Clean, beautiful coal??? What the…?!?
Published on: Jul 2, 2017
clean beautiful coal

I just read an irritating article. A press release by US President Donald Trump.

If you are like me, your LinkedIn friends are mainly from the Renewable Energy sector, and the posts you see make you think that hydrogen, battery electric vehicles, solar and wind power etc. are the only topics the world is interested in. I often think: „Now the whole thing is really taking off. Everybody talks about it. “

However, what I obviously tend to forget (or ignore) is that I handpicked my contacts, and if you order Renewables, you get Renewables.

This week, Donald Trump announced his strategy on the American energy sector.

Here’s my short summary of the speech (you can find the whole article HERE):

America is great, Donald Trump is great, everybody who works with him is great, illegal immigrants are bad (but he will fix that). Nuclear power is great and will be expanded. Coal is clean and beautiful; one of his accomplishments is that a new coal mine was just opened. He is going to encourage other countries like Ukraine to build coal-fired power plants and sell them the coal. Natural gas is great, America has got unlimited amounts of it and will sell it to the rest of the world. He will build a pipeline to Mexico (under the wall). He will build new offshore oil and gas production sites. Therefore, „the golden era of American energy is now underway”.

I can’t believe it. There is no easy solution, I know. Hydrogen and batteries are not going to solve every problem. Wind and solar power are not available 24/7, correct. But still… Is this the solution? „Clean, beautiful coal“? Encourage other countries to build coal-fired power-plants? Is that the kind of innovation the world needs? Is that what future generations will give us credit for? Chernobyl? Fukushima? Deepwater Horizon? Ever heard of?

At the end of the day, I am not a politician. I don’t know much about what is going on in the background. Maybe there are other political reasons to sell coal to Ukraine. I don’t know.

I am just an engineer working hard to make hydrogen, wind power, power-to-gas, batteries and other renewables happen. And so do our customers.

While I am writing these lines, I am on my way to California. I will spend the next week in Silicon Valley, talking to customers and other entrepreneurs about what has to be done and what innovations are coming next. I am really looking forward to that trip.

In the meantime, maybe someone should tell Mr Trump that mining coal is not what the word „innovation“ was created for.

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