimes discussed but nearly no word of it got to the outside world.
The Methane world is a hermetically closed community that seems to live on its own planet. Far away from the issues of the rest of the world. Which is why it does not understand the normal world.
Additionally, Natural Gas has always been seen as the little, unloved brother of oil. A career in Natural gas always felt like second class in one of the majors. That starts to change but only slowly so. The industry starts to realize that knowing how oil works does not necessarily give you the right tools to thrive in gas.
The cherry on top is that there is a very lively, extremely diverse methane world beside the Natural gas folks. Biogas, Biomethane, synthetic methane and exotic modes of transport and storage. They have much more in common with Natural Gas than oil has, but they don’t even talk to each other.
Time to bring methane to the attention of the world because its not a problem, its part of the solution.
It’s incredibly clean and it’s a mature technology that we can use for whatever we use coal, oil and other forms of energy for. A society could thrive on methane as its sole energy source provided there is enough of it and it would be a very good society as its population would enjoy one of the cleanest environments on the planet.
However, sitting at the conference I just saw the usual back-patting. The Natural Gas industry, which is just the fossil part of the methane world, only engaged in self-congratulatory gestures but did never engage with the rest of the world. Very few people ever saw methane as a solution for everything – all they always saw was power production, industrial heat, and domestic use.
Methane needs its evangelists. It needs its Elon Musks, its Arnold Schwarzeneggers and Leonardo Di Caprio’s. It needs someone to kick the bucket and expose the ratchet for what it is.
I decided to give it my best shot as there is nobody else and I will continue even when there is no one else. Methane is part of the fundamental processes of life – and it’s the ideal foundation for anything energy.