Op-ed pick: America’s energy portfolio is strong

David Ignatius writes in The Washington Post that Americans should be optimistic about our energy future:

According to a study released last month by the Energy Information Administration (EIA), the country is on track to pump nearly 10 million barrels of oil a day by 2016 — roughly equal to Saudi Arabia’s output.

This forecast is much stronger than a year ago, thanks to rapid shale-oil development “as producers locate and target the sweet spots of ‘plays’ currently under development and find additional tight formations that can be developed with the latest technologies,” the EIA report notes. Oil production from shale reserves is forecast to increase from 2.3 million barrels a day in 2012 (or 35 percent of U.S. production) to 4.8 million barrels in 2021 (or 51 percent of the total).

That’s just oil. He is also convinced that breakthroughs in coal gasification, LEDs and the growth in alternative energy sources make substantial differences:

Since 2008, U.S. wind-power capacity has more than tripled, and it is now generating the equivalent of about 60 large nuclear reactors. As for solar, photovoltaic panels are producing 10 times the power they did in 2008, with the cost down from $3.40 per watt to about 80 cents.

Read the entire optimistic column here.